All the Ways Meghan Markle and Prince William’s Relationship Is Different From Prince Harry and Kate Middelton’s

The whole world saw it — Princes William and Harry on Christmas day, with their lovely ladies by their sides. It was one of the first glances the world got of Meghan Markle as part of the young royal dynamic, which has consisted of the two princes and Kate Middleton for quite some time. It was hard after that not to start looking at how Meghan was getting along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, especially since Prince Harry and Duchess Catherine have notably gotten on so well. How does Meghan’s relationship with Will compare?

We take a look at what makes these relationships different. (Don’t forget to check out on page 6 to see the biggest factor in their relationship.)

For starters: Check the body language

Does William’s body language show how he feels about Meghan? | Eddie Mulholland – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Just a couple weeks ahead of the royal wedding, the Express consulted a body language expert to dissect an exchange between Meghan and Prince William. (Because of course they did. How could a simple exchange between in-laws not be put under a microscope?) Expert Judi James notes that, while there appears to be warmth between William and Meghan, a hello cheek kiss between the two looks uncomfortable. It’s pointed out that interactions between Prince Harry and Duchess Catherine don’t look that way.

Next: But before we jump to conclusions, we must …

Consider the length of relationship

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William, Kate Middleton at the Commonwealth Ceremony

Markle still hasn’t been around the royal family for very long. | Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

There are a couple factors to look at when comparing Will and Meghan’s dynamic with Harry and Kate’s. One important thing to keep in mind is that Meghan hasn’t been part of the royal family for very long. Kate Middleton, on the other hand, dated Prince William for many years and spent more time with Prince Harry before she married into the family. Awkward body language could just be a sign that Will and Meghan don’t know each other quite as well yet.

Next: We also need to look at …

How hierarchy may play a role

Prince Harry stands with Prince William at his wedding to Meghan Markle.

Now that they’re both married, their royal roles are more rigid. | Owen Humphreys/WPA Pool/Getty Images

James also points out that hierarchy may play a role in how Will and Meghan’s public interactions play out. Even though they are family now, their positions within the monarchy may play a role, at least with public interactions. “The warmth between William and Meghan is obvious… although the power and status signals are almost exactly opposite from those shown by Kate and Harry back in the day,” she explains.

Next: This is a bit of a ‘gimme’ but still important …

Kate and Meghan are different people

Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton

Meghan and Kate are friendly but very different. | Chris Jackson-WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Duchess of Cambridge is more refined — no doubt from years in the royal family — while the Duchess of Sussex is more outspoken and confident. This also plays a role in their relationships with the princes. “When Harry shared a joke with her, Kate would often stand in a rather formal style, letting Harry do most of the chatting,” James points out, referring to the same photo. She notes that Prince William looks “slightly awkward as he leans back for a cheek kiss while Meghan’s pose looks tactile and confident and her facial expressions suggest she’s talking away happily.”

Next: Something else to consider …

Looking at the family dynamic

Prince Harry arrives at his wedding to Meghan Markle with his best man, Prince William.

The brothers have a strong, unique bond. | Jane Barlow-WPA Pool/Getty Images

It’s hard not to think that age and family dynamic plays a role in Prince William’s relationship with his new sister-in-law. Prince William has long been recognized for being protective of younger brother Harry. (This was especially true when Prince Harry had a substance abuse problem stemming from the death of Princess Diana.) This, of course, differs from the relationship Harry has with Kate Middleton, being that he’s the jokester younger brother.

Next: On that note …

That ‘sibling’ feeling

Prince William (2dL), Duke of Cambridge and Catherine (3dL), Duchess of Cambridge chat with to Prince Harry (R) during a torch relay at the Buckingham Palace in London, on July 26, 2012 on the eve of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Harry thinks of Kate as a sister. | ARTHUR EDWARDS/AFP/GettyImages

The biggest difference between these two relationships is that Prince Harry views Duchess Catherine as his actual sister. He has said on more than one occasion that Kate is the older sister he never had. “Kate has quite a different relationship with Harry than she has with William,” the Daily Mail reports. “Harry appeals to her sillier side because he is carefree, footloose and loves banter.” It could be that that level of silliness just isn’t part of Prince William’s relationship with Meghan.

Next: All that being said …

Could William and Meghan’s dynamic evolve?

Will they get closer the more time they spend together? | Chris Jackson – WPA Pool/Getty Images

It’s entirely possible that the Duke of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex could become much closer as they spend more time together. (Especially given that they are neighbors.) And given the tight bond between Harry and Kate, there’s no reason to think a more seemingly comfortable relationship may form.

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