When you think of celeb PDA, several names come to mind: Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly. Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman. Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker. Basically, any couple that hits up a red carpet and immediately starts making out. Prince William and Kate Middleton? Not so much included in that list (though they *have* had a few PDA moments over the years!).
While these two share the occasional cute glance, they rarely display any physical contact during royal appearances—like, even it comes to holding hands. Body language expert Darren Stanton shed light on the sitch and told The Sun that it simply comes down to royal protocol, especially given William’s position as next in line to the throne.
“Kate and William play a very important role in the Royal family now as the Prince and Princess of Wales,” Stanton explains. “As they are next in line to the throne and are preparing to become King and Queen themselves one day, they use and follow the traditional royal protocols of the late Queen. The time when we may see them showing affection would be at a more lowkey event, which could be at a charity event or a film premiere.”
Stanton adds, in part, that Kate and Wills “show their affection with prolonged eye gazes as well as giving each other little back touches to reassure each other when they’re on an outing together.”
This falls in line with what royal etiquette expert Myka Meier told People in 2016: “The likely reasoning is more that while traveling on a tour such as the India trip, technically the couple are working representatives of British Monarchy. The couple are likely to show very little PDA, if any, to remain professional during their designated roles abroad.”
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule. Like when Kate was seen literally patting William’s butt in public:
Or when Kate had her hand resting on William’s upper thigh during Princess Eugenie’s wedding:
Mehera Bonner is a celebrity and entertainment news writer who enjoys Bravo and Antiques Roadshow with equal enthusiasm, She was previously entertainment editor at Marie Claire and has covered pop culture for over a decade.