Body Language Expert Says Meghan And Harry's Controversial Church Exit Crystalizes Their True Priorities - Exclusive

The unadorned garb Prince Harry was forced to wear during the service for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall was a reminder that he has departed the royal family in an official capacity. Because he is no longer a working royal, Harry has been told that he is not allowed to attend events in his military regalia, according to CNN.

To many, Harry's body language served as another reminder of just how much his life has changed since he left the regimented world of being a working royal behind. As he and his wife, former "Suits" star Meghan Markle, exited Westminster Hall, they held hands. Some social media users were outraged by this show of affection. "Harry and Markle holding hands while exiting Westminster Hall is one of the most disrespectful things I've ever witnessed," tweeted one critic. "Unsurprising as they never fail to disrespect the protocol and the queen," another person wrote.

However, a royal etiquette expert told People that royal family members actually aren't forbidden from holding hands in public, and as the Daily Mail pointed out, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex weren't the only royals who walked hand-in-hand at the event — Zara and Mike Tindall did as well (Zara is the eldest granddaughter of the queen). But while the act of holding hands wasn't as rebellious as some assumed, a body langue expert believes that it speaks volumes about the Sussexes' true priorities.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are putting each other first

Some of the Sussexes' critics also took issue with the way Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were holding hands. "She's got her thumb over his, so you know who's in charge," tweeted one observer. However, Nicole Moore, body language expert and host of "Reality of Love" on BSpokeTV, says that Meghan's body language is actually an indication that she's serving as a stabilizing force for her husband. "Prince Harry likely truly needs Meghan there to support him, pull him forward and help him get through this difficult time," Moore explained in exclusive analysis for Nicki Swift.

On Twitter, one of Meghan and Harry's supporters pointed out that Queen Elizabeth II's funeral procession took place the day before Harry's birthday. So instead of preparing to celebrate with those who truly care about him, Harry found himself mourning a family member while being subjected to a high level of public scrutiny. By holding her husband's hand, Meghan was doing what she could to provide him with some modicum of comfort during a time of great emotional turmoil. 

"Their move to hold hands signifies that they put their personal relationship with each other above what anyone else thinks, even when doing so will incur backlash," said Moore. "The move can be summed up in one sentence — our love matters most, above all and we're going to show it to each other no matter how inappropriate that looks to certain people."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's affinity for holding hands existed before their royal exit

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were seen holding hands rather often years before their royal exit, according to a 2018 Town & Country report. Meanwhile, William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales, haven't been spotted engaging in the same show of affection, with the Daily Mail observing that they avoided physical contact at the Westminster Hall service. Their lack of PDA could be explained as feeling an obligation to appear more professional, seeing as how Prince William is next in line to the throne. However, Harry was also once a high-ranking member of the royal family, so why has he always seemingly been comfortable holding hands with his wife?

According to Nicole Moore, the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes' affinity for walking hand-in-hand says a lot about how they feel about each other. "Holding hands in body language is often an indicator of a close emotional bond, a desire for comfort and a desire for emotional connection," she explained. "They hold hands as closely as possible with hands tightly interlocked, indicating a very strong emotional bond." The sweet gesture also serves as a way for the couple to put on "a united front," and they may need each other's support now more than ever as they continue to be subjected to vitriol from critics who get angry over something so simple as holding hands.

Of course, the hand-holding controversy is sure to be the last drama the two face as they navigate this new life without the queen.