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Since Meghan Markle made her first public appearance with Prince Harry at the Invictus Games, the couple has been photographed holding hands and showing PDA. It’s a 180 from the way Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton conduct themselves on official engagements (they rarely hold hands), but Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette and a royal etiquette expert, tells People that Harry and Markle aren’t actually breaking any rules.

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“While Prince Harry and Megan holding hands is atypical for royal engagements, it is a seemingly welcomed gesture to show unity and celebration of their engagement period,” Meier explains. “There is no protocol that says they can not show affection on official engagements, and this gesture makes them relatable and lovable to the public.”

That said, different royal couples do things different ways. “It is rare to see royal couples holding hands on 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 says. “A more serious engagement would warrant a more serious level of professionalism, which each royal is sure to follow.”



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