Whatever is going on inside the marriage of the Prince and Princess of Wales, we’re here for it. William and Kate, 12 years into this journey of being husband and wife, seem more in love—and more touchy-feely—than ever. The Daily Express reports that they have a “mischievous side” to their relationship, which begets a “strong connection.”
Just this week alone, we saw Kate give William what is now becoming her signature “bum pat” (obsessed with this phrase) at King Charles’ Scottish Coronation, and the same week pack on the PDA with a kiss at polo. Body language expert Darren Stanton said of the couple’s interactions in public “The two have got a very mischievous side to the relationship, and, again, the fact that they are more than happy to kiss, hold hands, and just have fun in public shows the kind of relationship that they have,” he said.
The pair’s relationship of nearly 20 years has “clearly gone from strength to strength, and they obviously have a very deep trust and deep relationship,” Stanton said. And, of the two breaking the mold a la Prince Harry and Meghan Markle when it comes to PDA, “we rarely see displays of affection by members of the royal family, especially the late Queen Elizabeth and King Charles,” he said. “This proves that William isn’t afraid to display his love and deep rapport for Kate.” Of William, Stanton said he “appears extremely authentic and genuine” and said it will be “interesting to continue to see how he further develops as he moves towards the throne.” Kate is said to be predominantly responsible for William’s development as a person, Stanton said, speaking on behalf of Betfair Casino.
“I think Kate has played a large part in his development,” he said. “When they met, the two of them were not that particularly confident people—however, they’ve both developed over the years. With respect to Kate, she has played a major part in his development as a person, as a future monarch, and certainly when it comes to his degree of confidence in the world. She, too, has developed greatly over the years, even more so than William. She started off quite introverted, not really wanting to get involved, and now she’s become a more and more integral part of the royal family—especially since their marriage. These two are now considered to be the most senior members of the working royal family. I definitely believe Kate’s development of confidence has also helped William to feel more at ease.”
At polo specifically, Stanton said Kate’s support showed “how strong they are as a couple,” per The Daily Express.
“They couldn’t be any closer together,” he said. “Kate’s hands are in the exact same position as William’s, and you can feel how happy they feel from looking at them together. Kate’s smile as William kissed her on the cheek was complete passion from her side. He makes her light up. The arm squeeze is also very telling of their relationship. You don’t let just anyone hug you or hold you like that. Hugs like that are from those who know you inside and out.”
Royal etiquette expert Myka Meier told People that there are no formal rules to PDA in the royal family, and the use of it is up to each couple’s discretion. (Think a sliding scale with, say, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip on one side, and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on the other.) “Senior members of the royal family would likely not be told how to interact or when they can or cannot show PDA and would be trusted to use their better judgment as to when it’s appropriate,” she said. “The royals often adjust PDA to mirror the formality of the event they are attending. At a somber or more formal event, we are less likely to see PDA than at a casual event where it would be deemed more fitting.”
Meier, who is founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, said of royal PDA that a hand on the back or hand holding shows care or comfort and is a safe bet, and “if you ever are engaging in PDA that may make someone uncomfortable, it’s best to take it to private quarters,” she said. “An occasional sweet Sussex peck is one thing; a salacious snog is another.”
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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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