This Is the ‘Most Tense’ Moment Between the Royal Family Anyone Has Ever Seen, According to Body Language Expert
The dynamic between the Sussexes and working members of the Firm was awkward at best during Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022. And relations did not improve at the late monarch’s funeral three months later. Things got so bad following the release of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries and the prince’s memoir Spare that the Duke of Sussex and Prince of Wales weren’t seated near each other at King Charles III’s coronation to avoid cameras capturing any sideways glances or further signs of their rift.
Considering everything that happened leading up to those moments, such levels of tension were to be expected. But there was one occasion prior to those events where no one was really sure how certain royals were going to act toward the Sussexes and according to a body language expert, that was the “most tense” moment. And it was caught on camera.
Prince Harry and Meghan’s last royal engagement included ‘most tense’ moment
In January 2020, Meghan and Harry announced their decision to step down from their roles within the royal family. Their last engagement was the Commonwealth Day Service that March and the tension in Westminster Abbey between the Sussexes and William and Kate was on full display for all to see.
Body language expert Judi James spoke to Express about the familial stress she saw between the former Fab Four.
“Previous services had seen the two couples making faint attempts at mingling and grouping together but by this outing, it was Harry and Meghan already seated by the time William and Kate glided in to take their seats in front,” James recalled. “Some of the tension seemed to have spread to Edward and Sophie (formerly known as the Countess of Wessex), who performed the kind of bright, breezy, and over-smiling role of social buffers between the two couples.”
Prince Edward was seated behind William and next to Meghan and was spotted speaking to both of them separately before the service began.
James noted that Meghan “seemed to say ‘hi’ to William and Kate as they took their seats. Her face did drop quite quickly though and although the Waleses’ faces were turned away from the cameras there was an assumption that they had been less than fulsome in their greetings.”
William did exchange pleasantries with his brother and sister-in-law but Kate did not acknowledge or even look Meghan and Harry’s way when she arrived.
Who the expert said showed the most tension
James observed that William “sat for much of the service with his lips clamped together and slightly sucked in to suggest regret and some anxiety.” She added that Meghan managed to conceal her stress about the situation with her “perfectly-performed social smile.” While “Kate’s normal perma-smile vanished and her eye-expression looked sad while her facial expression lacked animation.”
But according to the expert, it was Prince Harry who “showed the most emotion” as he sat behind his brother “gazing down reflectively” with a “haunted eye expression.” James called that “his signature look at the time” and claimed that he appeared “close to tears” during the service, which suggests that there may have been a lot of sadness behind that tension.
Looking back now, even those of us who aren’t experts can see the tension on each one of their faces.
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