Prince William Was Much More "Animated" Than Usual at Basketball Game, Princess Kate Was "Relaxed" and "Natural," Expert Says

They do love their sports.

The Prince And Princess Of Wales Visit Boston - Day 1
(Image credit: Photo by Pool / Getty)

Prince William and Princess Kate love their sports, but their comfort zone is usually contained within the fairly British pastimes of: soccer (football), rugby, tennis, polo, cricket.

Amazingly, though, the Prince and Princess of Wales actually seemed totally in their element when they attended a basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat as part of their three-day U.S. trip.

"Kate was clearly having a great time together with William at the basketball game as she looked engaged at everything going on again while chatting jovially with him, making very genuine gestures of happiness and joy," body language expert and royal commentator Darren Stanton tells Marie Claire on behalf of Slingo (opens in new tab).

"Out of all of the seven main expressions—happiness, sadness, anger, fear, surprise, contempt or disgust—happiness is the most faked emotion by people because we adopt a smile to mask anxiety, irritation, sadness and an array of other emotions.

"However, with Kate she always flashes a smile that shows true, genuine emotion which tells us she is happy to be in that environment and to be speaking to other people."

For Stanton, this royal appearance proves just how far the royal couple has come in terms of owning a room.

"When we compare Kate and William to some years ago, they seemed to be more nervous and relied upon each other for support," he says.

"Now they have gained such confidence as both individuals and in the Royal Family.

"At the Boston Celtics game we could see lots of animated hand gestures from William when he was talking to somebody by his side. This is quite unusual for Prince William who is generally a pretty quiet person with muted body language. So, this change tells me that he is completely at ease and very comfortable in his surroundings, being confident and passionate.

"Likewise, Kate was relaxed too as she was seen laughing and joking with the person to her side in a very natural way."

The Waleses sat courtside at the game with Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey, and Princess Kate even got to hold the ball at one stage, with Prince William looking down on it confusedly. This resulted in the most amazing photo ever:

Massachusetts Governor-elect Maura Healey (L) watches as Britain's Prince William is handed a basketball by Catherine, Princess of Wales during the National Basketball Association game between the Boston Celtics and the Miami Heat at TD Garden in downtown Boston,on November 30, 2022

(Image credit: Photo by Brian Snyder / Getty)

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Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

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.