Why Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s PDA at Queen Elizabeth’s Service Didn’t Break Royal Protocol, According to Expert

Many royal watchers were surprised to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s recent PDA, as they were spotted holding hands after leaving a service for Queen Elizabeth. An expert shares how the Sussexes didn’t break any royal protocol with their subtle PDA, however.

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

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s PDA following Queen Elizabeth’s service didn’t break protocol, expert says

Harry and Meghan left Westminster Hall in a line of royal family members following the queen’s service. Many noticed they were holding hands, while Prince William and Kate Middleton, who walked ahead of them, held their arms at their sides.

Body language expert Inbaal Honigman told Express that the Sussexes didn’t break any royal rules with their move.

“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,” Honigman explained.

She added, “William and Kate are not holding hands. They’re working members of the royal family and are sticking to protocol.”

By comparison, Prince Harry and Meghan are not working royals so they don’t have to observe this rule.

“Harry and Meghan are grieving relatives and are under no obligation to follow royal protocol,” the expert shared. “They’re walking hand in hand like regular citizens, as a non-royal married couple would.”

Honigman added, “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.”

Body language expert says Harry and Meghan communicate to each other when they hold hands

Body language expert Judi James shared her analysis of Harry and Meghan’s hand holding, telling The Sun how it allows them to silently communicate with each other.

“It is clearly a vital gesture for them, as we saw the immediate re-bonding yesterday at the end of a very emotional service,” James shared.

“The hand clasp sends a social message of close bonding but it also sends an intrapersonal message to the couple themselves, allowing them to feel inwardly secure in a loving team of two,” the expert noted.

James added, “Sometimes they use the clasp in the way that celebrities tend to, with Meghan walking slightly behind while Harry places his hand on top in a signal of being in control of that particular situation. 

The expert shared how the Sussexes use “the most intimate hand clasp” sometimes, which she described as a “meshed fingered clasp, where their fingers are evenly intertwined.”

“It signals a deep desire for closeness and it is often the first one to go when a couple have been together for a long time,” she explained.

Harry and Meghan have ‘silent signals,’ according to expert

James also pointed out the “add-on silent signals to one another” that Harry and Meghan display.

“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 noted.

James said that oftentimes you don’t see these “subtler add-on squeezes or tugs within clasps” and that “many couples use a similar method of ‘speaking’ to each other silently.”

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

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