Prince Harry’s ‘inner anxiety’ about his new lesser status in the royal family couldn’t be masked by his jovial manner at St Paul’s Cathedral today, a body language expert has claimed.
The Duke of Sussex, 37, appeared in high spirits at the National Service of Thanksgiving, as he sat with his wife Meghan Markle and cousins Princesses Eugenie and Beatrice and their respective husbands, Jack Brooksbank, 36, and Edo Mapelli Mozzi, 38.
However, body language expert Judi James, told FEMAIL that the apparently jokey demeanour of the Prince – including giggling with Jack Brooksbank – was masking genuine fears about an awkward encounter with his brother Prince William.
James says both brothers appeared to lean heavily for ’emotional support’ on their wives – who cut calm, confident figures – to get through the high profile reunion; two years after Prince Harry’s move to California.
ONE THING IN COMMON: WILLIAM AND HARRY BOTH LEANED ON THEIR WIVES
Despite their differences, the estranged royal brothers had one thing in common today, says James.
She explains: ‘William and Harry seemed to share one trait here: both seemed to lean on the strength of their wives for emotional support as they appeared in public under the same roof for the first time since Philip’s service.’
All eyes on the Sussexes: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attend the Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral in London this morning…and while Meghan Markle looked a vision of calm, Prince Harry appeared to show ‘humility’ in his body language, says Judi James
Leaning in: Judi James, a body language expert, examined footage of the royal family at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on Friday: while both Prince William and Prince Harry appeared to breeze through their respective appearances, their body language suggests the day was stressful for both brothers as they shared the same public space
Prince William appeared happy to let the Duchess take the spotlight, standing back as she waved at well-wishers and following her up the stairs to the cathedral
Duchess of calm: Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle cut confident figures at St Paul’s Cathedral, while their husbands appeared more nervous about the public reunion
Support: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex walk into St Paul’s Cathedral hand-in hand in London for the service of thanksgiving this morning; while the couple didn’t show overt public displays of affection, Prince Harry gripped his wife’s hand as they entered and left the church
The Sussexes, normally keen on public displays of affection, kept their physical touches to mostly a tight hand grasp upon entering and leaving the ceremony.
James explains: ‘After Meghan’s famous grooming ritual at polo, where she wiped lipstick off Harry’s face, Harry seemed keen to return the favour here, touching his wife’s face as though warning her there was a hair or something that needed checking.
‘However, apart from this one loving touch and their signature hand clasp there were no overt PDAs, suggesting they really were down-playing their body language for the cameras.’
The couple put on a united front as they faced the extended royal family for the first time since Megxit in 2020
HARRY: FIDGETING AND CONSTANT CLOTHES-PATTING TO CALM NERVES
The Duke of Sussex may have appeared in high spirits but the weight of a still recent transatlantic move – and that very public interview with Oprah Winfrey – is likely to have played heavily on his mind.
Says James: ‘Harry’s body language fluctuated but the key theme was inner anxiety.
‘The man who is an A-list star in the US was suddenly relegated to the royal B-list and it did seem to have an understandable effect.’
She adds: ‘His self-touch, checking rituals of clothing-patting and straightening announced his levels of inner anxiety and the way he held his head down in a lowered angle suggested humility as he and Meghan listened to the response from the public for the first time.’
Harry’s body language fluctuated but the key theme was inner anxiety, says James. The Duke, pictured looking up at St Paul’s Cathedral in London this morning, appeared fidgety and distracted at times
Pensive: James suggested that Harry’s poses throughout the day – including holding his head at a lowered angle – suggested he had listened to the response from the public
WILLIAM: ADOPTED PROTECTIVE ‘FIG LEAF’ POSE
While Prince William appears in confident mood ahead of the ceremony this morning; his body language, a protective ‘fig leaf’ pose, suggests otherwise, says James
While the Duchess of Cambridge’s body language is relaxed and open, William kept his hands firmly in front of him
The prince showed smaller signs of nerves including eye-darts and a sucking in of the lips as he entered the cathedral
Says James: ‘William looked relaxed and chatty on arrival but, like his brother, he showed smaller signs of what looked like inner anxiety, like a muscle that worked away in his jaw and an eye-dart and sucking in of the lips.
‘He held his hands clasped in the self-protective ‘fig leaf’ pose on the way to his seat and as he walked past his brother on the way out he raised his order of service in a barrier ritual that hinted at discomfort as he turned his head slightly in the other direction.’
