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The special gesture we've never seen from Michael and Carole Middleton as they follow Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's footsteps

 Michael Middleton and Carole Middleton arrive at the coronation in 2023.
Michael Middleton and Carole Middleton arrive at the coronation in 2023.

There's a gesture we've not seen from Carole and Michael Middleton in public as they follow Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's footsteps.

Carole and Michael Middleton might not be royal themselves but as the future Queen Consort’s parents they’ve also been thrust into the public eye since Kate married Prince William. The couple have attended plenty of high-profile events in recent years, from Prince Harry and Meghan’s wedding to King Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation. They’ve got a lot of experience stepping out in public in front of cameras by now and there’s one gesture we’ve never seen from Carole and Michael Middleton and it’s very in-keeping with the royals’ approach.

Despite being photographed a lot, Carole and Michael haven’t been officially pictured holding hands - either at state occasions like the coronation or more low-key ones like Wimbledon.

Composite of Carole and Michael Middleton at the coronation in 2023, at Wimbledon in 2021 and at their home in Berkshire in 2010
Composite of Carole and Michael Middleton at the coronation in 2023, at Wimbledon in 2021 and at their home in Berkshire in 2010

Although the perspective on some pictures occasionally makes it appear as though they’re holding hands a closer look reveals this not to be the case. Not holding hands in public could simply be the Middletons’ preference, though it’s possible that Carole and Michael are following Prince William and Kate’s example.

Although the perspective on some pictures occasionally makes it look like they’re holding hands a closer look reveals this not to be the case. Putting forward his opinion on why this might be, body language expert Darren Stanton previously suggested to Fabulous magazine that their seniority as Prince and Princess of Wales could have inspired this decision.

"Kate and William play a very important role in the Royal family now as the Prince and Princess of Wales. 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," he claimed.

Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend a service to commemorate the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Prince William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales attend a service to commemorate the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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Darren also pointed out that the late Queen supposedly "never held hands with her husband Prince Philip" in public, in line with this protocol. So it seems that Prince William and Kate are apparently following in Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s footsteps with a more professional approach when they’'re out and about.

Carole and Michael probably don’t need to abide by this "protocol" but it’s possible they have chosen to forgo hand holding in public anyway to mirror their daughter and son-in-law’s behaviour. After all, as Kate's parents, Carole and Michael are very well-known figures themselves and have always shown immense respect towards the Royal Family and their traditions. Although they might not have been seen holding hands publicly, they might well do so away from the cameras.

Catherine, Princess of Wales kisses Prince William, Prince of Wales during the prize giving following the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup 2023
Catherine, Princess of Wales kisses Prince William, Prince of Wales during the prize giving following the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup 2023

Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate haven't shied away from other displays of affection if the occasion is right or if they’re off-duty. Fans were left delighted when Kate was pictured kissing Prince William on the cheek after a polo match last year and the photo released to mark their 12th wedding anniversary showed them with their arms around each other.

The Prince and Princess of Wales are also often seen exchanging loving looks and laughing with each other at engagements. They seem to have found their happy balance between showing affection publicly and being professional as royals.