Did Prince Harry break Royal protocol by flying to Canada to see his girlfriend?

After wrapping up a two-week Caribbean tour, in which he represented his monarch grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, the 32-year-old prince jetted off to Toronto earlier this week to be with Meghan Markle. He was expected to fly straight back to London at the time. He arrived in the city Wednesday.

The prince wanted to keep his Canada trip secret and for his time with his girlfriend to not to be made into a spectacle, E! News has learned. Kensington Palace declined comment.

"Harry has been traveling and wanted to make time to see Meghan," a source said. "They wanted their time together to be private."

Prince Harry

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This is not the first time Harry has acted unpredictably. Both he and his brother Prince William have occasionally forsaken tradition in favor of acting on their feelings. Here are 9 times Harry and his family have broken Royal protocol:

1. The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants: Markle is a "commoner," just like William's wife Kate Middleton used to be.

2. Gone to the Dogs: In December, Harry broke Royal protocol while leaving the annual Royal Variety Show at the Royal Albert Hall by petting a dog who had won Britain's Got Talent.

"Prince Harry was very sweet and lovely," owner and trainer Jules O'Dwyer told The Sun. "He actually broke with protocol on his way out. It's great that Matisse has got the royal seal of approval."

3. No Touchy: In 2011, Harry attended the World Darts Championship at London's Alexandra Palace and broke Royal protocol by getting a little too close to semi-finals winner Adrien Lewis.

"I came off stage buzzing, and the next thing I knew Prince Harry was coming over to me and giving me a big hug, so I kissed him on the cheek for some reason," Lewis told The Mirror. "Then I thought, 'What are you doing? That's the heir to the throne you're kissing.' He just looked at me...I hope he didn't mind and I don't get beheaded before the final." 

4. Oh, Chewy! In April, William and Harry got to meet the cast of Star Wars: Episode VIII at Pinewood Studios in London. Harry broke Royal protocol by hugging a stunt actor in a Chewbacca costume.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge, Kate Middleton

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5. Family Trips: William and Kate break Royal protocol every time they fly with their son George. The rules stage that two heirs should not fly on the same flight together so that their Royal lineage is protected.

Prince William, Queen Elizabeth II, GIF


6. Stand Up, William: In June, the queen scolded William publicly on a Buckingham Palace balcony and signaled for him to stand up as he crouched down to tend to his son Prince George, 3.

7. Seriously, No Touchy: In 2010, William broke Royal protocol at a charity gala by hugging a teenage girl who moved him with her story about how she became homeless and then overcame her struggle with the help of the Centrepoint organization, a group his late mother Princess Diana supported. He and Kate later invited her to their Royal wedding.

Royals Week, Princess Diana, Tiara

AP Photo/PA

William and Harry's mother Diana, often celebrated for her compassion and individuality, also broke Royal protocol several times throughout her life.

8. Bling Style: Diana picked out her own engagement ring—made up of a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold—out of a catalog, instead of having it custom-made. William gave it to Kate when he proposed.

9. She Sent William to Public School: Because of Diana, William became the first heir to the throne to attend public school. He went to Jane Mynor's nursery school, located near Kensington Palace.

Princess Diana, Prince Harry, Prince William

Mike Forster / Daily Mail /REX/Shutterstock

10. It's a Small World: The Royal family at the Happiest Place on Earth is all of us at the Happiest Place on Earth.

British Royal protocol can be viewed as an expression of respect for the Queen and Royal etiquette has adapted to reflect the shift in what we expect from the royal family, historian Dr. Kate Williams told the BBC in 2011.

"I think it is changing," she said. "I think in the earlier period people wanted their monarch to be set apart from them, that's what they wanted, they wanted someone more powerful [to protect them]."

"We're less and less engaged with the idea of a monarch being distant," she added. "For example, Princess Diana gained popularity because she was so much less formal."

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