Rare Royal PDA Moments Caught On Camera

If you're an avid royal watcher, then you know that public displays of affection between the royal couples young and old are few and far between. The love is there, surely, but these couples are known for being incredibly stoic and professional while out and about. You may not remember it, but when you see Princess Catherine doing a walkabout or King Charles III visiting a nonprofit, they're technically working — as such, they interact with their significant others more like they're a colleague than anything else, and this makes sense given their dedication to the job.

That's not to say that there haven't been rule breakers. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shocked royal observers when they expressed their affection for one another through physical touch on plenty of occasions — this got even more prevalent when they stepped away from their roles as senior royals in January 2020. Even Catherine and Prince William have been known to steal a glance or touch here and there, and Charles and Camilla, Queen Consort, have maintained a youthful and playful dynamic with one another even while working. The most stoic of couples was certainly Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who kissed maybe twice in public. Luckily for us, there have been moments caught on camera and we've gladly rounded them up for you. Here are rare royal PDA moments that you don't want to miss.

Catherine was seen giving William a notable tap during the 2023 BAFTAs

When it comes to the monarchy, Prince William and Princess Catherine are seen as the gold standard. Young, viral, parents to three children and dazzling in the public eye, these two are always put together, always on call, and always professional with one another. Dr. Louise Mahler analyzed their body language for Sunrise, telling the magazine that, "These two take their roles very seriously, and they're showing us how to behave." Small "touches on the back [are] calculated," according to Dr. Mahler, who pointed out just how intentional the interactions between the two royals are.

Except, like any couple, Catherine and William know how to poke fun at each other and fans got to see their cheeky side at the 2023 BAFTA Film Awards. William serves as the president of the BAFTA organization, and the couple hadn't attended the ceremony in two years when they attended the 76th awards. Catherine looked dazzling as always in a white Alexander McQueen gown with daring black sleeves, and William looked sharp in a tuxedo. And, while they were making their way down the carpet, Catherine lightly tapped William on the butt as he walked past her. We all know what it's like when your significant other looks particularly dashing and you just can't help yourself in giving them that little extra attention — but to see it from a royal couple at such a high profile event certainly did not go unnoticed.

Harry and Meghan's engagement announcement was full of PDA

Though the public has gotten used to seeing Prince Harry and Meghan Markle embrace and engage in PDA since leaving their posts as senior royals, they did show affection towards one another way back in their courtship. As they described in their Netflix documentary, "Harry & Meghan," the couple kept their relationship under the radar for as long as possible — they knew that once it hit the headlines, the public would be craning for every ounce of information they could get. Unlike Prince William and Princess Catherine — who spent years dating before getting engaged — Harry and Meghan moved fairly quickly and announced their engagement on November 27, 2017. Making an appearance in front of the members of the press, Harry and Meghan were clearly smitten with one another and held hands as they made their plans to be married known.

In a statement by then-Prince Charles, the palace made it known of the new couple, "His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle's parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace." Oh how times have changed since.

Charles and Diana shared a rare PDA moment in 1985

Even if you're not a royal watcher or a fan of the monarchy in general, you know what went down between then-Prince Charles and Diana Spencer. The two were not meant for each other from the very beginning, and prolonged extramarital affairs, a lack of support for Diana within the institution, and the craning members of the paparazzi made life for the couple incredibly difficult. As such, it's no wonder that they didn't show much PDA — when they did, however, the cameras were sure to pick up on it. Though they certainly kept to themselves during royal engagements and events, Charles and Diana shared quite a lot of PDA when on the polo field. An avid player, Charles often engaged in the horse-centered competition, and Diana was always on deck to present trophies and congratulate the winners. As such, the public got to see a number of kisses exchanged between the then-married couple, which was certainly a rare sight.

For instance, 1985 saw Charles both hug and kiss Diana after a polo match held at Cirencester Park. That same year, the two exchanged a kiss that — of course — was captured by cameras. They kissed once again at a charity match that year held at Windsor, and yet again in 1986 after a polo match held in Oman. Though they weren't the most affectionate, Diana and Charles seemed to connect when polo was at play.

Elizabeth and Philip shared a brief moment of PDA during their honeymoon

When it comes to the late Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, their PDA didn't really extend further than being in the same room together. The two were incredibly stoic when it came to sharing their affection physically, and as they always put the monarchy above all, they followed royal protocol to a tee. Of course, any royal fan will tell you that Elizabeth was still a princess when she and Philip got married, as her father was the reigning monarch at the time. Still, she and her new husband practiced extreme measures of monarchical rule, even during their honeymoon.

When Elizabeth and Philip left Buckingham Palace after their wedding, the two were met with dozens of rose petals lining their exit. Elizabeth stunned in a blue dress with a matching coat, and the two made their way to Balmoral. As for the moment of PDA that has stayed with us all this time, Elizabeth and Philip linked arms, looked at each other, and smiled. Not exactly the most raunchy of moments, but when it comes to these two, that was just about as publicly steamy as it got.

