- Members of the royal family attended a short service honoring Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday.
- Some observers criticized Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for holding hands while leaving the service.
- Others pointed out that Zara Tindall and other relatives have held hands at similar ceremonies.
Royal fans criticized the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for holding hands while leaving a service honoring Queen Elizabeth II.
Less than a week after Queen Elizabeth II passed away, members of the royal family walked behind the Queen’s coffin on Wednesday during a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where the coffin will lie in state until the funeral on September 19.
The royal family remained at Westminster Hall for a 20-minute service before exiting the building and being escorted off the premises. Footage of the service was shared on the official Royal Family YouTube account.
However, following the service, some critics started calling out Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for holding hands while leaving the service.
“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,” one social media user wrote.
Another added: “They can’t keep their hands to their sides for two seconds to mourn the Queen (as if Meghan would care anyway)??? Though surprising as they never fail to disrespect the protocol and the Queen.”
Soon after, other social media users came to the couple’s defense by pointing out that other members of the royal family had participated in similar displays of affection. Photos showed Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter, holding hands with her husband, Mike Tindall, during the service.
People also recalled Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, when Princess Beatrice was photographed holding hands with her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, while leaving the funeral.
Representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The couple faced media backlash during their trip to New York City in September 2021, despite doing some of the same things as Prince William and Kate Middleton during their 2014 trip, according to Insider’s Samantha Grindell.
Prince Harry and Markle were criticized for wearing black to visit the 9/11 museum in New York City – despite that being a common practice – while observers praised Middleton for wearing a bright pink coat during her previous trip. The Daily Mail wrote that Middleton was “fighting off the gloomy weather” in her attire.
The Daily Mail also applauded Prince William and Middleton for staying at the Carlyle Hotel during their trip, writing in the headline, “Kate lands with a bump: Pregnant Duchess arrives at New York hotel favored by Diana as royal couple touch down in the Big Apple .”
When Prince Harry and Markle stayed at the same hotel during their visit, the publication wrote: “Royal couple leave the kids in LA to enjoy drinks at the swanky bar inside their $1,300-a-night Carlyle Hotel to kick-start a three-day visit to NYC.”
Insider’s Mikhaila Friel previously reported that Prince Harry and Markle are often scrutinized for doing the same things as their royal counterparts, largely due to Markle’s race. According to royal expert Kristen Meinzer, the press may be focused on Markle because she doesn’t resemble the rest of the aristocracy.
“Unlike them, she’s an American, a self-made woman, and black,” she told Friel. “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.'”