Harry and William's break 'could be final', suggests body language expert

·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·7-min read
A body language expert has decoded Harry and William's gestures during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. (Getty Images)
A body language expert suggests Harry and William's break 'may be final'. (Getty Images)

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations have come to a close and there's a lot to unpick about the weekend, which saw Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make their first official public engagement in over two years and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children step into the spotlight.

While the royals were all smiles to celebrate the Queen's incredible 70 years on the throne, a deeper look into the more subtle behaviours and movements reveals some fascinating insights, not least that brothers William and Harry are still somewhat distanced.

According to body language expert Judi James, the appearance of Harry and Meghan over the weekend could be the last glimpse we see of the couple in the UK, thanks to a total lack of any signals of anything bordering on a truce.

"The ‘ignore’ always tends to be the lowest point of any rift as it means communication stops altogether," she tells Yahoo Life.

"Unless we are treated to some official photos now of William and Kate posing happily with Harry and Meghan and their children, the break could actually be final."

Read more: Why the Duchess of Cambridge wears so much red

Body language expert Judi James says Prince Harry displayed some signs of anxiety during the celebrations. (Getty Images)
Body language expert Judi James says Prince Harry displayed some signs of anxiety during the celebrations. (Getty Images)

James says that as Prince Harry took his place at St Paul’s Cathedral for the Thanksgiving service on the second day of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, the royal produced several anxiety signals including checking touches on his clothing, which contrasted with the small outbursts of fun he displayed when he tried to laugh with his relatives.

"His haunted eye expression returned during the service," she explains. "The fluctuating body language did suggest he might be missing some members of his family but the relegation from US A-list to UK B-list must also have been hard to take."

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge takes a leaf out of Diana's book in Wales

Meghan Markle appeared cool, calm and collected during her appearance at the Jubilee celebrations. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle appeared cool, calm and collected during her appearance at the Jubilee celebrations. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Markle, on the other hand, showed fewer signs of stress, according to James, who says her body language displayed very well at St Pauls.

"Her smile never faltered and it looked congruent enough to be convincing," James explains. "She looked calm and upbeat and did not make it all about her.

"There were few if any PDAs apart from the hand clasp and the one hand she placed on Harry’s back, which seemed to be a loving reminder that they were keeping a lower profile."

Watch: Harry and Meghan join Royals at St Paul’s Service

Meghan Markle was seen placing a hand on Prince Harry's back during the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral last week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle was seen placing a hand on Prince Harry's back during the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral last week. (Photo by Dan Kitwood - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

James adds that Markle's body language revealed the lighter side of her personality.

"She looked fun playing with Zara Tindall's daughters, while the A team posed on the balcony and there were no smaller signals that any cameras picked up to suggest exchanged glances or whispering between her and Harry when they were relegated to the back row."

Watch: Stars perform for royals at BBC's Platinum Party at the Palace concert

The other major royal talking point was the appearance of the Cambridge children who took a starring role at the four-day event.

George, eight, Charlotte, seven, and Louis, four, carried out a number of engagements over the course of the celebrations, which meant all eyes were on them, their behaviour and how their parents steered them through it.

"The four-day event would have been a Herculean challenge for any parent of young children, let alone royal parents like William and Kate, who had to motivate and coach three young children through the rigours of public appearances that often lasted hours," explains James.

Read more: Platinum palace party: Royal fans debate Prince George and Princess Charlotte’s appearance

The Duchess of Cambridge smiles while Prince Louis pokes his tongue out. (Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge smiles while Prince Louis pokes his tongue out. (Getty Images)
Prince Louis was the star of the show, but the Duchess of Cambridge appeared relaxed about his capers. (Getty Images)
Prince Louis was the star of the show, but the Duchess of Cambridge appeared relaxed about his capers. (Getty Images)

But it seems the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were up to the task of having all eyes on their parenting skills.

"Their planning appeared to be impeccable," says James. "With Kate’s body language looking calm throughout as she chatted and laughed while building a sense of anticipation in the events in her youngest children or as she stroked and patted them to reassure and reward them for good behaviour."

Of course, the star of the show was undoubtedly Prince Louis, who delighted royal fans by pulling faces at various stages of the engagements, and even shushing his mother during the last day of the festivities.

Read more: Every time the Duchess of Cambridge and Sussex subtly honoured Princess Diana

Meanwhile, during the Platinum Jubilee Pageant outside of Buckingham Palace, the four-year-old clenched his fists, jumped up and down in his seat, and pulled some hilarious facial expressions as he sat with his family in the royal box.

"What we were allowed to see was young children being allowed to be children rather than stuffy, over-choreographed royals," explains James.

"Little Louis was clearly the star of the event (apart from his Great Grandma, of course!) because he was allowed to behave normally, meaning we saw a whole range of responses but importantly we saw the closeness and fondness between him and the Queen as well as him and Charles."

The Duke of Cambridge was pictured using reassuring gestures with son Prince George. (Getty Images)
The Duke of Cambridge was pictured using reassuring gestures with son Prince George. (Getty Images)

When it comes to the body language of the other Cambridge kids, James says Charlotte looked as calm and composed as her mother.

"As a result Kate did seem to be able to step back slightly by the time they appeared at the pageant and chat to other guests, returning to her quite happy and comfortable-looking daughter for some laughter and chat," James continues.

"There were no signs of fussing or watching like a hawk or any obvious signals of underlying anxiety from her.

"Like Louis, Charlotte was allowed to chat to Zara’s children in the row behind while her younger brother was allowed to try out different laps, including his Grandfather’s."

Prince William was seen guiding Prince George over the weekend, pictured attending the Platinum Pageant on The Mall. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Prince William was seen guiding Prince George over the weekend, pictured attending the Platinum Pageant on The Mall. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)

As for George, James believes his father, William, has been ensuring George is fully attuned to his royal destiny and comfortable with it.

"George almost seemed to grow up during the four days, with some signals of shyness initially but with a growing level of confidence to the point where he stood beaming beside the Queen on the royal balcony," she explains.

There were various indicators over the weekend, according to James, that William is helping to guide his son towards his future, more prominent role within the royal family.

"William uses shoulder clasps and other, subtle tie-signs and touches to both reassure and to gently steer his son but with the pair in matching suits and matching body language in the royal box they also often reacted like friends, especially during their singing double act to Sweet Caroline," she adds.

The Cambridges seemed to cope well with having their parenting styles on the world stage. (Getty Images)
The Cambridges seemed to cope well with having their parenting styles on the world stage. (Getty Images)

Overall, James says the Cambridge body language seemed to reveal the family had coped well with having the gaze of the globe focussed on their parenting skills.

"By the last hour of the four-day event William was seen leaning back and relaxing with a smile of pride on his face," she explains. "This suggested that not only had all his and Kate’s pre-coaching worked, their children had exceeded their expectations during what could have been a gruelling weekend."

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