Harry and Meghan "Did Not Break Protocol" With This Intimate Gesture, Royal Experts Say
Here’s why the rules don’t apply to Harry and Meghan.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a very tactile couple from day one—and recent public appearances show the couple are still very physically affectionate with one another. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have extended their trip to the UK following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and are frequently seen holding hands, in stark contrast to Prince William and Kate Middleton who prefer a more reserved approach while in public. Here's what royal experts have to say about Harry and Meghan's hand-holding.
Prince William and Kate Middleton are working members of the Royal Family, and therefore bound by protocol. "William is there in a public capacity. He may have just lost his grandmother, but his job, as the eldest son of the King, is more important right now, than his grief," celebrity psychic and body language expert Inbaal Honigman told Express UK. "William and Kate are not holding hands. They're working members of the Royal Family, and are sticking to protocol. King Charles III and the Queen Consort didn't hold hands walking into Westminster Hall either."
As non-working members of the Royal Family, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are free to hold hands if they want to. "Harry and Meghan are grieving relatives and are under no obligation to follow royal protocol," says Honigman. "They're walking hand in hand like regular citizens, as a non-royal married couple would. Their hands are there to support one another emotionally during this loss. As their eyes are down, they're holding hands to keep track of each other's whereabouts."
Harry and Meghan are expected to stay in the UK to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral on September 19, and have reunited with William and Katherine for the first time in several years. Royal watchers were quick to notice the difference between how Harry and William treated their wives, with some onlookers accusing William of ungentlemanly behavior compared to his brother. "#PrinceHarry always protecting his precious better half #MeghanMarkle ❤️ A prince through and through 🤴🏻," one Twitter user said.
According to sources, William invited Harry and Meghan to the Windsor Castle walkout "at the 11th hour". "The Prince of Wales invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join him and the Princess of Wales earlier," a Palace insider told The Sun. "The Prince of Wales thought it was an important show of unity for the Queen at an incredibly difficult time for the family."
Harry turned 38 on September 15, days before the funeral of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth. "In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen — and in mourning her loss — we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty," Harry said in a statement after the Queen passed away. "She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life and now her everlasting legacy. Let us echo the words she spoke after the passing of her husband, Prince Philip, words which can bring comfort to all of us now: 'Life, of course, consists of final partings as well as first meetings.'"