It’s a really normal thing to do when you’re saying goodbye to someone, particularly in American culture.
But when Meghan Markle hugged a charity worker as they parted ways on Tuesday, she did something you very rarely see royals do.
Members of the British royal family are not supposed to be touched ‘in a manner that goes beyond a formal handshake’; think of that awkward photo of Kate Middleton when basketball star LeBron James wrapped his arm around her.
So while they are regularly seen shaking hands with members of the public and embracing young children, you’ll hardly ever catch a member of the family hugging each other, let alone an unknown adult.
The practice of not touching royals harks back to the Middle Ages, but the Windsors’ official website does state that these days, ‘there are no obligatory codes of behaviour when meeting the Queen or a member of the Royal Family’.
However, that hasn’t stopped moments like Michelle Obama placing her hand on the Queen’s back, making headlines around the globe.
The one time Kate has been seen hugging an adult member of the public was when she met 48-year-old Gwen Wally, who's lifetime dream was to be embraced by the Duchess - and even that was headline-worthy news.
Meghan, who is due to marry Prince Harry in May, has already proven she’ll be less of a traditional royal.
One thing she and her fiancé have become known for are their public displays of affection, which is something that again, you don’t see other members of the royal family doing.
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No one doubts that Kate and Wills are very much in love, but we just don’t see them holding hands or sharing a peck on the lips in public, while Harry and Meghan are almost constantly in physical contact with one another.
According to royal etiquette expert Myka Meier, members of the royal family aren’t explicitly banned from showing affection in public, but it’s understood that they don’t as a matter of professionalism.
After all, they’re mostly out on official duty when pictured in public.
“There is no actual etiquette or royal protocol that says the couple must refrain from PDA,” she told People in 2016.
Referring to Kate and Wills she added, “The couple are likely to show very little PDA, if any, to remain professional during their designated roles”.
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