Duchess Kate and her baby bump looked absolutely adorable on St. Patrick's Day this weekend. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge celebrated the occasion with the Irish Guards at their barracks in Hounslow, West London, an annual tradition that involves Guinness, green, and of course cute pictures.
But if you can look past the Guards' tall, fur caps (called bearskins) and their adorable wolfhound mascot Domhnall, you might notice that the royal couple did something extremely rare for a public appearance: They touched!
Prince William sweetly placed his hand on his wife's back - not particularly salacious PDA for the rest of the world, but for the royals it's a big deal. As working representatives of British monarchy, these visits to parades, charities, and other events technically count as their jobs. Kissing and hugging at work? That's usually a no-no at any workplace, no matter the royal title you have.
While there's no official rule or "royal protocol" barring them from showing affection, the Duke and Duchess don't overdo it at most formal engagements as a sign of respect. That's why this subtle gesture between the two of them stands out, although they've previously shared some more overt PDA on casual occasions like sporting events.
The move definitely draws comparisons to the other beloved royal couple in the news: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The fiancés regularly exhibit their closeness by touching each other's backs and (gasp!) holding hands.
"While Prince Harry and Meghan holding hands is atypical for royal engagements, it is a seemingly welcomed gesture to show unity and celebration of their engagement period," royal etiquette expert Myka Meier, founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, told People. "There is no protocol that says they can not show affection on official engagements."
The standards for them differ a bit than those for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, however. As the future king and queen responsible for representing an entire commonwealth, Kate and Will need to look a little more prim and proper when they step out in front of photographers. While they've shown affection plenty of times before, a picture of these two could go under the dictionary definition for "decorum."
In comparison, Prince Harry will soon stand sixth in line to the throne. As crazy as it sounds now, even he's admitted his days in the spotlight will eventually end. Just think of lower-profile Prince Andrew, who currently occupies that spot.
In the meantime, both of these beloved couples should just keep on doing their thing in whatever way works for them. No matter what, they'll always count as total #CoupleGoals.
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