Princess Kate’s Leadership Style Is “An Ideal Form of Leadership Charisma,” Body Language Expert Says

“Kate uses several techniques that seem to bring the best out in the people she is meeting.”

Kate Middleton at Wimbledon in a green dress
(Image credit: Getty)

The Princess of Wales is, no questions asked, a leader in the royal family; in addition to being a senior royal and one of the most popular members of the family, news came out recently of how Kate flexed her leadership muscle surrounding the Palace’s statement in response to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s sit-down with Oprah Winfrey. Kate might not be the loudest voice in the room, but her quiet, steady strength makes impact.

The Daily Express spoke to body language expert Judi James, who said that Kate is firm—but not unreasonable or cross: “You might not see Kate as someone leading the charge or barking out orders in an emergency,” she said. “But her leadership style, which we are slowly seeing more of recently, would be seen as an ideal form of leadership charisma for the workplace.” 

Kate Middleton at polo

(Image credit: Getty)

Kate doesn’t lead by fear, but instead has a real knack for making others feel at ease, James said. She also uses proximity to connect with her younger fans, crouching down to meet their level, including this adorable exchange with a three-year-old boy she met at Wimbledon.

Kate Middleton interacts with children on a royal engagement

(Image credit: Getty)

“Kate uses several techniques that seem to bring the best out in the people she is meeting,” James said. “She has an easygoing, keen energy that signals interest and curiosity. Her symmetric smile is a contagious smile, aimed at helping others relax, and her hand gestures are almost literally pulling information and stories out of the people she meets.”

Kate Middleton interacts with children on a royal engagement

(Image credit: Getty)

Despite being a future queen, “she looks encouraging but not overwhelming or intimidating,” James said. “Her hands will often be splayed, her brows raised in a gesture of genuine interest, and her eye contact soft enough to suggest active engagement but without becoming a stare or a glare.”

Kate can charm us regular folks, but also celebrities, too. Per The Mirror, lip readers recently decoded the friendly conversation between Kate and Roger Federer, who retired from tennis last year, at Wimbledon. The two were spotted deep in conversation in between games, “with the princess making some big hand gestures as they chatted,” the outlet reports. According to a professional lip reader speaking to the publication, one of their conversations was about one of the tournament’s most talked-about rules: All players who play at the All England Club must wear white, which was the topic du jour between the two. 

Kate Middleton and Roger Federer at Wimbledon

(Image credit: Getty)

“But I don’t know if that was like, bespoke, or if that was off the shelf or a bespoke design,” Kate said to Federer. He then replies “The problem with here [gesturing to the court in front of him] is that all the players might have something similar…yeah…so. Also, you can see when they play each other, they are basically wearing the same outfit, you know what I mean?”

The lip reader then says Kate responds “The same outfit” before adding “I mean, it is hard when you’re all wearing white. It’s hard to identify each individual person.” The lip reader says Federer agrees, saying “That’s why I was hoping they would bring back a little bit more color, you know, just a few more details, something exciting and just to add (pauses and gestures with his hands) a bit more personality…yeah.”

The more you know!

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.