Princess Kate Channels Techniques of Late Mother-in-Law Princess Diana to Exude “A Massive Level of Confidence,” Body Language Expert Says

“Diana never played on the fact she was a royal. She was naturally herself, and Kate is very similar.”

Kate Middleton on a royal engagement
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want to see a living, breathing example of a woman who has fully emerged into her own, look to the Princess of Wales. Now fully confident and sure of herself, longtime royal followers will remember that this wasn’t always so; early days Kate was shy, timid, and nervous, only within the last couple of years fully embracing her power within the royal family and exuding confidence.

But she’s there now, and The Daily Express reports that Kate takes one lesson from her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana, to show off how secure she is within herself: “The thing about Kate Middleton is that she’s developed such a massive level of confidence and inner belief, so you put her in any situation and she’ll be her natural self,” body language expert Darren Stanton said. “If we look at how the Princess of Wales has evolved, she used to be pretty quiet and downplay a lot of things, whereas she handles things with a lot of self-assurance nowadays. In terms of how she walks, she walks with a swagger. In some contexts, that could mean arrogance, but not with her. It shows confidence as she doesn’t look back at who is with her.” 

Kate Middleton at her Christmas carol concert

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kate has been undertaking numerous solo engagements recently, and even when she is out with her husband, Prince William, she is able to work and act independently from him. “If she’s with William, she’s not checking on him, which is something Prince Charles tends to do with Queen Camilla,” Stanton said. “With Kate, she takes big strides, which is related to inner confidence. She doesn’t make any nervous gestures.”

That’s not always so with other senior royals, he said, even those who were born into the role. “We sometimes still see the likes of William and Harry put their hands in their jacket, which is a self-reassurance gesture,” he said. “We never see any sort of insecurity or distress signals from Kate. All her gestures are very deliberate and positive.”

Kate Middleton in Cumbria

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stanton has noticed, he said, that Kate has adopted some of the techniques Diana used while undertaking royal engagements, specifically pointing to Kate’s recent meeting with England rugby players after she attended the team’s matchup against Fiji in the Rugby World Cup in Marseille, France on Sunday.

“Kate was very much reminiscent of Princess Diana during the engagement,” he said. “Diana never played on the fact she was a royal. She was naturally herself, and Kate is very similar. In a number of these photos, we saw true emotions of happiness and joy in her facial expressions. She is genuinely happy to meet people from all walks of life and she always treats people with dignity and respect.”

Kate Middleton at the Rugby World Cup

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stanton also noted that Kate’s outfit choice is part of the strategy, and that the white blazer she chose allowed her to “downplay” her presence to let the players shine.

“Kate’s body language has changed since she became Princess of Wales, but perhaps not in the way that people might have expected,” fellow body language expert Judi James told 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. 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.” 

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.