Prince Harry Feels Tense Around the Queen, According to a Body Language Expert

"His head is downcast. He's trying..."

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(Image credit: Gareth Cattermole)

Monday marked Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's final appearance as senior royals at the annual Commonwealth Service at London's Westminster Abbey. The couple announced back in January that they would be stepping back from their royal duties to focus on their son Archie and the launch of their new nonprofit. The Queen reportedly knew little of this plan—and had not approved it—when they made their announcement, which, you know, got pretty awkward.

However! Family is family, and in the end, this too will pass (probably). Just this month, the Queen sat down with Harry for a "heart-to-heart." But the Commonwealth ceremony was the first time the Queen and her beloved grandson had appeared in public. They didn't walk in together, but the body language between them said a lot. In particular, we're focused on the moment that the Queen walked up to take her front-row seat at the ceremony, with Harry and Meghan in the row behind them. You can watch it below, starting at 16:30.

Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, gave Marie Claire the lowdown on how the couple and the Queen were really feeling, based on their body language. "The Queen is looking down and not looking at them, and Meghan is smiling. I would say that's fairly genuine because it's made along with eye contact," says Wood.

She added: "If you look at her hand, she's holding on to the paper, but you notice how relaxed her fingers are and how open the fingers are. She's not tensely holding the paper. It's very relaxed. That says that she's fine. She's okay. It's all good."


(Image credit: PHIL HARRIS)

"But when you go to him, if you look, his head is downcast, and he's trying. He's looking at his grandma. If you look at the eyebrows in that photo, it's concerned," continues Wood. "It's more you wouldn't know he's the grandson in that photo—you would think he was some sort of subservient in a greater way. It shows a change in his status, his feelings."

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(Image credit: BBC)

"It's not negative. It's just revealing," she explains.

Interesting! Now I'm left wondering how that four-hour meeting really went.

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Commonwealth Day 2020

(Image credit: Dominic Lipinski - PA Images)
Bianca Rodriguez

Bianca Rodriguez is the Fashion & Luxury Commerce Manager at Hearst Magazines, covering fashion, beauty, and more for Cosmopolitan, Elle, Esquire, Harper’s BAZAAR, and Town & Country. She likes lounging about with a good book and thinks a closet without platform sneakers is a travesty.