Ever since Meghan Markle and Prince Harry became a couple way back in 2016, the duo has never shied away from showing PDA during royal outings. But, now that they’re married, Harry, 33, and Meghan, 36, have actually refrained from holding hands or hugging, especially while in the presence of Queen Elizabeth.
According to People, the newlyweds try to respect the “stoic values” of the Queen and her husband Prince Philip‘s generation and have chosen to no longer pack on the PDA like they once did during their royal engagement.
“While Prince Harry and Meghan holding hands is atypical for royal engagements, it is a seemingly welcomed gesture to show unity and celebration of their engagement period. There is no protocol that says they can not show affection on official engagements, and this gesture makes them relatable and lovable to the public,” royal etiquette expert Myka Meier (founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette), once explained to People.
“It is rare to see royal couples holding hands on official outings. While we are much less likely to see the [Prince William and Kate Middleton] holding hands in public, we often see Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall holding hands — it’s all simply a matter of preference for each couple and is also likely dependent on the nature of the event they are attending. A more serious engagement would warrant a more serious level of professionalism, which each royal is sure to follow,” Meier continued.
While William and Kate have historically avoided PDA during their royal relationship, Harry and Meghan boldly introduced their romance to the world by holding hands at the Invictus Games in Toronto in September 2017.
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