10 Times Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Defied Royal Protocol and Held Hands Anyway

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made it clear from the very beginning that they were never going to be your everyday royals. From her time as a Hollywood starlet with a role on the hit show Suits to Harry’s rebellious past, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have always forged their own path. Now that the rebels have made their exit from the royal family, let’s take a look back at 10 times Harry and Meghan chose to show some PDA by holding hands, even if it defied royal protocol.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle hold hands
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hold hands a Wheelchair Tennis match during the Invictus Games 2017 | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation )

How Queen Elizabeth feels about PDA

Early reports indicated that Queen Elizabeth did not want Prince Harry and Meghan Markle showing any kind of affection in public, even something as little as holding hands. But there are no official rules that prohibit members of the royal family from showing PDA at social engagements.

“There’s no protocol that tells them they can’t hug or kiss or touch. There’s no rule book like that,” Myka Meier, an expert in royal etiquette, explained.

“While we are much less likely to see The Duke and Duchess (of Cambridge) holding hands in public, we often see Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall holding hands,” Meier continued to People.

“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.”

While showing PDA is not common practice for most members of the royal family, it certainly was for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Here is a look back at 10 of their best.

10. Harry and Meghan’s final appearance as working members of the royal family

Prince Harry Meghan Markle final appearance
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 | Karwai Tang/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their final appearance as working members of the royal family at Commonwealth Day services at Westminster Abbey. This also marked their last public appearance with Prince William and Kate Middleton.

9. Leaving their wedding reception in 2018

Prince Harry Meghan Markle leaving their reception
Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle leave Windsor Castle | STEVE PARSONS/AFP via Getty Images

Harry and Meghan changed clothes to attend their royal wedding reception in 2018, but that didn’t stop them from holding hands as they made their exit.

8. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle take a walkabout in New Zealand

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Harry and Meghan in Wellington, New Zealand | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Harry and Meghan took a walk along Lyall Bay on their official tour of Australia, Fiji, Tonga, and New Zealand in October 2018.

7. The Endeavor Fund Awards

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Endeavor fund awards
The Endeavour Fund Awards celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in remarkable sporting and adventure challenges | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

A pregnant Meghan and a dapper Prince Harry held hands as they arrive at the Endeavor Fund Awards.

6. Prince Harry and Meghan attend the Royal Ascot

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Harry and Meghan at the Royal Ascot in 2018 | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Just a month after tying the knot the Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended Day 1 of the Royal Ascot. The newlyweds presented ‘Without Parole’ jockey Frankie Dettori with the winning trophy for the St James’s Palace Stakes.

5. Millennium Point

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hold hands as they visit Millennium Point | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visited Millenium Point on International Women’s Day in 2018. While on the visit a young fan told Harry that she wanted to be an actress. Instead of moving on to the next fan, Harry instead introduced her to his bride-to-be, the former Suits star.

4. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend ‘The Lion King’ London premiere

Prince Harry Meghan Markle The Lion King
‘The Lion King European Premiere | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Even hobnobbing with Beyoncé and Jay-Z could not stop the Duke and Duchess from keeping ahold of one another.

3. Announcing their engagement

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Harry and Meghan announce their engagement | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince Harry and Meghan announced their engagement in November 2017. During their appearance, the couple held hands and even wrapped their arms around each other as they made their exit.

2. Meghan and Harry tie the knot

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Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stand together for their wedding in St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle| DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP via Getty Images

Harry and Meghan did not let the drama surrounding her father ruin their special day. Instead, they looked like any other couple in love, the only difference was that a billion people were watching.

1. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle go public

Prince Harry Meghan Markle Invictus Games
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle hold hands a Wheelchair Tennis match during the Invictus Games 2017 | Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation

When Harry and Meghan went public at the 2017 Invictus Games, they gave royal watchers a sign of things to come. They did not shy away from PDA, and Meghan made headlines with her ripped jeans.