Prince William and Princess Kate Are Ramping Up the PDA Lately, Expert Says

Is it conscious or subconscious?

Prince William kisses Kate Middleton on the cheek
(Image credit: Getty)

Once upon a time, the Prince and Princess of Wales for the most part avoided PDA—but times have changed, an expert says, per The Daily Express.

William and Kate’s PDA has been increasing, body language expert Judi James tells the outlet, including at last week’s Royal Ascot, where Kate put her hand on William’s back, prompting the couple to look at each other before Kate dropped her hand and looks to the ground. Plus, who can forget that cheeky bum pat at the BAFTAs? 

Kate Middleton playfully taps Prince William's bum at the BAFTAs

(Image credit: Getty)

Now some thought that it appeared William was ignoring Kate in the Royal Ascot clip, but James disagrees: “This one fade out probably had more to do with the fact that the couple appeared to be going down some steps and needing to focus,” she says. “Here Kate’s hand goes down to William’s bum. We can’t see if it connects, but as a gesture, the bum pat or touch usually suggests physical attraction or approval.”

Kate Middleton touches Prince William at Royal Ascot

(Image credit: Getty)

Once criticized for not showing each other enough affection—especially compared to generally PDA-heavy Prince Harry and Meghan Markle—“You can pin up a wall full of photos of William and Kate flirting or gazing at each other using the look of love to counter this one moment, and their touch rituals and PDAs seem to be increasing recently, rather than decreasing,” James says.

Kate Middleton touches the small of Prince William's back

(Image credit: Getty)

Now in their twelfth year of marriage and settled into her royal role, Kate is smiling often and comfortable. James says Kate “probably has the best royal smile in the business. Pitch perfect, it stays in place for long periods of time without wilting, and she will often intensify the smile signals to look amused, upbeat, and happy.”

Kate Middleton is seen touching the small of Prince William's back

(Image credit: Getty)

Back in April, William placed his hand on Kate’s waist during a visit to Birmingham. It caught the attention of Jesús Enrique Rosas, also known as “The Body Language Guy” on YouTube, who said it was a good signal for your partner to know consciously and subconsciously that you are there with them “present and in the moment.” He also said the gesture was loving and not controlling, as some may have interpreted it.

Prince William touches the small of Kate Middleton's back

(Image credit: Getty)

Rosas also noticed Kate’s habit of exposing her neck when she turns to William and smiles at him, describing it as a feminine gesture that suggests Kate feels comfortable with William and protected by him. On another engagement, the couple laughed together, and “the energy” was there for everyone to see. He commented that William looked relaxed, and Kate had a “bright smile” as they enjoyed the day together.

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.