Royal Wedding: Experts discuss Harry’s comment to William
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The future Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip tied the knot on November 20, 1947 in a crowded Westminster Abbey and, as a future monarch, the wedding attracted crowds of esteemed guests and spectators. The pair were devoted to each other for more than seven decades until the Duke of Edinburgh died aged 99 in 2021.
Body language expert Judi James said the Queen and Prince Philip’s wedding reflected the significant duty both would one day take on.
She explained: “It’s important to put the Queen and Philip’s body language into context on their wedding day.
“This was a time before women’s lib, when it was still quite rare for a woman to have a job after marriage and even rarer for a woman to hold higher rank than her husband, as the future Queen did here, even before she ascended to the throne.
“It was therefore important that the Queen’s body language reflect that, keeping an appropriate sense of royal status while also showing signals of a more dutiful respect to Philip.”
Although the Queen did keep a sense of status on her wedding day, Judi highlighted how the Queen had a “very youthful, rather girlish smile of adoration and excitement” too.
She added: “Philip looked much more mature and manly, looking fondly at the Queen with a fondly indulgent-looking smile.
“It was also his role to ‘vanish’ slightly for the wedding, walking beside the Queen with one hand extended to hold hers in a more gallant gesture, but with little facial response apart from an expression of quiet duty as the Queen greeted people and the public with a more regal smile.”
The Queen and Prince Philip’s union was one of the most memorable royal marriages in memory, but other royal weddings stick out, like that of then Prince Charles and Lady Diana’s.
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With regards to their body language on their ill-fated wedding day, Judi said: “Charles and Diana were able to display signals that would have been seen as totally appropriate and romantic for the era they married in.
“Charles was, like his father, very much the more confident and dominant older male while Diana looked young and rather sweet.
“Here Charles looks at her warmly while she adds the romantic rush to the pose by leaning in towards him as though in search of protection, smiling shyly and looking utterly besotted.
“As romantic signals go it was very idealized but sadly the relationship itself wasn’t behind the scenes.”
In recent years, royal couples have reflected more modern ideals on their wedding days, with Prince William and his wife Kate appearing “well-established” after several years of dating.
Judi noted: “William and Kate’s body language is a lot more balanced, with matching signals of confidence, sociability and even status.
“Their non-verbal signals are mirrored, showing a strong sense of friendship as well as love.
“Unlike the Queen and Charles on their wedding days, William and Kate had known each other for a very long time and could present as a more well-established couple rather than a breathless bride and gallant groom.
“If anything it was William who sported the rather bashful smile while Kate’s pitch-perfect royal smile reflected her calm and responsible approach to what was a job as well as a love match.”
Prince Harry and Meghan appeared to be very in love on their big day. The fact they would never be the most senior royals perhaps meant they could be more unrestrained than the Queen and Prince Philip were at their wedding in 1947.
Judi added: “Harry and Meghan had fewer restrictions in terms of their body language and as a result, we saw intense and romantic eye contact as well as a slightly more tactile and modern approach.
“Meghan looked more confident than a very nervous Harry but, more than any other of these royal couples, they were able to show signals that suggested they were lost in their own world at times, making it look like more of a relatable and intimate experience.”
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