Meghan Markle Is a Reassuring Presence for Prince Harry, Body Language Expert Says

He seemed very nervous ahead of his U.N. speech.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend Nelson Mandela International Day in NY
(Image credit: Photo by Anadolu Agency / Getty)

Last week, Prince Harry gave a speech at the United Nations to mark Nelson Mandela Day.

Ahead of the speech, he and wife Meghan Markle were filmed sitting in the audience, with the duchess offering a coughing woman some water at one point.

In a clip shared on Twitter, it also seemed clear that the duke was very nervous, and that Markle was offering him comfort and support. It's really sweet to watch.

She alternates between holding his hand in hers, holding it in her lap, and placing a reassuring hand on his arm.

"Meghan feels protective of Harry and this was noticeable as they sat together before he delivered his speech," body language expert Darren Stanton tells Marie Claire on behalf of Slingo (opens in new tab).

"It was clear to see Harry was nervous, with Meghan making sure to smile as the pair were in the spotlight, yet she is visibly conscious of how Harry is feeling. We know this as her face isn't fully engaged, suggesting she is distracted."

Though Harry seemed very worried, the presence of his wife acted as an anchor for him.

"The only time we see Harry smile, however, is when he looks at Meghan for reassurance," Stanton continues.

"Her face lights up as she looks back at Harry, before she takes his hand. The pair leaning in towards each other is a reflection of their deep connection and Meghan holding Harry's hand and rubbing his forearm is almost maternal.

"Harry, meanwhile, appears restless and is unable to sit still—his mind preoccupied with his speech no doubt—prompting Meghan to keep him relaxed and show she is there to support him."

The Sussexes clearly have a very loving relationship, which they can turn to in times of trouble—of which there are, sadly, many.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.