From the moment Prince Harry and Meghan Markle returned to the United Kingdom to celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee (or as the Brits affectionately call it, the Platty Joobs) on June 1, it seemed like their weekend was destined to be one not-too- subtle slight after another. Not only was the couple excluded from the traditional balcony appearance for the Trooping the Color Parade, but certain members of their family reportedly avoided eye contact with them at public events. It wasn’t exactly a royal welcome. Despite these, ahem, challenges (or maybe because of them?), Harry and Meghan’s body language at the Platinum Jubilee displayed plenty of supportive moments.
According to Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, Meghan and Harry’s body language makes one thing abundantly clear: “They’re a unit.” She adds, “They’re there as a couple and he wants to make sure that she’s not scrutinized alone.” Although it’s impossible to tell the couple’s every intention from body language alone, based on what we know of the Sussexes, that seems like a pretty fair guess.
Not to mention, in practically every photo taken at the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 3, Harry and Meghan are holding hands. This constant handholding “gives them connection and support,” Wood says. It also sends a clear message to all of their haters: They’re as strong (and together) as ever.
Harry Looked Out For Meghan
While Harry and Meghan are walking down the stairs together, they were holding hands, but it did not look like they were descending at the same exact pace. Harry was noticeably stepping slightly ahead of Meghan to “help guide and protect her in high heels,” Wood claims.
As they continued down the staircase, Harry’s focus on Meghan’s step became more obvious. Wood supposes, “He’s very conscious of her in heels and on steps.” His concern left room for Meghan to simply enjoy the moment, trusting that he would not let her fall. Wood adds, “What I like about is that he’s taking care of something so she can just smile [with] lifted cheeks, [displaying] innocent happiness.”
But Wood also notes that this careful attention wasn’t far off Harry’s baseline (He usually takes on a bit of a seemingly defensive posture when attending public events with Meghan). “There’s a part of him that’s always aware of her and protects her,” Wood says.
And as the duo was photographed interacting with other guests, Harry’s protective instincts were emphasized again. Analyzing this photo, Wood explains, “He’s checking things out. He’s slightly shielding the front of his body and heart slightly. And the way he’s bringing that arm around is another shielding motion.”
While Harry’s expression was one of “scrutiny,” Meghan looked completely at peace by his side. “Her mouth is open. There’s no tension in her body. She’s just relaxed and at ease,” Wood says. So sweet.
Meghan Was Giving Harry Support
Harry isn’t the only one offering his spouse support. In a close-up photo of the couple’s handhold, Wood notes how special Meghan and Harry’s grasp is, analyzing the way Meghan’s hand is literally lifting her husband’s up. “She’s actually supporting him. She’s lifting him up,” Wood says, noting how “her fingers are positioned going upward” whereas Harry’s hand looks “weighted down.”
There’s another subtle body language clue happening here. See how Meghan’s thumb is resting on top of Harry’s? Per Wood, that’s a “comforting position.” Inside the cathedral, Meghan’s supportive side came through again.
“What we see here is that her hand is spread out and relaxed. The position of her hand is slightly slanted up, so she’s slightly lifting him up in the back,” Wood says. According to her, Meghan’s “supportive” gesture helped to “lift up his mood and energy.”
All in all, it certainly looks like this couple knows how to give each other strength and support — even through the ultimate awkward family reunion.