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Meghan Markle, Prince Harry Show PDA During 1st Joint Royal Engagement

Breaking royal protocols left and right.

12/01/2017 10:18 EST | Updated 12/04/2017 08:57 EST

Just four days ago they announced they're engaged to be married and already Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are at work.

For their first joint royal engagement, the couple, who will wed next May, visited the National Justice Museum before heading off to the Nottingham Contemporary to attend the Terrence Higgins Trust charity fair, in honour of World AIDS Day, which falls on Dec. 1. They then visited Nottingham Academy to see the work of Full Effect, a programme established by Prince Harry to prevent young people from getting involved in crime.

Unlike the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the couple shared many moments of PDA, including holding hands and wrapping their arms around each other's backs.

JEREMY SELWYN via Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle greets wellwishers on a walkabout as they arrive for an engagement at Nottingham Contemporary in Nottingham, England, on Dec. 1, 2017.

According to Hello, it's rare that we see members of the Royal Family engage in public displays of affection at official events, as they are working as representatives of the monarchy.

Although there's no official rule that royals can't touch each other in public when they're working, most family members have kept it very professional, which is why we hardly ever see Prince William and Catherine hold hands when they're on duty.

"I personally believe that it all comes down to their own style," Jamie Samhan, deputy editor of Royal Central, tells HuffPost Canada. "The Queen has always put duty first and Prince Charles and Prince William have learnt from her. It is rare for shows of public affection between William and Kate, but it does happen, for example, they held hands while hiking up to the Tiger's Nest Monastery in Bhutan."

Anthony Devlin via Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Dec. 1.

But even before they got engaged, Prince Harry and Markle have flouted those old-timey "rules" in favour of a more modern royal relationship, as they showed when they made their first appearance as a couple at the Invictus Games in Toronto this September when they were photographed holding hands and kissing.

Eddie Keogh / Reuters
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle greet well wishers as they arrive at an event in Nottingham, Dec. 1, 2017.

At their first sit-down interview after they announced their engagement, the difference between them and Will and Kate during their first post-engagement interview was even more striking. Holding hands throughout the entire interview, Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, looked relaxed and super in love, even poking fun at each other and making faces.

"If their engagement interview is any indication, I would suspect we will see more PDA from Harry and Meghan," notes Samhan. "After all, they are still in the honeymoon stage of their relationship!"

Getty Images
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle visit the Terrence Higgins Trust World AIDS Day charity fair at Nottingham Contemporary on Dec. 1, 2017 in Nottingham, England.

While at Nottingham Contemporary, the couple spoke to people who work with the Terrence Higgins Trust, which provides support to people living with HIV and AIDS in Nottingham and encourages people to get tested. As they made their way from stall to stall, the couple looked at ease in their new roles as a working team.

On Tuesday it was confirmed that Markle will step down from her charitable duties working with World Vision Canada and as a UN women's advocate so that she can start her new royal life with a clean slate.

"[The U.K.] is the country that's going to be her home now and that means travelling around, getting to know the towns and cities and smaller communities," said Jason Knauf, Prince Harry's communications secretary. "She will also become the fourth patron of the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry."

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