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Prince William, Prince Harry, and their cousins stood in silent vigil at Queen Elizabeth’s coffin on Sept. 17. A body language expert noted the formation when the queen’s grandchildren arrived and departed, as William and Harry did not walk together.

Prince William, Prince Harry and cousins' body languge at queen vigil was revealing
Prince William, Prince Harry along with their cousins | AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Prince William walked ahead of Prince Harry

William, Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn filed into Westminster Hall and stood by the queen’s coffin for the vigil.

Prince William stood at the head of the coffin and Harry at the foot, as all of the grandchildren bowed their heads and stood in silence.

William led the formation, with Harry behind him, and the remaining grandchildren paired up as they filed in.

Body language expert Judi James pointed out the way the brothers didn’t walk together, telling The Sun, “William and Harry were the only siblings to not walk side by side.”

She explained, “They arrived with William walking first and Harry behind him as the others all paired off.”

When they all left the vigil, William was in the front spot and Harry was at the end, behind the pairs of siblings.

James attempted to get a read on William and Harry’s facial expressions, but found the peaks of their hats hid much of their faces.

“Harry’s mouth was clamped in a straight line throughout and he gave nothing away emotionally,” James pointed out.

The queen’s grandchildren didn’t display ‘tension or anxiety,’ expert says

James further noted how the queen’s grandchildren were united and found strength in being there together. “Once they took their positions and adopted their pose it was difficult to even spot them breathing,” she said.

“There were no tears and none of the expected signals of tension or anxiety, just an air of determination that suggested they were all drawing strength from one another to complete this gesture for their grandmother,” James added.


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Prince William has ‘stepped up’ since the queen’s death, expert notes

In her analysis for Daily Mail, James explained how William’s confidence was on display.

“Leading the grandchildren and with his jaw firmly set, William’s body language showed acutely how much he has stepped up in terms of his role of Prince of Wales and next king in line since the death of the queen,” the expert explained. 

James continued, “William has lost some of his shyness and anxiety signals over the last few days as he has appeared to have grown in stature and confidence.”

She added, “His walkabout in the crowd prior to the vigil showed his engaging, social side and here at the vigil itself he looked like the rock that the others were drawing strength from.”

James also called out how Prince Harry’s body language seemed to indicate pride. “His posture and his marching walk reflected pride in the fact he was in uniform again but this was more of a quietly emotional appearance overall,” she noted.

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