Why It’s A-Okay For Prince Harry and Meghan Markle To PDA

Not every royal couple holds hands in public, but these two aren't afraid to show their love...

From the editors of PEOPLE

Words by Erin Hill

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle can’t hide their love!

Since they made their very first appearance together at the Invictus Games in September, the royal couple has held hands, rubbed each other’s backs and linked arms in public.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple’s closeness was on display again during Meghan’s very first royal outing with her fiancé today in Nottingham. They walked around holding hands and with their arms around each other as they greeted enthusiastic fans.

‘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, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, tells PEOPLE.

‘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.

See: This Morning’s Coverage Of Prince Harry And Meghan Markle’s Outing Divides Opinion

‘Meghan and Prince Harry holding hands at a royal engagement is a refreshingly modern approach to their new role both as a couple and as representatives of the royal family.’

Harry and Meghan’s PDA is indeed a departure from usual royal behaviour. A certain decorum tends to be the norm when it comes to official royal outings. Prince William and Kate Middleton, for example, keep their affection to themselves and are rarely demonstrative in public.

Kate Middleton and Prince William rarely hold hands in public

‘It is rare to see royal couples holding hands on official outings,’ Myka adds. ‘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.

‘A more serious engagement would warrant a more serious level of professionalism, which each royal is sure to follow.’