What Will and Kate’s Body Language Reveals About Their Relationship May Surprise You

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are one of the most famous, romanticized couples of our generation. Their royal love story began at university and has thrived through the birth of three children and the highly publicized weddings of their siblings, Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry.

While Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, can cozy up on camera, no problem, Prince William and Kate Middleton put on a more formal facade during public engagements. A moment of “PDA” (we use this term lightly) has been known to send the internet into a frenzy. And we wondered what the couple’s body language in public conveys about their relationship behind closed doors.

Here’s the situation

Kate Middleton taps Prince William's knee during an interview.

This small gesture led to a lot of buzz for Will and Kate. | CBBC via Instagram

In December 2017, William and Middleton received Gold Blue Peter badges for their efforts with mental health awareness. However, the international focus wasn’t on their accomplishments addressed in the interview. Instead, the media went into a frenzy about Middleton tapping her husband’s knee.

Cosmopolitan spoke to body language expert Blanca Cobb about the couple’s constrained body language and what it may mean for their private relationship. “They may be more reserved [than other couples] in their public displays of affection,” she said, insisting you can’t fully interpret these reactions without context. Cobb went on to analyze a few of the couple’s publicized PDA moments to further address their relationship.

Next: The signs were there from the early days of their relationship.

We’ll start with their younger days

Kate Middleton posing with Prince William during their graduation.

Will and Kate were just as cute back then. | Middleton Family/Clarence House via GettyImages

The duke and duchess met at St. Andrews University where they both studied art history. The two moved into a student house with a few other friends and publicized their relationship while pictured skiing together in Klosters.

Cobb analyzed a photo taken following Will and Middleton’s graduation ceremony. The two look carefree, in love, and extremely comfortable. “Putting your hand on someone’s stomach is more intimate than placing it on the shoulder or back … he’s most likely holding Kate’s hand in place — a sign of mutual comfort,” Cobb said.

Next: A specific gesture stood out to the body language expert.

She analyzed how Middleton tapped William’s knee …

Kate Middleton looks serious as she is looking at another woman.

Does the infamous tap have any serious meaning? | Richard Pohle/AFP/Getty Images

… and sent the internet into a frenzy. Cobb told Cosmo the exchange isn’t actually about affection or romance. Rather, it’s a signal to relate to one another in lighthearted situations.

“There’s a level of familiarity, comfort, and likability in touch. Through touch, you connect with your partner. You let them know that they’re important to you,” she said. The Daily Mail took the opportunity to focus on Markle and Prince Harry once again, questioning if the gesture was “reminiscent of Harry and Meghan’s loved-up engagement interview.”

Next: This type of body language signals more than a love of symmetry. 

They walk arm in arm and stand side by side

Kate Middleton and Prince William posing during a visit to a butterfly conservatory.

William and Middleton rarely stray from their usual protocol. | Arthur Edwards/Getty Images

The couple is often photographed walking arm in arm — such as at this rowing race in Germany — or standing side by side and mirroring each other’s body language. “Body mirroring is another sign you’re really digging your partner,” Cobb said, pointing out the way Middleton and William synchronize their postures and how they face one another.

Cobb also said the two are clearly in tune with each other and “emotionally in sync.” One important dynamic she noted is that since Middleton often walks ahead of William, she may be the dominant force in their relationship.

Next: Fans of each other or just fans of the game?

How they hug shows a lot, too

Kate Middleton wraps her arms around Prince William.

They were much more adventurous with PDA in the early days of their relationship. | Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The excitement of the 2012 Summer Olympic games revealed more than just London’s ability to orchestrate an incredible opening ceremony. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hugged frequently as they celebrated with their country. Eyes glued to the games, William and Middleton took turns wrapping their arms around one another.

“They’re seizing the moment with physical closeness that brings them closer emotionally,” Cobb said. “They are very relaxed and comfortable, expressing themselves the best way they can, as royals.”

Next: When it comes to kissing, context is everything.

How they kiss conveys a surprising thing about their relationship

Prince William kisses Kate Middleton on the cheek.

These smooches are quite safe. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The couple’s public kisses may seem distanced and showy, and to be fair, they may just be that. Two examples — Middleton’s air kiss to William after he won a polo match and their wedding kiss — were highly public. This, of course, means they were probably rehearsed.

“You can’t say she doesn’t feel emotion for her husband,” Cobb said of the first instance, and then regarding their wedding: “It looks like they’re going through the motions. I also get the sense she’s a little shy … since she giggles right afterward — it’s a nervous moment for her.” We can’t blame the couple considering over 24 million people watched their wedding.

Next: Royal rules can also determine body language.

In conclusion …

Prince William and Kate Middleton in Canada.

We have nothing to worry about with these two. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

While the royal couple’s PDA may disappoint in comparison to Markle and Harry’s, it doesn’t mean they’re any less in love. William and Middleton share a passion for mental health advocacy and awareness, set incredible parenting examples for mothers and fathers worldwide, and clearly love one another.

“This isn’t a typical couple; they’re people of royalty with rules to follow on public decorum,” Cobb said. “I think what happens behind closed doors can be very different from what you see in public.”

Follow The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!