Prince Valiant

updated 05/16/1994 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/16/1994 01:00AM

TO THE PHOTOGRAPHERS WHO SHADOW THE BRITISH royals, the smallest gesture—a sidewise glance, a reassuring pat on the back—can speak volumes about a relationship. But until recently, the pack tracking Prince Edward's romance with Sophie Rhys-Jones has had little luck capturing so much as a hint of intimacy. A March outing at Balmoral produced no magic moments, and on April 23 Edward and Sophie attended a wedding—but didn't hold hands. Finally, at Balmoral again, on May 2, Edward watchers got what they'd been waiting for when the prince gave Sophie a kiss in full view of photographers.

"Well Done, My Son!" trumpeted the tabloid Daily Star. "Sealed with a Kiss," gushed Today. "At last the love of Prince Edward and Sophie Rhys-Jones is out in the open," wrote James Whitaker in the Daily Mirror. Given such mawkishness, it was hard to tell who was happier, the observers or the observed, though the prince, 30, did look quite chipper as he made several laughable attempts to fly a kite on the grounds of Balmoral's Craigowan Lodge with the help of Sophie, 29. Left hanging was the question of when and if an engagement announcement would come from the Palace.

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