Does royal protocol ban PDA?

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It’s not uncommon for recently engaged couples to have a certain electricity — whether they’re holding hands or cuddling up at romantic date nights. If anything, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are more relatable than ever with their public displays of affection.

The couple have been together for a year and half, and their PDA has only become more prominent since the big announcement. While their first official public appearance was just last week, their public affection is being contrasted with the prince’s older brother, Prince William, and the Duchess of Cambridge.

Despite the difference between the couples, it has been confirmed that there is no royal protocol against PDA. When it comes down to it, it’s up to the couple to determine how they want to appear publically.

“It is actually simply is a matter of preference for each couple,” royal etiquette expert Myka Meier told the Huffington Post. “Every royal is clearly trusted to make their own judgment calls to what they think is appropriate.”

While Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge tend to be a bit more reserved, body language experts say there’s still a deep sense of romance. (Getty Images)

While the newly-engaged couple are more comfortable showing affection publicly, Meier believes its due to the pair’s personalities rather than their royal duties.

“As a royal couple, you can see how Meghan and Prince Harry’s outgoing personalities, modern outlook and big hearts will be on display when they meet the public,” said Meier.

One thing worth considering is the length of the two relationships. While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been together for eight years before Prince William proposed, Prince Harry and Markle have only been together for a whirlwind year and a half. Regardless of the length of their relationships, one body language expert believes the love is prominent in both couples’ engagement interviews.

“We see two really different emotion levels with these two interviews,” said body language expert Traci Brown. “Harry and Meghan are attached at the hip and totally OK showing affection. With William and Kate, there’s tenderness and love, but they clearly don’t think it’s OK to show real magnetism.”

Meier also attributes the Duke and Duchess’s official duties for their lack of PDA, recounting their attendance to various formal events.

“The nature of the majority of events they attend are very formal,” Meier said. “At sporting events and more lighthearted events for instance, as a couple they are very warm and more likely to show affection.”

Another point to consider is the line of succession. The Duke of Cambridge may reserve himself since he’s second in line to the British throne, while Prince Harry is sixth in line.

“One day, [Prince William] will be the King of England, and the Duke of Cambridge is clearly very sensitive to the honour he has been given,” said Meier. “His actions are a sign that he takes his role as a high ranking royal very seriously, which is simply a sign of respect to both the royal family, his country and its citizens.”

Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II don’t often show physical affection while in public. (Getty Images)

While the monarchy isn’t against PDA, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband rarely show affection despite more than 70 years of marriage. Experts also say Prince William could be taking a cue from Prince Philip.

Regardless of whether you love or hate PDA, Meier believes the current royals are great representatives in today’s world with their open approach to the public.

“Princes William and Harry are so open with the public ― it shows that they were raised that way… More than ever, we are seeing a side of the royal family that is so lovable and open, and I think that makes them the perfect royal family representatives to lead future generations.”

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