Leaving for the honeymoon, Elizabeth released a statement at the time that read, "We can find no words to express what we feel, but we can at least offer our grateful thanks to the millions who have given us this unforgettable send off in our married life."

William and Catherine shared a kiss at this 2022 event

Throughout her life as a royal, Princess Catherine has certainly taken cues from her late mother-in-law, Diana Spencer. She's often channeled the people's princess in her wardrobe choices, and of course in her jewelry, but Catherine may have looked to Diana for a bit of PDA permission when it came to an event held in 2022. Catherine and Prince William seldom show physical affection towards one another in public, but when William was out on the polo field, Catherine seemingly took it as a cue to get a little handsy with her husband.

Playing at Windsor shortly after their highly watched Wimbledon appearance, William and Catherine stunned at the Guards Polo Club, looking relaxed and ready to enjoy the day. The princess looked lovely in a white Emilia Wickstead dress that featured delicate black detailing, and she paired the look with a simple pair of sunglasses and a fun pair of earrings. And, after her husband was done on the field, Catherine congratulated him on a game well played with a kiss — a rare occasion for these two, who are known for standing alongside one another, hardly ever touching, and never holding hands. Clearly, the polo field has a PDA power that the royals can tap into.

This sweet moment between Harry and Meghan in 2018 spoke volumes

When it comes to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, these two are known for being more physically affectionate with one another — especially by royal standards — but it was a simple act on Meghan's part that had people swooning in 2018. Meghan and Harry were in Australia at the time — just about a year before they stepped down from royal life — and Harry was giving a speech after attending a picnic at Victoria Park. While speaking to the crowd, the sky opened and it started absolutely pouring down with rain — not deterred by this, Harry kept speaking and Meghan jumped into action, holding an umbrella over him while he carried on. After the mayor asked if Harry wanted to borrow his own umbrella, he simply responded (via People), "It's all right, I've got my wife." The pictures, of course, are just too good not to think that this moment didn't come out of a movie.

As it turned out, the rain was a welcome — and rather symbolic — downpour. The area of Australia that Harry and Meghan were visiting had been ravaged by drought, directly causing an increase in depression and suicide among the young men there. Harry spoke directly to this crisis while the rain came down, telling those listening, "You are one huge community, and with that comes an unparalleled level of internal support and understanding."

Elizabeth and Philip shared a rare kiss in 2000

Any moment between Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip was a big deal. The two had weathered just about every storm together throughout their decades of public service — from the divorces of three out of their four children, to Windsor Castle literally catching on fire, to the changing role of the monarchy and everything in between, they embattled a number of traumas and scandals that would've rocked any normal couple to its core. Elizabeth and Philip, meanwhile, maintained their stiff upper lip approach and seemingly took everything in stride, relying on one another but hardly ever showing their affection towards each other publicly.

It wasn't until 1999 that the members of the Commonwealth and the world at large got to see some sort of kiss shared between Elizabeth and Philip. Not partaking in the famous balcony kiss after their wedding (that tradition was started by then-Prince Charles and Diana Spencer), Elizabeth and Philip never locked lips in public view. However, on December 31, 1999 — New Year's Eve that welcomed the new century — Philip placed a kiss on Elizabeth's cheek as the clock was winding down on the 1900s. Celebrating at the Millennium Dome in Greenwich, this sweet moment shared between the two was certainly a sight to behold.

Harry and Meghan's reunion with the royal family in 2022 was full of PDA

In the years since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left their roles as senior royals, a battle of narrative has certainly played out between them and the palace. Trying to set the record straight, Harry and Meghan have been vocal about the battles they faced and the lack of support from the members of the firm — as such, whenever they have reunited with the royals, everyone (and we mean everyone) is watching closely.

About three months before Queen Elizabeth II passed away in September 2022, her Platinum Jubilee marking 70 years on the throne was celebrated. Harry and Meghan traveled from California to London to join in honoring her lifetime as monarch, and attended the National Service of Thanksgiving at St. Paul's Cathedral. Meghan looked stunning in a Dior haute couture coat dress and Stephen Jones hat, walking up the aisle of the cathedral with a regal confidence that did not go unnoticed. It was the gestures between her and Harry, however, that had people watching closely.

The two held hands — a royal no-no — as they made their way to their seats alongside the other members of the royal family. Meghan placed a supportive hand on Harry's back as they made their way down the row of chairs, and the two were later seen hand in hand again as they left the ceremony.

William and Catherine's Jamaica tour was full of PDA moments

After the COVID-19 pandemic halted most international travel, Prince William and Princess Catherine hit the ground running once restrictions were lifted. Heading to Belize, Jamaica, and The Bahamas for their first royal tour since the pandemic, the two were all smiles as they represented the monarchy internationally. Of course, many royal watchers know that things didn't go so smoothly for the couple. Ahead of and during their visit, William and Catherine were met with a sea of protesters who were demanding that Queen Elizabeth II be cast aside as the head of state. Messaging about colonialism and a lack of reckoning with an otherwise painful past was prevalent, and William even addressed the backlash (via People), saying that he and his wife were in the process of understanding "[how the] past weighs heavily on the present." Given the backlash, it makes sense that watchers saw a little bit more PDA between William and Catherine, and she was seen giving her husband a supportive hand throughout the trip.

