Kate Middleton’s Handshake Can Be ‘More Powerful’ and ‘Intimidating’ Compared to Prince William’s, Body Language Expert Says

Kate Middleton and Prince William’s body language says a lot about them including their handshakes. The Duke of Cambridge might be the future leader of the British royal family but an expert says the Duchess of Cambridge’s handshake exudes more power in comparison.

Kate’s handshakes often involve not breaking eye contact

Kate Middleton smiles as she puts her hand out to shake the hands of children
Kate Middleton | Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Body language expert Jesús Enrique Rosas broke down the key elements of Kate’s handshake on his Body Language Guy YouTube channel, per Express

In particular, Rosas examined the way Kate shook hands with guests at November 2021’s Royal Variety Performance.

“William and Catherine attended the Royal Variety Performance and I couldn’t help but notice a very interesting difference in their handshakes,” he said before noting a lot happens during a handshake.

“We usually think that the handshake is a greeting that only involves the hands, when in fact the whole body is invested in the process,” he said. 

So what are the hallmarks of Kate’s handshake? Just as she offers her hand the Duchess of Cambridge is all about eye contact. 

“She just takes a quick look at the person’s hand,” Rosas said. “Or, in some instances, she doesn’t look at the person’s hand at all which means that she goes for the handshake without lowering her gaze or breaking eye contact at any point.” 

Kate’s handshake, one with a heavy emphasis on eye contact, can be intimidating, Rosas explained, adding that it’s “one of power.” 

However, the way in which the 40-year-old pairs looking into someone’s eyes with a friendly smile lessens the intimidation factor.

“This version is more powerful and in some scenarios intimidating,” he said. “But Catherine is not intimidating because she’s got her genuine and warm smile.” 

Body language expert says Prince William wants to give a ‘feeling of deference’ with his handshakes

What about William’s handshake? Rosas examined the father of three’s handshake at the Royal Variety Performance. He noted that as opposed to Kate whose handshakes involve eye contact William focus on the hands.

“In the case of William, what does it mean? In William’s case, what does it mean to look intently at the other person’s hand? Well, there’s no way you can see the other person’s hand without lowering your gaze for a split second,” he said. “You have to shift your eyes down and at the same time lowering your gaze is making a slight deference to the other person.” 

“To be more specific, William looks intently at the hand of the people he’s about to greet,” he explained. “While Catherine just gives a quick look, and sometimes goes for the handshake without even looking at the other person’s hand.” 

As for why William looks down as he goes in for a handshake, Rosas said he’s of the opinion the Duke of Cambridge “wants to purposefully, give this feeling of deference.” 

“There’s also the fact that he’s quite tall, so this can be a way of not looking that intimidating,” he added. 

William and Kate’s handshakes both include head nods

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have different handshake styles but they do have one thing in common. Kate’s handshakes, as well as William’s, typically include head nods. 

“Not everyone nods when going for a handshake,” Rosas said. “In general, that can be a matter of personal preference. But if you can get used to it, nodding when shaking hands is a nice addition to the greeting.” 

“That is a signal to acknowledge the other person and notice that both William and Catherine have a different approach to it,” he added. 

William might give a “strong” single nod while Kate does a few quick nods in a row. IN this instance, William’s exuding more power than Kate. 

“This case, it is William’s nod that is more powerful and that is a way you can balance your style with body language to have an interesting handshake, which is equal parts warm and powerful,” he explained.

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