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A Body Language Expert Analyzes Harry and William at Diana's Statue Unveiling

Based on his actions, Prince Harry has "a desire to connect" with his brother.

london, england   july 01 prince william, duke of cambridge left and prince harry, duke of sussex arrive for the unveiling of a statue they commissioned of their mother diana, princess of wales, in the sunken garden at kensington palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on july 1, 2021 in london, england today would have been the 60th birthday of princess diana, who died in 1997 at a ceremony here today, her sons prince william and prince harry, the duke of cambridge and the duke of sussex respectively, will unveil a statue in her memory photo by yui mok   wpa poolgetty images
WPA PoolGetty Images

On what would have been their late mother's 60th birthday, Prince Harry and Prince William reunited to unveil a statue of Princess Diana that aims to "keep their mother's memory alive." The statue is placed in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace—one of Princess Diana's favorite spots.

The brothers posted a joint statement following the event:

Today, on what would have been our Mother’s 60th birthday, we remember her love, strength and character – qualities that made her a force for good around the world, changing countless lives for the better.

Every day, we wish she were still with us, and our hope is that this statue will be seen forever as a symbol of her life and her legacy.

Thank you to Ian Rank-Broadley, Pip Morrison and their teams for their outstanding work, to the friends and donors who helped make this happen, and to all those around the world who keep our mother’s memory alive.

— Prince William and Prince Harry

Royal fans were eager to see how the brothers would act around one another following multiple reports of rifts and tension. Based on videos and photos of the brothers at the event, things looked pretty friendly at first glance. Patti Wood, body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, agrees.

Wood tells Marie Claire that she was struck by how the brothers first appear coming down the stairs utilizing similar body language they've shown over the years. They both tilt their head to the side and curve slightly sideways while walking, swinging one arm down as the other does a comfort cue shield over their stomach.

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Still, Wood said it's significant that William and Harry didn't greet the guests together like they used to.

"I have analyzed their behavior at events for over 20 years, and even when they're with their spouses or family they have often stayed very close to each other and took turns to greet other people," says Wood. "Harry is always last, but close to William by a few feet rather than this distancing [at the event], making it look like William just happened to come down the stairs with this man he doesn’t know and goes off to do his own thing."

But it's the part after the brothers unveil the statue that's most interesting to Wood. Here, Harry gestures for one of the family members to come over to him and William. Simultaneously, this moment highlights William's discomfort being alongside his brother. You can see for yourself starting at the 15:17 mark in the video above.

london, england   july 01 prince william, duke of cambridge left and prince harry, duke of sussex unveil a statue they commissioned of their mother diana, princess of wales, in the sunken garden at kensington palace, on what would have been her 60th birthday on july 1, 2021 in london, england today would have been the 60th birthday of princess diana, who died in 1997 at a ceremony here today, her sons prince william and prince harry, the duke of cambridge and the duke of sussex respectively, will unveil a statue in her memory photo by dominic lipinski   wpa poolgetty images
The moment Wood references when William's body is turned away from his brother.
WPA PoolGetty Images

"[Prince Harry] animatedly tried to get his brother's full attention and engage him in conversation. Harry gives several reaching gestures. He includes the woman, but he steps out in front of her to show all of his body towards his brother," explains Wood. "This 'bid for play' shows Harry’s desire to connect with his brother, while we see Prince William with the full front of his body facing only toward the statue, his shoulders rounded and down firmly at his sides, and his head actually tilted down and away from his brother."

This is a clear sign that Harry is more comfortable than William in the current situation, but towards the end of the event Harry had his hands over his belly again while playing with his wedding ring.

britains prince william, duke of cambridge l and britains prince harry, duke of sussex chat ahead ofthe unveiling of a statue of their mother, princess diana at the sunken garden in kensington palace, london on july 1, 2021, which would have been her 60th birthday   princes william and harry set aside their differences on thursday to unveil a new statue of their mother, princess diana, on what would have been her 60th birthday photo by yui mok  pool  afp photo by yui mokpoolafp via getty images
YUI MOKGetty Images

"That shows he knows it's his marriage that's causing them all stress."

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