After weeks of a rumoured rift between Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, the royal family’s leading ladies seemingly squashed talk of a “feud” when they were seen laughing and smiling with one another on Christmas Day.
While many royal watchers took the pair’s most recent appearance as confirmation that all is well between the Cambridge and the Sussex households, one body language expert seems to think otherwise.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, expert Judi James says Kate and Meghan were trying “too hard” to appear friendly with one another.
“It reminds me of political body language. The kind of thing politicians do when they’re talking with other heads of state and want to show some signs of rapport or unity,” James said.
According to James, despite how the women interact behind closed doors, their body language revealed that the women were doing their best to put on a unified front for the cameras and the royal family spectators.
“They’re walking in step, and there’s enough mirroring to suggest like mindedness too. Kate has her left hand raised at the same time as Meghan- they’re both gesticulating in an over-congruent way to show they’re having a conversation,” James explained. “It looks performed, they’re possibly trying a bit too hard.”
Despite the attention being focused largely on Kate and Meghan, James says it’s Prince William and Harry’s unusually tense body language that caught her attention.
“We’ve been so entranced by the two women that we’ve forgotten about Prince William and Prince Harry. Apart from having very rigid, fixed smiles on their faces, I didn’t see anything in the way of glances or exchanges between them,” she noted. “They’ve always been seen laughing and sharing jokes, they usually have lots of ‘tie-signs’ (gestures that signal closeness) between them. They’ve both got their hands stuck in their pockets and I don’t see any connection signals between them.”
While the brothers may be on the outs, it’s Middleton who seems to be bridging the gap and making an effort to ease the tension between the two couples.
“Kate is becoming a lot stronger in the royal family as the Queen gets older,” James explained. “She’s showing a degree of dominance by moving away from William in these images- last year she held his hand. This year, she’s creating a space between herself and her husband so she can get closer to Meghan.
“She’s taken the diplomatic role here…By contrast, Meghan is very much holding on to Prince Harry’s arm,” James said.
The family reportedly spent the holidays together at Sandringham and even enjoyed hunting as a family on Boxing Day. It will most likely be one of the last times the foursome spend time together before Prince Harry and Meghan move into their new residence, Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.