Kate Middleton Has “Changed” Since Taking on Her New Role as Princess of Wales, Body Language Expert Says

“Perhaps not in the way that people might have expected.”

Kate Middleton
(Image credit: Getty)

Pressure? What pressure? Kate Middleton—two months into her role as Princess of Wales—is exuding more confidence than ever, says body language expert Judi James.

“Kate’s body language has changed since she became Princess of Wales, but perhaps not in the way that people might have expected,” James tells The Daily Express. “The pressure could have caused some signs of anxiety and even imposter syndrome, but instead her confidence signals have been on an upward trajectory recently.”

James says that Kate is no longer “Prince William’s wife”—but a “leading” royal in her own right.

“She is now at something of a peak in terms of sending out signals, which suggests she now not only fully embraces and understands her role, but that she feels comfortable in it, too,” James says.

Kate became a working member of the royal family in 2011 upon her marriage to William, and “for years Kate has tended to wear the rather self-limiting body language message that she is a non-royal in a royal role and wife to the future king, but now she seems to understand that she has been totally accepted as a leading royal in her own right,” James says. “She is much more independent, often appearing more confident when she is working alone than with William, and her filmed addresses, speeches, and messages are miles from the hesitant and slightly reluctant delivery style that she used to have.”

This is in contrast, James says, to Queen Consort Camilla, who has a “lack of confidence and a lack of desire to be in the spotlight,” she says. “Camilla is very much her husband’s support act primarily, and she can look uncomfortable when she is in her royal role. This might have nudged Kate into the strong position she holds now, both inside and outside the royal Firm.”

And could Kate also be taking a page from sister-in-law Meghan Markle, famously touchy-feely with her husband Prince Harry?

“Something that seems very ‘nouveau-Kate’ is the tendency to become more tactile with her husband in public than less,” James says. “Rising up the ranks to next in line to the throne could have made the always non-tactile and often rather cautious and formal royal couple even more so, but the opposite seems to have applied. Recently, we have seen the pair looking far more relaxed and playful together and even quite tactile in public. This trait of touch and public displays of affection might have been prompted by the loss of the late Queen. She was more traditionally royal, and it could be that there had been some small relaxation of the rules since she died.”

Even King Charles has been more openly tactile and affectionate towards Camilla, James says, which could “also be the grief prompted by [Her late Majesty’s] death, when mutual support was so vital and there was also more open displays of tears and other emotions of sadness from all the royal family.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.