During a recent appearance at the Young Leaders Reception at Buckingham Palace, onlookers noticed that Meghan reached for Harry’s hand, but the prince quickly clasped his hands together. Yikes. Was that a royal snub? Is there already trouble in royal paradise?
Fortunately for fans of the couple, the answer is no. Harry knows the drill: when his grandmother is around all PDA must cease, according to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier. The founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette told People that it’s “rare” to see royal couples holding hands during official outings.
“While we are much less likely to see the Duke and Duchess 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,” Meier told the magazine. “A more serious engagement would warrant a more serious level of professionalism, which each royal is sure to follow.”
How these two are able to abide by this rule is completely lost upon me. Although, Meghan and Harry aren’t the only royals who’ve taken cues from the Queen, who is rarely seen holding hands with her husband, Prince Philip, in public. Kate Middleton and Prince William typically keep their affection behind closed doors as well.
“The Queen rarely holds hands with her husband in public, and this seems to have set an unwritten precedent for the other royals,” body language expert Robin Kermode told the Daily Mail. He noted that most royals like William and Kate are emotionally close, but don’t seem to feel the need to “prove their love” by showing PDA. Kermode speaking particularly about Kate, pointed out that over time, as she grows confident on the royal stage, she needs less handholding.
This could explain why Meghan constantly reaches for Harry’s hand, as she is still learning the royal ropes. She’s been doing a good job of adjusting to her new role thus far. But let’s be totally honest, a slip-up is bound to occur every now and then, especially when she’s got someone as fine as Harry sitting by her side, and I’m not mad at her.