March 25, 2023

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were seen holding hands while leaving a service honoring Queen Elizabeth II. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and other members of the royal family walked behind the Queen’s coffin which was taken from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday in a solemn procession. The Queen’s coffin will stand in Westminster Abbey for five days for the public to pay their last respects to her until the funeral on Monday, September 19.

Royal family members attended the 20-minute service at Westminster Hall before leaving the building and being escorted off the premises. It was clearly an emotional time for everyone including the Princess of Wales, 40, and the Duchess of Sussex, 41, who seemed to be blinking back tears before Her Majesty’s coffin was raised on a catafalque reports PEOPLE. Even Prince Harry was seen wiping a tear during his late grandmother’s service.

Meghan Markle stood by her husband during this difficult time and held his hand while they walked out of the service.

The two don’t shy away from showing their affection for each other in public. As we reported earlier royal fans gushed over Prince Harry calling him a true “gentleman” after a video posted by royal expert Omid Scobie showed the 38-year-old opening and closing the car door for his wife. Social media users have since been swooning over Harry’s romantic gesture. At the time they were also seen holding hands as they appeared at the gates of Windsor Castle and walked around to greet well-wishers.

However, this time their romantic gesture was criticized by some social media users. Royal expert Kristen Meinzer told Insider the couple is often scrutinized more than other royal family members largely due to Markle’s race. “Unlike them, she’s an American, a self-made woman, and black,” she said. “Unlike most of them, she has a history of working hard and being outspoken about the kinds of human rights that they’re afraid to touch for fear of sounding ‘controversial.'” Some of the comments online about Harry and Meghan’s simple, sweet gesture of holding hands were pretty harsh. “The Royal Family leave our beloved Queen in Westminster Hall with grace and dignity except for Harry and Meghan who just have to hold hands like two lovesick teenagers. They really get on my nerves,” tweeted one social media user. Another said, “They can’t keep their hands to their sides for two seconds to mourn the Queen (as if Meghan would care to anyway)??? Though unsurprising as they never fail to disrespect the protocol and the Queen.” Funnily enough, the comments received pushback from other royal fans who called out the hypocrisy in the comments. Social media users defended the couple and pointed out that other members of the royal family had done the same thing and no one batted an eyelid. Insider reports Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter, was seen holding hands with her husband, Mike Tindall, during the service.

There were others who praised Harry and Meghan’s love for each other. One Twitter user wrote: It was lovely seeing a wife comfort her husband at a very difficult time. The memories of walking behind his mother’s coffin must have been heartbreaking for him. Why was it not ok for them to hold hands but perfectly ok for another grandchild & her husband to do the same? A second user remembered the time when Harry was a young boy and had to walk behind his mother’s coffin, writing: I don’t remember anyone holding #PrinceHarry hand comforting him 25 years ago, I am very thankful #Meghan is beside him today. A third added: They are so sweet. Great to see how Harry has found so much love and support in Meghan. Especially at a time that is hard enough and probably also triggers a lot of trauma due to the loss of his mum.

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