A guest at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral has revealed the sweet gesture that Prince Harry did to wife Meghan Markle in order to make her feel more “comfortable” during the service. On Monday 19 September, thousands of mourners and members of the royal family attended the State’s funeral at Westminster Abbey. During an interview with People about the event, funeral guest and attorney Pranav Bhanot opened up about a few of the moments he witnessed, including ones that were between Meghan and Harry.
Bhanot said there were points where the couple had to go “different directions” after “walking together” which prompted Harry to offer his wife some extra support by giving her hand “a squeeze”. “You saw the reassurance that Harry was giving to Meghan at times when they were walking together and had to go in their different directions,” he said. “I noticed just how supportive Harry was to Meghan,” Bhanot added. “When they went their separate directions after the ceremony, he gave her a firm squeeze of the hand. I felt he wanted to ensure she felt comfortable.”
While sitting in the second row during the Queen’s service, Meghan and Harry were also seen holding hands and comforting each other. The Duchess was later spotted wiping away her tears outside of the Abbey, following the funeral. Leading up to Monday’s sombre occasion, Meghan and Harry took part in a memorial service at Westminster Hall, where they held hands again in a public display of affection that stood out among other royal family members.
The couple’s PDA was then met with mixed responses, as some people praised the gesture and others claimed that it was “disrespectful”. Many social media users also expressed how the criticism about their hand-holding was a “double standard”, since the Queen’s granddaughter Zara Tindall and her husband, Mike Tindall, also walked hand-in-hand when exiting the service at Westminster last week.
Along with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, many other people held their partner’s hands during Monday’s service, including Princess Eugenie and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. While making their way to their seats, many couples, including Zara and Mike and US President Joe Biden and his wife, Dr Jill Biden, were also seen holding hands.
The Queen’s state funeral in Westminster and Windsor is now coming to an end, as she’s being laid to rest in a private burial service, attended by King Charles III and the rest of her royal family. Her casket will be placed alongside those of her late husband, Prince Philip, and her parents, King George VI and the Queen Mother.