Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Hold Hands While Leaving Service Honoring Queen Elizabeth

·3 min read
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Hold Hands While Leaving Service Honoring Queen Elizabeth

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry joined members of the royal family for a service at Westminster Hall to honor Queen Elizabeth.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended a short service for the late monarch on Wednesday. Led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and accompanied by the Dean of Westminster, it lasted about 20 minutes.

Afterward, the couple left hand-in-hand as they walked behind Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Before the service, William and Harry walked together behind their grandmother's casket in a procession through London, while Meghan made her way in a car with Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Prince Edward's wife.

Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, second left, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, second right, and Kate, Princess of Wales leave Westminster Hall in London
Prince Harry, left, and Meghan, second left, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, second right, and Kate, Princess of Wales leave Westminster Hall in London

Nariman El-Mofty/AP/Shutterstock Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with Kate Middleton and Prince William while leaving Westminster Hall in London

Meanwhile, Kate rode with Queen Camilla, King Charles' wife — with the Queen's death, they are now the two highest-ranking women in the royal family as Queen Consort and Princess of Wales.

RELATED: Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Travel by Car to London Service Honoring Queen Elizabeth

During the procession, William, 40, and Harry, who turns 38 on Thursday, walked side-by-side, with Harry between his brother and their cousin, Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips.

For more on the Royals, listen below to our daily podcast PEOPLE Every Day.

At the funeral procession for their grandfather Prince Philip last April, Peter walked between the brothers.

Prince Harry and Meghan, left, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, second right, and Kate, Princess of Wales leave Westminster Hall in London
Prince Harry and Meghan, left, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, second right, and Kate, Princess of Wales leave Westminster Hall in London

Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

RELATED: Prince Harry and Prince Andrew Wear Morning Suits, Not Military Uniforms, at Queen's Procession

The walking procession also included the Queen's four children — King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward — Anne's husband Sir Tim Laurence, the Queen's cousin Prince Richard the Duke of Gloucester and the Queen's nephew David Armstrong-Jones the Earl of Snowdon.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after a service for the reception of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after a service for the reception of Queen Elizabeth II's coffin

BEN STANSALL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

On Tuesday evening, Meghan, 41, and Harry joined members of the royal family to receive the late monarch's coffin as it arrived at Buckingham Palace.

RELATED: Inside the Life and Death of Queen Elizabeth II: 'She Will Be Missed by So Many'

Days earlier, they also reunited with William and Kate, 40, at Windsor Castle, where they stepped out together to greet well-wishers wanting to pay their respects to the late monarch.

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II

Chris Jackson/Getty Images Prince William and Prince Harry

According to Kensington Palace, William invited Harry and Meghan to join him and Kate at the Windsor gates, while another source said security didn't expect both couples to be there for the walkabout.

William thought the moment "was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family," a royal source previously told PEOPLE.

A palace insider echoed: "It's such an extraordinary historical moment and also a deeply personal one for the family that you'd hope and think that all members of the family would unite and support [the King] especially. And perhaps some of those wounds can be healed in the process."

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II
King Charles III, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex walk behind the coffin during the procession for the Lying-in State of Queen Elizabeth II

Leon Neal/Getty Images King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward

RELATED: Everything to Know About Queen Elizabeth II's Funeral

Releasing a heartfelt statement following his grandmother's death at the age of 96 on Sept. 8, Harry mourned the monarch and voiced support for the accession of his father.

"Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren," he wrote in part. "I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over."

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales look at floral tributes laid by members of the public on the Long walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. Crowds have gathered and tributes left at the gates of Windsor Castle to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September, 2022. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales look at floral tributes laid by members of the public on the Long walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. Crowds have gathered and tributes left at the gates of Windsor Castle to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September, 2022. (Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, Prince William and Kate Middleton

"Thank you for your commitment to service. Thank you for your sound advice. Thank you for your infectious smile," Harry said. "We, too, smile knowing that you and grandpa are reunited now, and both together in peace."

Harry and Meghan will attend the late monarch's funeral on Monday.