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Thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many people around the world are being encouraged to wear a mask whenever they are in public. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is setting an example by sporting masks at her recent appearances.

While it may not seem like much, a body language expert revealed that having a piece of fabric on her face actually changes Kate’s behavior and mannerism. Read on below to find out what Kate is doing differently now.

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton | CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Kate Middleton has to compensate for her smile not being visible

Aside from her clothing choices and hairstyles, many fans probably also know Kate for her smile. She is often seen smiling and laughing with other people at various places that she visits. However, body language expert Judi James explains that Kate now has to work around her smile not being visible under the mask.

“Kate’s signature body language gesture is her dazzling, pitch-perfect smile,” James said, according to, “but as she masked-up to set an example on her visit yesterday she also illustrated the use of what are called compensatory gestures to make up for the fact that her mouth was hidden.”

James continued, “With the mouth covered from view, it’s important to re-design our body language as Kate is doing here to ensure all those positive expressions of emotion and empathy are still on display.”

James also noted that Kate seems to project more confidence, saying, “Without her smile on display, Kate’s body language appeared to show raised levels of confidence as she seemed to feel it was up to her to take the lead in normalising the mood of the visit.”

Kate also uses her eyebrows and other hand gestures more

From the images of Kate at recent events, James pointed out that the duchess seems to make use of her eyebrows and hands more these days.

“Kate uses her eyebrows to signal engagement and active listening,” James said. “Hers are raised and the rounding of the top of her cheeks that are just visible above the mask shows that she’s still smiling.”

James also added, “Kate’s hands are normally clasped in front of her pelvis but hers are now held up to rib height, ready to form illustrative rituals once she has stopped listening and started talking. The loose clasp shows she’s listening rather than interrupting.”

Additionally, Kate can be seen leaning in when talking to others, which is another way of projecting empathy.

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Wearing a mask can feel uncomfortable when one is not used to it, and as a result, there are many people who opt to not wear any face covering in the middle of the pandemic.

However, James noted that Kate’s body language shows a lot of self-assurance even when she is all masked up, which could encourage more people to wear a mask themselves.

“By not performing any rituals of embarrassment in her mask she sets a great example for all other people wearing them for the first time,” James said. “Her pose here suggests it’s business as usual despite the new accessory.”