Prince Harry, Meghan Markle’s ‘striking’ hand holding questioned: Did they break the rules?

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s public display of affection met mixed reactions on Wednesday after a short service in honor of Queen Elizabeth II.

Prince Harry and his wife hold hands as they leave Westminster Hall. The other royal couple involved in the procession walked with their own hands.

Royal expert Shannon Felton Spence told Fox News Digital that the action was likely “a loving show of support” for Prince Harry, but stressed the royals were “on the job”.

“While there are no formal ‘rules’ against PDA, we often don’t see it from the royals because they are usually at work when we see them,” Spence explained. “They’re presenting their most professional appearance. When we see William and Catherine on the outside, they’re husband and wife allies.”

Queen Elizabeth II is in state before the funeral; King Charles III returns to Buckingham Palace

From left, Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate Middleton are photographed following the procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin. Queen Elizabeth II will be in the kingdom starting Wednesday until her funeral on Monday.
(Getty Images)

Spence noted that public displays of affection are witnessed by members of the royal family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, but they usually take place at less formal events.

“It does happen, but usually always sets up an appropriate or less formal event (like if they’re playing a sport),” she said. “That’s why it’s so amazing that Harry and Meghan have always been so affectionate towards each other.

Kate Middleton honors Queen Elizabeth II by wearing the Queen’s brooch

“It’s not that it’s unusual for a husband and wife, it’s that we’re not used to seeing it from the royals when they’re at work.”

Kate Middleton and Prince William have been seen holding hands in public several times.

Prince William and Kate Middleton hold hands at the start of the 2011 Calgary Stampede Parade in Calgary, Alberta.

Prince William and Kate Middleton hold hands at the start of the 2011 Calgary Stampede Parade in Calgary, Alberta.
(Getty Images)

Kate Middleton and Prince William hold hands as they watch a swim at Tollcross Swimming Center during the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on July 28, 2014.

Kate Middleton and Prince William hold hands as they watch a swim at Tollcross Swimming Center during the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland on July 28, 2014.
(Getty Images)

Prince William carries his newborn daughter, their second child, in a car seat as they walk with Kate from the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London on May 2, 2015.

Prince William carries his newborn daughter, their second child, in a car seat as they walk with Kate from the Lindo Wing at St Mary’s Hospital in central London on May 2, 2015.
(Getty Images)

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex received mixed reactions on social media on Wednesday. Some called Markle a “helper,” while others called her “no class.”

“Meghan Markle is such a supportive wife to Prince Harry. The best of the British royal family,” one user wrote,

“Hold on Harry and Meghan. I enjoy seeing people upset about this. Lol,” another added.

“I see Meghan still couldn’t manage the whole service without holding Harry, he had to hold her hand in the square without absolutely anything,” one user wrote,

“What a shame. Meghan and Harry just had to hold hands and draw attention to themselves,” another couple, “Totally unfair but what more can you expect?”

Other social media users pointed out that Markle and Prince Harry weren’t the only royal couple to hold hands during Wednesday’s events.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hold hands after a service to welcome the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall at Westminster Palace in London on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry hold hands after a service to welcome the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall at Westminster Palace in London on Wednesday, September 14, 2022.
(Getty Images)

Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall walk in procession with Britain's Queen Elizabeth's coffin.  Zara is the daughter of Princess Anne.

Zara Tindall and husband Mike Tindall walk in procession with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth’s coffin. Zara is the daughter of Princess Anne.
(Getty Images)

Princess Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall hold hands as they arrive at Westminster Hall. However, it is important to note that both do not hold royal titles.

Royal expert Spence told Fox News Digital that the handshake between Harry and Meghan is understandable.

“I’ll give them a pass for today as they leave Westminster Hall because that procession was too painful for Harry, and they’re all sad,” she said.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's 2018 public kiss was compared to a photographed moment between Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana in 1985.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s 2018 public kiss was compared to a photographed moment between Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana in 1985.
(Getty Images)

Prince Harry has a history of being publicly affectionate with Markle. Before marrying the Duchess of Sussex, the prince kissed her on the cheek at the conclusion of the Invictus Games in 2017. This move brought both of them into the media spotlight at that time.

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They have since shared a lip lock or two at a handful of events, including a polo match in 2018. That kiss was compared to the kiss Prince Charles and Princess Diana photographed at a polo match in 1985.

Fox News’ Ashley Papa contributed to this report.

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