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There are plenty of royal rules that followers find a little silly. Like the one about never using the word, “pardon,” even though that sounds perfectly polite.

One British royal family custom that’s been making headlines lately is the one regarding public displays of affection, colloquially known as PDAs. First Meghan Markle and Prince Harry raised a few eyebrows with their blatant disregard of this rule. It’s not uncommon to see those two lovebirds kissing, embracing, holding hands, or just generally showing off their deep affection for each other.

But what about Prince William and Kate Middleton? These two rarely engage in physical contact in public. Is it because their marriage is on the rocks, as some claim, or is there a deeper history to their lack of PDAs?

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Hans Gutknecht/AFP/Getty Images

The royal family has an unwritten rule about PDAs

As with most other royal protocol, you only need to look to Queen Elizabeth to get an idea of how things are supposed to be done. As reigning monarch of the United Kingdom for more than 65 years, Her Majesty has had decades to make and break rules. And for PDAs? She’s been sending a clear message all along.

“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 explained. It’s just the way things have been for the entirety of her reign.

It’s obvious that Queen Elizabeth deeply loves and respects her husband. But just because she harbors those feelings, it doesn’t mean she has to show them off during public appearances. Instead, the queen practices restraint and decorum.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge | Bart Lenoir/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton recently touched in public

This topic came up again at a recent event at King’s Cross. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were there preparing for their big trip to Pakistan and during their visit, Kate Middleton put her hand on her husband’s shoulder in a rare moment of close physical contact. Royal fans were overjoyed to see it.

But do Will and Kate need to show off their closeness to prove their love? Of course they don’t.

“It is very clear that William and Kate are emotionally close, however, they do not seem to feel the need to prove their love—particularly when on official state business,” Kermode said. “They come across as a strong, independent couple and while they are always on show, they do not feel the need to ‘show’ their love for each other to the world.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton follow different rules

All of this etiquette talk might have royal fans wondering if Queen Elizabeth is annoyed that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle frequently ignore the “no touching” rule. Is she mad about it? Probably not.

Remember, Prince Harry is an important member of the royal family, but he’ll most likely never see the throne. He doesn’t need to follow traditional customs as stringently as his older brother, who will almost definitely become king one day.

We’ll all just have to enjoy those small snippets of affection that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge share with each other as they come!