There was definitely some tension during today’s outing.
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for: the first royal engagement with Kate Middleton and Prince Harry’s wife-to-be, Meghan Markle. Meghan and Kate joined their partners at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum, but to no one’s surprise, all eyes were on the ladies.
This is only the second time that we’ve seen these two together. The last time they were spotted together was on Christmas day. Ever since, we’ve been patiently waiting for another sighting to give further insight into what their friendship is like — and the time is now.
Meghan’s body language proves that she looks to Kate as a mentor — a big sister, if you will. After all, Kate’s an expert when it comes to royal outings. “Meghan is very conscious about matching and mirroring Kate,” Patti Wood, body language expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, told GoodHousekeeping.com. ” It seems that Kate is totally fine with this, which indicates that they have a connection and are already comfortable with one another.” Throughout the event, Meghan mimics Kate’s behavior by clasping her hands in her lap, crossing her ankles, and point her elbows outward. C’mon, they even dressed alike.
Crossing ankles, for example, is likely a result of royal coaching — a gesture to convey that they’re demure and ladylike. “What’s interesting is that Kate’s left leg is in a snake curl around her right,” Susan Constantine, human behavioral expert and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reading Body Language, told GoodHousekeeping.com. “This motion is her way to brace herself and stay in control, which means that she might be experiencing some tension.” Meghan, on the other hand, is focused on holding this soft pose.
When the conversation takes a funny turn, Meghan hides her face in embarrassment while Kate laughs in a carefree manner. “Meghan’s reaction shows her discomfort in the situation,” says Constantine. “She’s hiding her face and closing off her body because she hasn’t grasped the idea of people knowing intimate details about her life. Kate, on the other hand, is playful and laughs it right off.”
Above all, Meghan is very attentive. Remember the way she looked at Harry during their first official interview? “Both women have their hearts forward and torsos slightly turned toward each other,” says Wood. “Meghan, in particular, is good at attending. She turns her chair slightly toward Kate and also turns her head toward Kate when she is speaking.”
Because the Royal Foundation Forum is a family matter, Prince Harry confesses that the group has “healthy disagreements.” Meghan and Kate have the same response: They both look at their partners and laugh. “Looking at their partner is a physiological response,” says Constantine. “We see them as two separate couples reminiscing internally about conflict, rather than a pack of four.”
After Meghan and Kate look at their partners (and Meghan subtly touches Harry’s arm), Meghan turns and looks at Kate. “This indicates that Meghan doesn’t only have a relationship with Harry, but also with Kate and William,” says Wood.
Oh, and we can’t forget about the hair touching. Meghan is known to stroke her hair from time to time — a soothing gesture that alleviates uneasiness or anxiety.
While in the audience and on stage, Kate (not Megan!) touched her hair. “When Kate reaches for her hair, this is her way of saying, ‘I’m tense. I hope I still look appropriate despite being uncomfortable,'” says Wood.
Overall, their body language gave us the answer we were waiting/hoping/praying for: these soon-to-be sisters are actually close. “Meghan is still in this fairytale state,” says Constantine. “Regardless, it’s obvious that she looks up to Kate as a leader and Kate’s obviously comfortable with being in control.”