Those keeping track of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s every move toward each other in order to decode their relationship can calm down: On Thursday, July 5, the royal pair made a triumphant return to their usual levels of PDA and held hands.
This comes about a week after the Duke of Sussex appeared to reject an attempt from Markle to hold hands at another public appearance together, causing many well-wishers to worry that the days of sweet back rubs and interlocked arms were already long gone after only six weeks of marriage.
But on their way into the ‘Your Commonwealth’ Youth Challenge event at Marlborough House in London, Harry and Meghan were photographed walking hand in hand up the venue’s driveway, Harper’s Bazaar reports. Later, while the couple was standing in front of the assembled crowd, the duchess was seen lightly placing her hand on her husband’s arm\ and smiling. Though the newlyweds mostly kept their hands to themselves for the rest of the day’s events, they continued to share meaningful glances throughout; at one point, photos show Meghan looking happily on as Prince Harry gave an address to the audience.
Meghan and Harry’s return to casual displays of affection at public events after last week’s brief, hand-hold-less break could all come down to royal etiquette. After a video surfaced of the duo having to clasp their own hands together to apparently keep from holding hands at the queen’s Young Leaders Awards at the end of June, royal commentator Victoria Arbiter told Harper’s Bazaar that they had done so simply because “it was not the appropriate forum for Harry and Meghan to be laying on the PDA.” Arbiter continued, “There will of course be engagements in the future in which hand-holding and affection is perfectly acceptable, but tonight, in the presence of the queen, the couple showed the dignity and respect such an occasion affords.”