During their engagement, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle held hands—and expressed all kinds of adorable PDA — literally everywhere they went. Now that they're married, though, it looks like the rules may have changed.
Over the weekend, the couple attended the Young Leaders Reception at Buckingham Palace with Queen Elizabeth II. British newspaper The Sun caught their entrance to the event on video, and at one point, it appears that Markle is trying to hold her husband's hand, but he pulls it away. She then seems to try to ease the (slightly uncomfortable) moment by using the same hand to tuck a piece of stray hair behind her ear.
Of course, the fact that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex aren't holding hands in public doesn't actually mean there's something wrong between the two of them—Prince Harry was likely just trying to follow royal protocol, especially with his grandmother (aka the queen) walking right in front of them.
Apparently, whether or not the royal couple chooses to hold hands isn’t really completely up to them. It “depends on where the royals are and what situation they’re in,” Grant Harrold, former butler to Princes William and Harry, told Time. Post–royal wedding, the pair have shown at least a little bit of PDA and were spotted holding hands at Prince Charles’s 70th birthday party.
"While Prince Harry and Meghan holding hands is atypical for royal engagements, it is a seemingly welcomed gesture to show unity and celebration of their engagement period,” royal etiquette expert Myka Meier told People. "There is no protocol that says they cannot show affection on official engagements, and this gesture makes them relatable and lovable to the public.”
We have a feeling Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will press play on their current PDA pause and be back to their usual hand-holding ways in the very, very near future.