HARRY: LAUGHING DEMEANOR HIDING INNER WORRIES
The old Harry? Says James: ‘Inside the church Harry did suddenly break out into a couple of ‘fun’ grins when he leaned across and seemed to be doing an open-mouthed smile aimed probably at the Tindalls’
The Duke took his seat next to Princess Eugenie’s husband Jack Brooksbank, 36, and the pair appeared to be getting on famously…but Harry’s jovial mood was likely masking some inner anxiety about his new role within the royal family
Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 40, put on a very friendly display with the Duke’s cousins as they attended the service at St Paul’s Cathedral today – but kept a tight grip on his wife’s hand throughout
Was it case of Harry acting like the ‘class clown’ to diffuse the couple’s return to public life in the UK?
‘Inside the church Harry did suddenly break out into a couple of ‘fun’ grins when he leaned across and seemed to be doing an open-mouthed smile aimed probably at the Tindalls.
‘But this more playful look was in such contrast to his subdued behaviour that it also looked as though it could be eruptions of inner tension or nerves,’ says James.
‘Even when he chatted and smiled with Zara after the service was over he was primarily concerned with finding out where his car was.’
DUCHESSES OF CALM: HOW MEGHAN AND KATE STAYED IN CONTROL
The two leading ladies in this royal show didn’t disappoint, says our body language expert.
‘Meghan’s body language looked solid and impeccable, providing a sense of support and inner strength.
‘She touched Harry’s waist during one of his ‘fun’ moments as though reminding him they were there with a low profile, but her warm, calm smile never faded even though it did become a bit rigid as they lined up behind William and Kate on the way out.’
Kate as matriarch: The Duchess of Cambridge’s mouth often fell into the gesture of firmness, says James, which the royal usually uses when she is in matriarch role
While Prince Harry looked nervous and serious, Meghan Markle maintained her poise, looking calm, composed and supportive of her husband
While Prince Harry offers a shy smile, Meghan is more open to interacting with the crowds as the pair approach the cathedral
And it was exactly the same scenario for the Cambridges.
‘Kate looked similarly rock-like for William, taking the lead as they walked from the car and instigating the waves to the cheering crowd.
‘Her mouth often fell into the gesture of firmness that she uses when she is in matriarch role and there was a moment during the service when she threw her husband a very strong and meaningful look and small head-nod that suggested she was offering or reminding him of some instructions.’
Confidence: A beaming Kate took the lead, going ahead of William as they entered the church – deflecting the limelight from her husband
‘Kate looked similarly rock-like for William’ While the Prince offered a shy smile to crowds, the Duchess of Cambridge seemed at ease in the spotlight
Where and when can I watch the Platinum Jubilee celebrations?
Here is a rundown of what will happen today and for the next two days as the nation pays tribute to the Queen’s 70 years as sovereign during the Platinum Jubilee weekend, and where to watch the events on television.
- The Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s daughter Lilibet celebrates her first birthday.
- Senior royals tour the UK, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visiting Cardiff Castle to meet stars ahead of a jubilee concert, the Princess Royal taking part in an animal-handling session at Edinburgh Zoo and the Earl and Countess of Wessex travelling to Northern Ireland.
- 4.30pm – The Epsom Derby takes place. Avid racegoer the Queen is no longer planning to attend, although members of the royal family are expected to be there. Ed Chamberlin presents racing coverage on ITV from 12.40pm. A guard of honour, made of up to 40 of the Queen’s past and present jockeys, is due to line the course.
- 7.40pm – Royals arrive at the BBC’s Platinum Party at the Palace concert. Coverage begins on BBC One from 7.30pm with Kirsty Young in St James’s Park, and Roman Kemp backstage.
- 8pm-10.30pm – The open-air show in front of the palace, features stars including Queen + Adam Lambert, Alicia Keys, Duran Duran and Diana Ross.
- Street parties and Big Jubilee Lunches are staged across the country.
- Coverage begins on BBC One from 1pm with commentary from Clare Balding, while Kirsty Young, AJ Odudu, Anita Rani, Anton Du Beke, Sophie Morgan and Owain Wyn Evans report on street parties across the UK.
- The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall join a flagship feast at The Oval cricket ground in south London, while Edward and Sophie meet people creating the ‘Long Table’ down on The Long Walk leading up to Windsor Castle.
- 2.30pm-5pm – The Jubilee Pageant takes place in central London, with a 3km carnival procession featuring a cast of thousands including puppets, celebrities and tributes to the seven decades of the Queen’s reign.
- It will move from Horse Guards, along Whitehall to Admiralty Arch, and down The Mall to the Palace.
- The finale will feature Ed Sheeran performing and singing the national anthem with close to 200 national treasures in front of the Queen’s official residence.
- It is hoped the Queen will make a balcony appearance as the festivities come to a close.
- At 8pm on BBC Two, Kirsty Young looks back at the weekend of celebrations.