- Members of the royal family attended a short service in honor of Queen Elizabeth II on Wednesday.
- Some observers criticized Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for holding hands as they left 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 as they left a service in honor of 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 leaving the building and being escorted off the premises. Footage of the service was shared on the official Royal Family YouTube account.
After the service, however, some critics began calling out Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for holding hands as they left the service.
“The Royal Family leaving 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 the side for two seconds to mourn the Queen (as if Meghan would care anyway)??? Although it’s not surprising as they never fail to disrespect 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 devotions. Pictures showed Zara Tindall, Princess Anne’s daughter, holding hands with her husband, Mike Tindall, during the service.
People also remembered Prince Philip’s funeral in April 2021, when Princess Beatrice was photographed holding hands with her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, as she left 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 September 2021 trip to New York City, despite doing some of the same things Prince William and Kate Middleton did 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 it being a common practice – while observers praised Middleton for wearing a bright pink coat under her previous trip. The Daily Mail wrote that Middleton “braved the gloomy weather” in her outfit.
The Daily Mail also applauded Prince William and Middleton for staying at the Carlyle Hotel during the trip, writing in the headline: “Kate lands with a bang: Pregnant duchess arrives at New York hotel favored by Diana as royal couple lands in Big Apple.”
As Prince Harry and Markle stayed at the same hotel during the visit, the publication wrote: “Royal couple leave kids in LA to enjoy drinks at the chic bar inside the $1,300-a-night Carlyle Hotel to kick-start a three-day visit to NYC.”
Insiders Mikhaila Friel previously reported that Prince Harry and Markle are often scrutinized for doing the same things as their royal counterparts, largely because of Markle’s race. According to royal expert Kristen Meinzer, the press may be focused on Markle because she does not resemble the rest of the aristocracy.
“Unlike them, she is 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 they are afraid to touch for fear of sounding ‘controversial.’