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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle didn’t break any royal protocol with their hand holding PDA after Queen Elizabeth’s Westminster service. One body language expert called the moment “the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” however, especially when the couple was compared to others in attendance.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle body language compared to Prince William and Kate Middleton following service for the queen
Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William, and Kate Middleton | AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty, Pool

Expert calls Prince Harry and Meghan Markle PDA at queen’s service ‘inappropriate’

Body language expert Louise Mahler shared her analysis of Harry and Meghan’s hand holding with Australia’s Sunrise.

“The hand-holding in Westminster Hall was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen,” she said. “It was totally incongruent with everybody else for their distancing and their placement. I would have thought that people don’t hold hands in a situation like that. And for them to come together, alter the spacing, hold hands… is strange.”

Mahler continued, “I think that, again, Harry is putting his hand over the top of Meghan’s. I’m questioning whether Harry has an unconscious need to hold her back in some way. I’ve always thought it was protection but the fact that it never alters says to me that maybe he’s sort of holding her back.”

The expert noted, “She is beside him and I’ve even seen when the Fab Four walked out originally in Scotland, she actually went first through. She shoots through all the time. So it’s protection… again, look at that photo, she’s a little bit in front of him again. Look, it’s unusual. It’s unusual.

Mahler was less than impressed with Harry and Meghan’s PDA. “Their touching is inappropriate in these circumstances,” she said. “It’s unsuitable.”

Body language expert calls this the Sussexes’ ‘secret trick to communicate’

Body language expert Judi James explained to The Sun how the Sussexes use this “secret trick” to communicate. “Meghan and Harry’s hand-hold ritual enables them to communicate quite complex messages to one another silently and without the need for eye contact,” James explained.

She called it “a vital gesture for them” as they came together to hold hands “at the end of a very emotional service.”

James pointed out how the gesture “sends an intrapersonal message to the couple themselves, allowing them to feel inwardly secure in a loving team of two.”


Body Language Expert Points Out Signs Meghan Markle Was Uncomfortable Around Prince William and Kate Middleton During Recent Appearance

Harry and Meghan use subtle ‘add-on signals’ in their hand holding, expert says

James noted other subtle signals the Sussexes use that might go unnoticed, calling them “add-on silent signals to one another.”

“As they stood looking at the flowers at Windsor, Harry’s fingers in the clasp were dangling down and wriggling, suggesting tension or anxiety and Meghan responded by stroking his hand with her thumb in a gesture of reassurance,” she explained.

There are still other “subtler add-on squeezes or tugs within clasps” that “many couples use a similar method of ‘speaking’ to each other silently.”

These can provide a message of “comfort and love” or signal to the other person that they want to leave a conversation or situation, all without saying a word, James explained.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.