Prince William and Kate Middleton have often ripped up the royal rule book, from key moments at the wedding(opens in new tab) to the fact that they don’t follow traditional protocols when it comes to traveling as a family(opens in a new tab).
However, when it comes to public displays of affection, they follow in the footsteps of the late Queen and Prince Philip, as well as William’s father, King Charles, who appears much more reserved in public.
And while the Prince and Princess of Wales’ decision to keep their affection private could be influenced by royal tradition, one expert believes there’s a little more to it than that.
Talking to Express.co.uk (opens in new tab), body language expert Judi James said that the couple’s decision not to hold hands in public is a ‘conscious’ one, adding that they have been photographed off-duty ‘holding hands happily like any other couple’.
Instead, while they’re at engagements or on official royal business, they tend to opt for more ‘tactile PDAs’ like back touches or gently putting their arms on each other’s waists.
She says: “These gestures reflect high levels of affection and attraction, so there might be a practical reason to avoid the handclasp.
“As senior royals at events, the hand clasp might be seen as a clumsy ritual when there are many hands to shake and so many people to greet one at a time.”
James also adds that while hand-holding is seen as affectionate, the couple doesn’t want to alienate those they are with, stating: “At their level, hand-holding could make them seem exclusive rather than professionally sociable too.”