Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their first official public appearance as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto, Canada, further fueling engagement rumors.
The couple was first spotted at the Invictus Games Opening Ceremony on Saturday night. However, they were seated several rows apart, with Prince Harry situated at the VIP area with dignitaries and government officials such as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and wife Sophie, and U.S. First Lady Melania Trump, Vogue reported.
Meghan, on the other hand, was seated next to her longtime friend Markus Anderson, who reportedly introduced Meghan and Harry to each other.
As to why Meghan didn’t sit next to Harry, one source said that royal protocol prohibits the couple from sitting next to each other at official events until they’re engaged. It was also rumored that Meghan made the decision to sit far away from her boyfriend so as not to take everyone’s attention away from the athletes and the event. Prior to the start of the Invictus Games, reports involving the multi-day sporting event heavily focused on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s attendance.
Seating arrangements changed on Monday during the wheelchair tennis match. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived together hand-in-hand, with the royal leading her girlfriend to their seats. According to CBC, the couple was dressed casually in jeans and dark sunglasses.
Meghan and Harry sat next to each other and were occasionally leaning in to talk to one another. They also interacted with the crowd, shaking hands with and talking to some attendees.
When they exited, the royal couple was once again holding hands, indicating that the relationship is really getting serious.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s public display of affection is seen as a tell-tale sign of how serious their relationship is and how an engagement could be on the horizon. Royal couples, even Harry’s brother Prince William and sister-in-law Kate Middleton, rarely show PDA, especially at big official events.
Myka Meier, a royal etiquette expert, told People that Meghan and Harry’s actions indicate that an “engagement is eminent.” Meier explained that showing PDA at a highly publicized event would be a “very conscious decision by Prince Harry.” In this circumstance, Meghan is expected to have followed Harry’s lead. It shows how deep their relationship already is.
According to Reader’s Digest, there is no bona fide rule restricting PDA, but royal family members often tend to refrain from putting on such a display during official engagements. One of the likely reasons why they show very little PDA in public is to remain professional as representatives of the British Monarchy.
The Invictus Games also seem to be the perfect place for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to go public. The event is dear to Harry’s heart as he founded it in 2014 to honor wounded servicemen and women. It also takes place in Canada, where his girlfriend currently lives and films for the TV show Suits.
[Featured Image by Chris Jackson/Getty Images]