Body Language Expert Points Out Prince Harry’s Gesture That Showed He Wanted a Bigger Role in Queen Elizabeth’s Funeral

Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II on Sept. 8, there were questions about how much involvement Prince Harry would have in the funeral service now that he is no longer a working royal.

He took part in a vigil with his brother and cousins as well as processions behind the queen’s coffin. But a body language expert observed the Duke of Sussex doing something that showed he wanted a more “active role” in the service.

Prince Harry walking with members of his family in procession behind Queen Elizabeth's hearse ahead of the Committal Service
Prince Harry walking with members of his family in procession behind Queen Elizabeth’s hearse ahead of the Committal Service | Leon Neal/Getty Images

Prince Harry’s role in Queen Elizabeth’s funeral

A major question in the days leading up to the queen’s funeral was whether Harry would be able to wear his military uniform after being stripped of those titles when he stepped down in 2020.

He was permitted to wear his Blues and Royals No. 1 dress uniform for a vigil around the queen’s coffin with her other grandchildren at Westminster Hall. For the funeral though Harry was in civilian dress wearing a black suit jacket and gray pinstriped trousers. Moreover, he and his uncle, Prince Andrew, were both unable to take part in a salute to the monarch’s casket during the official burial ceremony since they are non-working royals. He and the Duke of York did not salute Britain’s war memorial, the Cenotaph, in London during the procession either.

And while Harry’s brother Prince William, the Princess of Wales, and their children Prince George and Prince Charlotte were sitting in the front row for the service at Westminster Abbey Harry and Meghan were seated in the second row.

Prince Harry, who a body language expert said made a gesture that he wanted a more 'active role' at Queen Elizabeth's funeral, standing with members of the royal family saluting at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral
Prince Harry standing with members of the royal family saluting at Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral | Karwai Tang/WireImage

Expert says Harry showed he wanted more ‘active role’ with 1 gesture

Body language expert Judi James studied Prince Harry’s behavior and demeanor during his grandmother’s funeral and noticed that he made a gesture, which she says showed that he wanted a more “active role” than he had.

“Following the coffin beside his brother there were some suppressed signals of tension, like the sucked-in lips,” she told The Sun, before adding, “But when the coffin was being lowered he did a repeat of the shoulder-rolling gesture from the last walk.

“He appeared to not only be bracing or steeling himself for the service inside, but was also mimicking the gesture the coffin bearers were doing in what looked like a desire to take a more active role himself.”

Members of the royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey
Members of the royal family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II as it is carried out of Westminster Abbey | Danny Lawson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

Harry and Meghan left U.K. right after the funeral

Almost immediately following the funeral and committal service, it was reported that Harry and Meghan were flying back to the U.S. While some attributed their quick departure to the rift with the family, others pointed out that they have been away from their children for weeks. When they left Montecito it was only supposed to be for a few days but of course that changed with the queen’s death.

According to Us Weekly: The couple left soon after the queen’s funeral to be reunited with Archie and Lilibet who they were “separated [from] for over two weeks. [It’s] the longest amount of time they’ve been apart from their children. They’ve missed the kids like crazy.”

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