Body Language Expert Says Prince William and Kate Middleton’s ‘Royal Smiles’ Were Nowhere to Be Seen in Wales

TL;DR: 

  • Prince William and Kate Middleton went to Wales on Sept. 27. 
  • According to a body language expert, the couple didn’t flash their “royal smiles.” 
  • They appeared to go for more “natural” facial expressions.

Prince William and Kate Middleton have resumed royal duties in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. Less than 10 days after saying one final goodbye to the late monarch, the couple stepped out for a much less somber occasion. However, a body language expert says they didn’t appear to have “royal smiles” on their faces. Instead, the pair seemed to adopt “natural” smiles. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton met with people in various cities around Wales 

On Sept. 27, one day after the official week-long mourning period for the royal family ended, they were back to work. The parents of three, now the Prince and Princess of Wales, took a trip to their namesake country. 

William and Kate, both 40, spent the day traveling to various Welsh cities. They greeted crowds, accepted bouquets of flowers from children, and even posed for photos

The couple’s first stop was Anglesey, a place that is familiar to both William and Kate. It’s where they lived before and after their 2011 royal wedding while William trained as a Royal Air Force search and rescue pilot. It’s also where their oldest child, Prince George, 9, spent time as a newborn.

There they went to a lifeboat station and a local cafe and bar. Later, they visited a church-turned food bank in Swansea. 

The trip marked William and Kate’s first visit to the country since becoming the Prince and Princess of Wales. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton had ‘natural’ smiles as opposed to ‘fixed’

According to body language expert Judi James, William and Kate have come a long way, and their smiles in Wales showed it. Their previously seen “royal smiles” weren’t there during the couple’s recent visit. 

“Years ago it was all about royal smiles, rather fixed-looking long-term smiles that were social rather than authentic,” James told Mail Online, referring to a 2011 engagement in Anglesey that marked Kate’s first official appearance. 

The expert continued, highlighting how William and Kate’s smiles on Sept. 27 appeared more genuine in comparison. 

“Now they use flooding smiles that look natural and which form a tie-sign connection of rapport with the crowds,” she explained. 

James also noted how William and Kate “vary their smiles to empathetic, open mouthed grins of joy.”

William and Kate looked like they were ‘greeting old friends’

Kate Middleton and Prince William, who didn't have 'royal smiles' in Wales on Sept. 27, 2022, according to body language expert Judi James, walk past crowds
Kate Middleton and Prince William | Paul Ellis – WPA Pool/Getty Images

James continued, saying the couple’s “grown so much in terms of confidence and sociability. In 2011, William and Kate often did “pause and pose” movements. 

Calling it a “passive ‘here we are’ approach,” James explained it made them appear “unsure about taking a more energetic and active approach to the public and their appearance.” 

Whereas in 2022, with more than a decade’s experience as senior royals, William and Kate used a “there you are” approach. While it sounds similar to the previously mentioned “‘here we are’” strategy, James explained it’s anything but. 

They interacted with crowds with a “speedy-paced energy and enthusiasm as though greeting old friends,” she said. Additionally, their body language looked “open and relaxed.” 

James also pointed out differences in their walks. In years past, they used to “self-diminish” by “keeping their arms tight to their sides in a self-hug of anxiety.” Today, William and Kate “walk with their arms hanging loosely at their sides or offer friendly waves to the crowd.” 

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

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