The death of Queen Elizabeth II rocked the world. And it was one of the few events that could ever bring Prince Harry and Meghan Markle back into the royal fold. However, this unconventional royal couple came back to the U.K. to stand alongside other royals for the Queen’s different funeral rites.
Because there has been so much drama between Harry, Meghan, and the rest of the Royal Family, many were curious about how this family reunion would go. As usual, the royals themselves aren’t saying very much. But body language experts who analyzed Harry and Meghan over the past week have discovered how they really feel about each other and the rest of The Firm.
What do the experts have to say about Harry and Meghan? Let’s find out!
A defensive Meghan
We couldn’t help but focus on Meghan Markle as she returned to the U.K. After all, she left the country amid brutal tabloid criticism. And she may have burned some bridges forever when she offered scathing critiques of the Royal Family in her interview with Oprah Winfrey.
It may not be a surprise, then, that Meghan Markle exhibited some subtly defensive body language. As the U.S. Sun reports, body language expert Judi James analyzed Meghan when she and Harry linked up with William and Kate on Saturday to meet with those paying respects to the Queen.
James said Meghan clasping her hands over her waist showed a “barrier gesture.” And when she stood alongside William and Kate, her body “suggested levels of suppressed awkwardness.” For his part, William extended an arm to try to welcome Meghan into the fold, but she still looked a tad awkward and nervous to be there.
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Harry and Meghan are each other’s ‘lifelines’
Not all of the body language analysis was so bitter. In fact, James’ analysis of Harry and Meghan’s actions toward each other reveals how loving and supportive they are of each other.
The Daily Mail reports that when James analyzed Harry and Meghan holding each other’s hands as they left the Queen’s lying-in-state service, she found that, “the gesture looked almost desperately necessary for them and they were the only couple to really acknowledge each other and fall out of formation. We saw how they are currently using this hand clasp as something of an emotional life-line.”
Some online criticized the couple for holding hands, claiming it broke some kind of royal protocol. However, not only does handholding not violate protocol, but it showed Meghan’s support of Harry on what must be a very traumatic day. “Meghan was using it to gently rub Harry’s hand with her thumb in a gesture of reassurance at Windsor and the likelihood was that it was used as a mutual support system here today,” James said.
From Megxit to smirkgate
Meghan Markle didn’t really say anything during her visit to the U.K. that could be seen as disrespectful. Still, all it takes is a facial expression to set off some of her more strident critics.
While the Queen’s coffin was being moved to Westminster Hall, Meghan had an expression that some considered a smirk. Online critics decided this was a sign that Meghan was making this day all about her. On Twitter, one user wrote, “The Witch had to have a smirk. She couldn’t have [a] day that is not about her.” Another Twitter user agreed, writing, “It was, alas, too much to expect that respect be shown. This is the pictorial definition of a smirk.”
Others pointed out that what these people thought was a smirk was likely just a thoughtful look.
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William and Harry may be bridging the gap
Even before Megxit went down, people began to notice a growing rift between Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William. And now, with Harry living all the way in America, it seems that rift has had few chances to mend.
But while the circumstances could be better, it looks like the death of the Queen may be bringing William and Harry closer together. This was the conclusion of body language expert Jess Ponce III, who told Nicki Swift, “The brothers walked in unison… Their gazes remained appropriately forward, without interaction with one another.” While that may sound a bit odd, it just means each brother is following protocol about not showing affection while transporting the coffin.
As this body language expert concluded, “If anything, today was the most appropriate and connected these two princes in recent days.”
Harry still feels isolated
Despite maybe improving his relationship with William, Harry still feels like a man apart from the rest of his family. This was the conclusion of body language expert Nicole Moore.
Moore explained this to Nicki Swift when discussing Harry exiting the church. “As his walk outside of the church displays, Harry is always a little bit off step with the public facing requirements of his royal duties…He always walks just slightly off step, a bit in his own world anyway.”
Her analysis of Harry and Meghan’s love also matches that of Judi James. “Meghan is his anchor… They will put each other first, above all sense of duty to the outside world or the court of public opinion.”
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Kate and Meghan: still at odds
According to some body language experts, William and Harry may be growing a bit closer together. But if you were hoping to see the same thing happen with Kate and Meghan, you need to keep looking!
As the Daily Mail reports, a body language expert examined how, after Kate and Meghan exited the vehicle they were riding in, the two maintained a very significant distance from each other. Some speculated that this might be due to them disliking each other. After all, Meghan clarified in her interview with Oprah that it was Kate Middleton who made her cry during wedding preparations and not the other way around.
However, it could be as simple as Kate isolating herself due to grief. As Judi James points out, it was Kate that looked “slightly distanced” at one point when the couples split up.
Overall, returning to the U.K. under these circumstances was a real trial by fire for Harry and Meghan. And the coming weeks and months may reveal if this return helped mend any rifts or simply made the existing rifts worse.