Why Harry and Meghan Hold Hands in Public, But William and Kate Don’t

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Duchess of Cambridge, Kate explored the town centre of Heidelberg Photo (C) AFP, GETTY
Duchess of Cambridge, Kate explored the town centre of Heidelberg Photo (C) AFP, GETTY

Why Harry and Meghan Hold Hands in Public, But William and Kate Don’t

Last week at the 2017 Invictus Games, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle gave the world a PDA tour de force: Hugs! Hand-holdings! Kisses on cheeks! It was all very romantic, and refreshing. After almost a year of knowing Harry and Meghan were a couple, we finally got to see them act like one.

Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are one of the most famous married couples in the world Photo (C) TWITTER, KENSINGTON PALACE
Prince William and Catherine Middleton, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, are one of the most famous married couples in the world Photo (C) TWITTER, KENSINGTON PALACE

But it came with some questions. Are royals usually that lovey-dovey?

The typical comparison was made with Prince William and Kate Middleton, who despite coming across as warm and approachable, aren’t openly affectionate during public engagements (well, most of the time—more on that later). Did this mean there’s some sort of rule or tradition being broken? Why do Harry and Meghan hold hands, but Will and Kate don’t?

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) INSTAGRAM
Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) INSTAGRAM

It all depends on context.

Let’s first consider the context of who Prince William and Prince Harry are. Prince William is the heir to the British throne. Prince Harry, after the next royal baby, will be sixth in line. William and Kate, by nature, have to appear a bit more prim and proper: They are, after all, soon-to-be heads of state, representing a whole people, a whole nation, a whole commonwealth. Reports throughout the years suggest William looks to the Queen, the very woman whose job he will inherit, for guidance on how to act in public. The Queen seldom shows affection to Prince Philip in public—a choice that could be described as a “protocol,” but not strong enough to be a downright rule.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

However, as unlikely as it may seem now, the beloved ginger Prince Harry will soon stray from the spotlight. Think about it: How much day-to-day coverage you read about the sixth heir before him, Prince Andrew? Harry knows it, too: “I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he told Newsweek. There’s just not as much responsibility riding on his shoulders, and he also doesn’t need to make as many appearances as Will and Kate. He’s got more freedom to the act the way he wants.

Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Catherine Duchess of Cambridge Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

But there’s also the context of the occasion. As royal events go, the Invictus Games is a low-key one. It’s appropriate to laugh, cheer, and dress down—in fact, it’d probably look weird and unrelatable if they didn’t. Even Kate and William loosen up at these types of occasions, whether it’s doing the wave at Wimbledon or sharing a loving embrace at the 2012 Olympics. So, Harry and Meghan’s recent behavior, although slightly more flashy than Will and Kate, wasn’t unprecedented.

Prince Harry gave Meghan Markle a cheeky kiss during the closing ceremony in Toronto Photo (C) WIREIMAGE
Prince Harry gave Meghan Markle a cheeky kiss during the closing ceremony in Toronto Photo (C) WIREIMAGE

Only time will tell how public Meghan and Harry will be as a married couple, but for now, we can say pretty definitively that their behavior isn’t too wild as far as royal standards go.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry share a kiss at the Invictus Games in Canada Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry share a kiss at the Invictus Games in Canada Photo (C) GETTY IMAGES

Source: vogue com

Tags: Prince William, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton, in Public, Public Life

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