Prince William and Kate Middleton didn’t hold hands when they did a walkabout at Windsor Castle following the queen’s death. This isn’t unusual for the couple though it was more pronounced because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle walked hand in hand during the appearance.
Prince William and Kate Middleton seemed more ‘businesslike’ during the appearance, expert says
Photos and video of the appearance showed the two couples walking together with Harry and Meghan holding hands and William and Kate walking without touching. There were moments when Kate or William placed a reassuring hand on the other’s back, however.
Royal commentator Camilla Tominey wrote about the appearance in The Telegraph, calling Harry and Meghan more “touchy-feely.”
“As ever, their contrasting styles were plain to see as touchy-feely Harry and Meghan held hands, while William and Kate adopted a more businesslike approach; highlighting once again the stark difference between a future king and queen and a couple prone to oversharing on podcasts,” she explained.
Body language expert says Prince William and Kate Middleton aren’t ‘touch-averse’ but typically don’t hold hands in public
Body language expert Judi James provided some insight to The Sun about why William and Kate’s “body language has always veered on the side of bland, but it is also always pitch-perfect for their royal role.”
James explained, “While Harry and Meghan were using their signature gesture of clasped hands, William and Kate used their own customary pose of having their arms hanging down by their sides with the hands almost brushing against one another but not quite.”
The expert pointed out how the couple is “not touch-averse,” showing “small back-touches” and “a partial embrace to show unity and affection.”
Expert explains why Prince William and Kate Middleton don’t hold hands in public
James further explained the potential reasons why William and Kate don’t hold hands in public, beginning with status.
“As future king and queen they will always have been aware of using similar signals to previous wearers of the crown, which entail no hand-holding in public,” she explained.”They will operate individually as well as a team of two and this individuality is illustrated by the lack of constant coupling signals.”
Secondly, according to James, the pair want to convey an “elegant and adult” message.
“Hand-holding might be popular with celebrity couples of any age but it tends to define a rather youthful stage of a relationship,” she said. “It can also feel exclusive rather than inclusive to people around the couple.”
She added, “The king and queen do sort of belong to the nation and this signal of exclusivity might be seen as contradictory.”
Third, James noted, there might be some practicality to their decision not to hold hands. “Kate and William’s royal appearances involve hand-shakes and individual meet and greets,” the body language expert said. “As an intentional gesture of sociability it can look better and easier to arrive hands-free rather than having to uncouple to communicate with hosts and guests.”
It also eliminates the need to wipe a hand dry if your hands get sweaty. “It’s safer to let your hands swing in the air to keep cool,” James noted.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.