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  • Prince William and Kate Middleton viewed tributes to Queen Elizabeth at Sandringham on Sept. 15. 
  • A body language expert says the couple mirrored each other’s movements as they’ve been known to do. 
  • The expert also noted Prince William’s subtle gestures suggesting “anxiety” and “inner tension.” 

Prince William and Kate Middleton traveled to Sandringham on Sept. 15, a week after Queen Elizabeth’s death, to see mourners’ tributes to the late monarch. It marked their first solo outing since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales. Ahead, see what a body language expert had to say about William and Kate’s Sandringham visit. 

William and Kate mirrored each other’s movements at Sandringham

Despite major changes befalling the royal family, one thing hasn’t changed. William and Kate can still be seen doing some of the same gestures. 

Body language expert Judi James noted to the U.K.’s The Sun how the pair were seen doing similar movements. For instance, they clasped their hands while looking at floral tributes outside the Norfolk estate. 

“Mirroring is a sign of a very close and like-minded relationship,” James said. “William and Kate have always used both conscious mirroring, signaling mutual respect and a very even-status relationship.” 

“Subconscious mirroring” also happens which, according to James, demonstrates their “matching ideals and thinking even when they are out of each other’s view.”

Prince William subtly engaged in ‘body barrier rituals’ as he and Kate Middleton looked at tributes to Queen Elizabeth, body language expert says

James went on, highlighting how William put one hand on his stomach as he looked at flowers. She explained it as an alternative to other “body barrier rituals” such as crossing one’s arms.

When the 40-year-old’s “under pressure,” James said he typically does a “fig leaf gesture” where he clasps his hands over his lower torso.

“Apart from that he tends to do a mimed or truncated barrier ritual like this hand on the stomach,” James added. “It’s an excuse to bring one arm across the body in a self-protective ritual.”

“He does it most as a subliminal empathy gesture when Kate is pregnant although that’s clearly not the case currently,” she said.

Prince William’s hands and fingers hinted at ‘inner tension’ and ‘anxiety,’ according to expert

Prince William and Kate Middleton, whose body language an expert broke down after they visited Sandringham on Sept. 15, 2022, to see  Queen Elizabeth tributes, look at flowers
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Samir Hussein/WireImage

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William and Kate’s Sandringham visit may have looked similar to their Sept. 10 walkabout at Windsor Castle with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. According to James, this time around the Prince of Wales’ hand movements suggested “inner tension.” 

The expert zeroed in on what William did with his hands, particularly how he curled his hands and fingers. She called it a “self-attack anxiety ritual, like nail-biting or hair-pulling.”

“It suggests inner tension,” James explained. But it can also signal feelings of powerlessness when being attacked, meaning you turn the attack on yourself in a small act of frustration. Which could fit if he’s suppressing grief for the queen.”

William and Kate visited Sandringham after attending Queen Elizabeth’s lying in state service on Sept. 14 alongside other royals. 

Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.