William and Harry’s body language ‘changed’ after Meghan – ‘Brothers on brink of divorce’

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Prince William, 39, and Prince Harry, 37, may be royalty, but they have a sibling relationship many members of the public can relate to. Having both experienced the loss of their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales back in 1997 when they were just 15 and 12 years old, the brothers were extremely close. As time went on, and as they moved into adulthood, the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex’s focus shifted. Express.co.uk spoke to body language expert Judi James who looked back on the past few years when William and Harry were photographed in public together, about their behaviour with one another. She explained how there was a change around the time Prince Harry started dating Meghan Markle. 

Judi said: “It’s rather painful to revisit some of William and Harry’s earlier body language poses together, as it only serves as a reminder of what a cracking double act the Firm has lost now Harry has relocated to the US and the rift between the two of them appears unbridgeable.

“The brothers trait of mirroring and postural echo always showed strongly like-minded thinking from two men with quite contrasting personalities. 

“This often looked like the prime tie that bound them. 

“Like many sibling pairs in the royal family, from Elizabeth and Margaret to Beatrice and Eugenie, the experience of being royal and the sense of isolation that the life and the job can produce, will forge stronger bonds than normal. 

“Royal siblings experience unique pressures and lifestyles, which is why they can often be one another’s closest friends as well as family,” she continued. 

“William and Harry had the extra bond of shared tragedy but the quality that emerged most in their body language rituals was that of fun. 

“Harry provoked the sense of naughtiness and playfulness that was often missing in a more serious and cautious William and the result suited both of them.

“William’s approach to Harry looked otherwise parental.” 

The expert added: “He appeared to love adopting the tone of the ‘fun’ dad with Harry and it was when Harry suddenly became desperate to grow up and command the same respect as his older brother than the rifts seem to have started to appear.

“There were clues in videos of the ‘banter’ between them when Harry was a fully-fledged hero with a tour of Afghanistan under his belt. 

“As he attempted to talk about his experiences in a new, more serious and grown-up tone, William was continually calling him out like a naughty teenager he’d had staying in his house.

“Then when Harry met Meghan and moved from ‘younger brother’ to ‘husband and parent’ the struggle for power and respect looked even more acute,” Judi claimed. 

“We can see the body language change between the brothers in a similar way that it can between a couple on the brink of divorce.

“The grins and the ‘look of love’ that prompts a softening of the facial expression vanish and a more deadpan look will appear in its place.” 

She commented: “Instead of prompting relaxation and fun in William’s body language, Harry was suddenly prompting a more earnest expression and barriered poses that suggested embarrassment.

“Harry’s haunted eye expression, with a rounding of eyes that were normally crinkled in naughtiness, was horrible to see because it was as though someone had stolen the old Harry, who had rarely been seen without a grin on his face.

“The period leading up to Harry’s move to the US produced signals of palpable tension between the two brothers and although William tended to stay his ground, sailing through his appearances like a liner on the high seas, Harry could often be seen showing signals of anxiety and awkwardness as he tried to avoid his brother or duck back down the line on their meet and greets,” Judi mentioned. 

“His auto-contact rituals increased, like the clasp he would perform on his jacket that doubled as a barrier gesture, or his metronomic rituals or clothing-touches. 

“He would perform eye-darts as though looking for an escape and it was often only after William had climbed into his car and driven off that we would see an air of relaxation descend on Harry again, plus a return of the old grin.” 

More recently, “at the unveiling of their mother’s memorial we could see an attempt to replicate some of their old signals of friendship but most of it looked heavily contrived, with Harry making more signs of effort, like face-checking or chatting, that William,” Judi said. 

“The only trait to have survived was that of mirroring. 

“As the two men walked out in public for the first time in ages they might not even have been aware that their almost-identical poses defined the fact that, somewhere deep down inside, they are still the same close blood brothers that they have been throughout their lives.” 

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