According to a body language expert, Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton were “very distraught” at Westminster Hall on Wednesday during Queen Elizabeth’s inauguration ceremony.
Pictures from the somber ceremony showed William with his lips tightly pursed and Kate showing signs of stress and tension.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: The body language expert shares his thoughts on Harry and Meghan’s holding hands
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“It’s obvious that Prince William and Princess Kate are very distressed,” body language expert and contacts specialist Katia Loisel said of a particularly telling photo (pictured below).
“Their slightly bowed heads, use of protective arm barriers, furrowed brows, tension in the throat and mouth, and tightly pursed lips suggest a couple trying to keep it all to themselves,” she said.
“Compressed lips are reliable indicators of negative emotions.
“The more pronounced the lip compression, as is the case with Prince William – his lips pressed together, curled inward until they are completely gone – indicates an extreme level of discomfort and stress.”
Another photo shows Prince William with his head bowed while behind him and Kate look at Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.
“This photo is interesting from a non-verbal perspective and highlights the differences between the two couples,” Loisel said.
“Prince Harry and Meghan use both contact tie signs, such as holding hands, and non-contact tie signs, such as walking.
“By contrast, Prince William and Princess Kate, clearly wracked with grief and lost in their own thoughts, maintain a formal distance befitting the formality and seriousness of the event and Prince William’s position as heir apparent.”
The differences between the two couples were highlighted again by the fact that Harry and Meghan were holding hands at Westminster Hall, while William and Kate weren’t.
Loisel said that for most of the ceremony, William and Kate tried to keep a “poker face” to “mask their pain.”
But when they left the hall, they looked distraught, Loisel said.
“Although they are typically less emotionally expressive than Prince Harry and Meghan, it was clear that Prince William and Princess Kate had trouble staying together,” she said.
“On the brink of tears, Kate appears distraught, eyes set forward and slightly downcast, face lacking muscle tone, lips slightly pressed together, blinking rapidly and swallowing, suggesting she is trying to hold back tears.
“Likewise, Prince William’s facial expression is sad, inner brows raised and drawn together, upper eyelids drooping, lips pressed together and corners of the mouth slightly lowered.”
Loisel said the procession and arrival at Westminster was highly choreographed and formal, as befitted such a serious occasion.
“While Prince Harry and Meghan broke formality towards the end of the procession by puckering up and holding hands, they weren’t the only ones to do so, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall also held hands throughout the procession,” she said written down.
Loisel clearly described Harry and Meghan as a “loving and tactile couple”.
“While Prince Harry and Meghan kept a more formal distance for much of the procession, as the procession moved away, the couple quickly reunited, arms outstretched, non-verbally clasping each other, reflecting a desire to connect and be close to one another . ” She said.
“Her hands were clasped, palms joined with fingers, in an intimate gesture that offers both support and reassurance.
“Holding hands correlates with a reduction in stress levels and that seems evident here.
“Prince Harry, whose increased blink rate, head bowed, weight shifts, swaying, soothing gestures, lip licking and swallowing indicated someone in distress, appeared visibly more relaxed after reconnecting physically with Meghan.”
William and Kate kept a more formal distance, which Loisel says “reflects their roles and the seriousness of the occasion.”
Meghan appeared to have regained some of her composure after showing signs of unease at Windsor Castle on Sunday, where the former ‘Fab Four’ met with mourners outside Windsor Castle.
“Prince Harry leads the way, his hand over hers, Meghan always falls slightly behind and allows him to lead,” Loisel said.
“Meghan seems to have regained her composure after last week’s reunion, where she appeared uncomfortable, adopted a more confident demeanor and displayed a subtle expression of sadness and empathy.”
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