Harry, Meghan excused from ‘royal protocol’ at Queen funeral events: expert

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did not break protocol by holding hands at Queen Elizabeth II’s procession on Wednesday – because they are not working members of the royal family.

“Harry and Meghan are grieving relatives and are under no obligation to follow royal protocol,” body language expert Inbaal Honigman told the British newspaper The Daily Express.

“Their hands are there to support one another emotionally during this loss.”

Harry, 37, and Markle, 41, gave up their royal duties as Duke and Duchess of Sussex in January 2020 due to ongoing issues like media scrutiny and inner turmoil within the family.

However, that has not stopped the public from analyzing the couple’s every move during high-profile events.

Since Queen Elizabeth II died on Sept. 8, Markle has been called out for everything from an “awkward” exchange with royal aides over flowers to most recently showing PDA at Wednesday’s procession.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Queen Elizabeth II's procession.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not required to follow royal protocol, according to an expert.
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“They’re part of the procession,” one critic tweeted. “Is it too much to expect them to walk in their line? even the horse could stay in their position for 20+ minutes walk. yet meghan [and] harry couldn’t keep the formation at least until they reach the door?”

Another claimed the “Suits” alum had “no class,” writing, “I see Meghan still couldn’t manage the whole service without holding on to Harry.”

Guards carrying Queen Elizabeth II's coffin.
The procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall took place in London on Wednesday.
Getty Images

Honigman further explained to The Daily Express why Prince William, who is next in line for the throne, and his wife, Kate Middleton, did follow protocol.

“William is there in a public capacity,” the expert said. “He may have just lost his grandmother, but his job, as the eldest son of the King, is more important right now, than his grief.”

The Coffin Carrying Queen Elizabeth II Is Transferred From Buckingham Palace To The Palace Of Westminster

Only “working members” of the royal family are expected to follow royal protocol.

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Honigman pointed out that King Charles III and the Queen Consort did not hold hands while walking into Westminster Hall either as they are also “working members.”

King Charles III was named head of the monarchy on Saturday after his mother’s death, and said in his first official address, “I am deeply aware of this great inheritance and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of sovereignty which have now passed to me.”

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