Juxtaposed against the ongoing tensions between brothers Prince William and Prince Harry, a touching moment between brothers Prince George and Prince Louis—spotted as the two, along with the rest of their family, took part in the traditional Christmas Day walk to St. Mary Magdalene Church at Sandringham—was especially poignant. It’s one, body language expert Judi James tells The Mirror, that even reminds her of the once-young, once-inseparable William and Harry of yesteryear.
The moment happened when George put a hand on Louis’ back, James says, a signal between brothers that was like a “mirror image” of William and Harry at a similar age (George is nine, and Louis is four), long before they or the rest of the world ever envisioned their relationship as it stands today.
“One of the sweetest and most poignant body language signals was the sight of George using touch, chat, and bending rituals to signal he is now in the role of protector and ‘keeping-an-eye-on’ monitor for his younger brother Louis,” James says. “As the family reached the church, William put a hand out to touch George’s back and leaned towards his elder son, but George was already using those same rituals towards his small and rather playful brother.”
William couldn’t have missed the parallel, James says: “The gesture looked spontaneous, as though this is a role he is taking on a lot and, after the footage of a young William and Harry growing up together that was shown in Harry’s Netflix show, it looked like a poignant mirror-image of how their sibling relationship shaped up before they grew up and fell apart. William was shown in caring mode for Harry back then, just as George is now with Louis. The links can’t have been lost on William.”
Additionally, James says, it seems the Prince and Princess of Wales are intentional about becoming more hands-off parents, as evidenced during the Christmas walk. “William and Kate showed off their children with the usual signals of pride, and it was clear they are now becoming ‘hands-off’ parents as their children grow in confidence,” she says. “Charlotte was pulling ahead as they walked towards the church, and George has gone from being the rather shy-looking boy holding his father’s hand to the older brother keeping an eye on and showing nurturing and directional signals towards the four-year-old Louis.”
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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.
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