Specifically, William and Catherine were meeting with educators at Shortwood Teachers College in Jamaica when the Duchess of Cambridge placed a hand on her husband's back. Though they were both smiling, the gesture was certainly an indication that he needed a bit more support than normal, likely due to the backlash they received upon arrival.

The two feuding royal couples had starkly different PDA levels during this joint event

It was the reunion that none of us really ever thought we would witness. Upon Queen Elizabeth II's death in September 2022, Prince William, Princess Catherine, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle reunited for a walkabout on the Windsor grounds to greet mourners and extend their thanks for the national support of the royal family. As they walked out of the castle, the body language shared not just between the two couples but as a foursome was heavily dissected, and for good reason.

As far as William and Catherine were concerned, the two appeared business as usual. Not holding hands and keeping a healthy distance between them, they walked out to the members of the public and got to work. Harry and Meghan, meanwhile, were hand in hand as they walked out alongside the other royal couple and were quite physically connected throughout the walkabout. Jesús Enrique Rosas, The Body Language Guy, further broke down the heavily watched interactions — especially between Harry and Meghan.

"This dynamic cannot be unseen," Rosas said while analyzing the differences between the two couples. "Here we can see their body language in action; Harry touching Meghan's back ... Catherine is relaxed, she is in the middle between William and Meghan and Harry — very few times this happened, this only happened at the end of the walkabout. [Kate's] posture is normal royal protocol."

Diana and Charles shared a famous PDA moment in 1983

Any fan of "The Crown" knows that things between then-Prince Charles and Diana Spencer went south very quickly. The two were not at all made for one another, and their extramarital affairs certainly proved that point very quickly. However, they knew how to turn on the charm when needed and their famous dance while on a tour of Australia in 1983 is still one of the most beloved moments shared between the exes. While at the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney, Charles and Diana took to the dance floor during a gala dinner and absolutely wowed those in attendance with their moves and their outward affection for one another. It has certainly been looked at as one of the most romantic interactions shared between them, but body language expert Judi James has interpreted the PDA differently.

Looking at a series of photographs from the night in question, James told Express, "This iconic dance between Charles and Diana during their tour of Australia appears to show the couple looking openly happy and in love but the underlying signals suggest ongoing tension even during this rare moment of physical togetherness and fun. ... What the body language in this dance did show was Charles's strong desire to take control and register who was really in charge in the relationship," she continued, highlighting the well documented jealousy Charles had for his wife's fame.

William and Catherine had a sweet interaction at Wimbledon in 2017

You can always count on a sporting event to really bring out Prince William and Princess Catherine's fun side as a couple, and Wimbledon is no exception. The two have often been seen in the stands cheering on competitors during tennis's biggest international competition, and their smiles in 2017 have stayed with us in the years since. During the Men's Singles Final match, William looked down at the floor giggling while Catherine was clearly saying something hilarious. While the two weren't touching, per say, their obvious affection for one another was on full display. It was a rather personal moment shared in an otherwise very public space, and we're all about it.

Wimbledon has seen William and Catherine at their most interactive and animated, as has been well photographed over the years. They were on their feet cheering in 2014 while Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer duked it out, and Catherine was often photographed dazzling her husband with a wide smile throughout the event. In 2021, Catherine was seen laughing with her head tilted all the way back as her husband carried on chatting — these are definitely moments where we wish we could be a fly on the wall to hear what they were saying to each other.

Charles and Camilla displayed PDA during this formal photograph

We certainly couldn't forget King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort, arguably the most controversial royal couple that have since made their way to the throne. Starting their relationship embroiled in scandal and fighting the general lack of approval among the British public, Charles and Camilla have truly seen it all. However, like many royal couples, the two haven't shared a lot of physical interactions in public, sticking to protocol and keeping things pretty formal. Such a pattern made Charles' display of affection towards his wife in a formal, royal portrait that much more surprising — according to body language expert Judi James, it was intentional.

After he became king following his mother's death, Charles posed with Camilla, Prince William, and Princess Catherine in a new portrait of the two most important couples within the monarchy. Charles, surprisingly, wrapped his arm around Camilla's waist, establishing a sense of calm in an otherwise sea of chaos — not only had the queen just died, but Prince Harry was gearing up to release his bombshell memoir at the time.

"As any tribe or dynasty knows, a show of unity, continuity and strength is vital once it loses a leader," James said (via Mirror). "Charles' unusual PDA of placing an arm around Camilla's back, mirroring her arm round his, could be seen as a message in the same direction, as there have been rumors that Harry could have been critical of Camilla in his new book."