This is the awkward moment Prince Harry rejects Meghan Markle's attempt to hold hands in public

This is the awkward moment Prince Harry rejects Meghan Markle's attempt to hold hands in public

When little girls dream about marrying princes, they mainly focus on the gowns, the jewels, the palace and just how handsome that future monarch is going to look walking next to them with his crown on. However, getting hitched to a member of the royal family involves a lot more than that - and the "more" is not always all it's cracked up to be.

Rather than being allowed to float off and live their royal romance dream, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are subject to the rules of royal etiquette and can no longer act like a normal young couple.

Rather than revealing her bare legs, Meghan wears pantyhose; rather than finishing his meal when he wants, Prince Harry must stop eating whenever his grandma, the Queen stops; and rather than showing affection in public like your average newly-married couple, the pair must keep their sentiments under wraps - but this doesn't mean they don't make slip-ups.

This became clear when Meghan recently tried to hold Harry's hand at an event last week. The former Suits star was at the Queen’s Young Leader Awards at Buckingham Palace looking fabulous in a pale pink Prada dress when she reached for her new husband's hand. The brief moment turned awkward though when the 33-year-old rejected her attempts, bringing his arms even closer to his side than they were before. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex then walk on as if nothing ever happened.

The reason for this fleeting uncomfortable moment? According to reports, the Windsors believe it is inappropriate to show affection in public and have strict unwritten rules on public displays of affection.

"The Queen rarely holds hands with her husband in public and this seems to have set an unwritten precedent for the other royals," body language expert Robin Kermode told The Mail Online back in 2017.

Speaking of Kate Middleton and Prince William's lack of PDA, he added "It is very clear that William and Kate are emotionally close, however, they do not seem to feel the need to prove their love – particularly when on official state business. 'They come across as a strong, independent couple and while they are always on show, they do not feel the need to 'show' their love for each other to the world."

The awkward moment caused a minor stir online, with many people writing that Meghan had broken royal protocol "yet again" and speculating that there was "trouble in paradise" for the pair. However, they were defended by other social media users, who told their critics to "leave them alone".

It's certainly true that the couple has been under heavy scrutiny since getting together, and especially since getting married. Fans leapt to the former American actress' defence after she was criticised for 'disrespect' when she sat with her legs crossed at the same event last week, foregoing the traditional "Duchess Slant" that Kate employs.

"The Duchess of Sussex has her legs crossed wrong. What a disrespect to the Queen. All royal ladies cross at the ankles or put both legs to the side," one person wrote on Facebook.

So, will Meghan ever stop being slammed for every little move she makes? Unfortunately, it's not likely...