All eyes were on the royal family today as they attended the funeral of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who died on April 9, 2021. Given all the recent attention that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s blockbuster interview with Oprah Winfrey garnered in March, it’s no surprise that people were particularly interested in studying the body language between Princes Harry and William.
Prior to arriving for the funeral, Prince Harry had not seen his family in person in nearly a year. During that time, the perceived gulf between Harry and the other senior members of the royal family has only widened. ABC News reported that the brothers finally spoke to one another earlier this week, but the nature of their conversation has not been revealed.
Body language is a tricky thing; the members of the family were masked during the funeral itself, and were nearly constantly in motion during the procession. However, two experts have weighed in, sharing with The List what they did — and didn’t — see during the day’s service.
Body language experts had a lot to say about Princes Harry and William
Jennifer Tomko, a psychotherapist and body language expert, weighed in on interactions between Princes Harry and William at their grandfather’s funeral. She commented that it was clear that each brother’s true self was on display throughout the march. “Throughout the procession we could see the personalities of [the] brothers. Each time the cameras were on both of them, we saw William being the stoic and dutiful gentleman, whereas, while Harry was dutiful, we saw him still showing some personality, as he glances around at times showing his curiosity and being more natural to himself,” she said.
Joseph Hoelscher, body language expert and managing attorney at Hoelscher Gebbia Cepeda PLLC, also shared his observations. He noticed that both Harry and William were farther apart than most of the people in the group, and that Peter Phillips, who walked between them, may not have felt comfortable in the position.
Hoelscher explained what he saw: “The guy in the middle kept dropping back so he may be uncomfortable coming between them. But they’re both veterans and know that you guide off the person to your right, so Harry would be setting his pace against his elder brother and stepping forward, despite the fact that he is on lowest place in terms of protocol since stepping back. I think Harry is asserting himself and I think the guy in the middle senses some tension which causes him to hesitate to step up.”
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