Prince William and Kate Middleton are members of one of Britain’s oldest institutions: the royal family. And to this end, they may feel themselves duty-bound to appear dignified whenever they’re in public. This means PDAs are more or less out: indeed, it’s rare to witness the couple even holding hands in full view, let alone kissing. One body language expert, however, has examined photos of the pair and has given her opinion on how they really feel about each other…
Back when William and Kate first got together, though, their relationship was subject to some snobbery. That was because, although Kate comes from a family of millionaires, she has no aristocratic blood. Indeed, before her parents had become rich, they had been airline workers. Essentially, then, Kate is a ‘commoner.’ But in the end, it didn’t matter: William absolutely still wanted to marry her.
So, the two were wed on April 29, 2011, and Kate Middleton became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Thousands of people lined the streets of London to watch the celebrations take place, with millions more watching the event on TV and online. And when William and his new bride kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, they were met with wild cheers.
The couple then delighted the crowds even more by kissing again. This all stood in stark contrast to the wedding of Charles and Diana, William’s parents. Although they, too, puckered up for the crowds, it was reportedly more for the sake of performing a role than anything else.
Kate and William’s kiss, however, appeared to be a proud demonstration of their love. After that, though, there were no more public kisses between the pair while the media were watching. This isn’t a rule of royal family life; it’s more of a personal choice. But it’s one that they take very seriously.
Indeed, William and Kate have even deemed holding hands as something to be avoided while they are on show. “The Duke and Duchess are almost always seen in photographs taken during official engagements, so they are at ‘work.’ And it would be unprofessional to hold hands,” Hello! magazine royal correspondent Emily Nash told the publication’s readers in 2017.
Nash continued, “We know they are very affectionate, and that sometimes comes across during more lighthearted moments – at sporting events or similar – but you wouldn’t expect them to put that on show while in more formal situations.” And, indeed, in some photographs of Kate and William the couple aren’t even seen standing close together.
So, that leaves it up to body language experts to deduce what the pair are thinking about each other in any given moment. And one such professional is Blanca Cobb, CEO of the company TruthBlazer. She spoke to Cosmopolitan magazine in December 2017, giving her opinion on how William and Kate’s relationship was really going.
Cobb explained, for example, “[William and Kate] may be more reserved in their public displays of affection, but that doesn’t meant they love each other any less.” She also noted that in a December 2017 video interview, Kate had briefly tapped Prince William’s knee – a tiny gesture that had nevertheless caused a whirlwind of scrutiny.
Cobb said of that moment, “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 added, “Gentle touches, playful moments and sincere smiles show that they enjoy each other’s company and have fun together.” In short, then, Cobb believed that the knee-tap was Kate’s way of saying that she related to William.
Cobb also thought it likely that Kate was the dominant partner in the relationship, as she is seen in photographs to walk slightly ahead of William. The body language expert additionally pointed out that Kate and William tended to synchronize their movements. According to Cobb, this “shows [that] they are in tune with each other.”
“You can get a temperature reading of how hot a couple is for one another by their physical proximity and the level of touch,” Cobb said after observing a picture of William and Kate hugging during the 2012 Olympic Games. “They’re seizing the moment with physical closeness that brings them closer emotionally.”
Among the other pictures Cobb scrutinized, meanwhile, was a rare one of William and Kate showing public affection – specifically, an air kiss between them at a polo match that William’s team had won. “You can’t say she doesn’t feel emotion for her husband,” Cobb interpreted. “There’s still no tension here. Kate is reaching out to him [and] has a relaxed bend in her arm with her fingers relaxed on [his] shoulder.”
Nevertheless, according to Cobb, the snap proved that William wasn’t comfortable with the kiss. “He’s body blocking by holding the gift between them,” she said, referring to the box that William had in his hands. “It could be that this is the extent of affection they’re willing to demonstrate in public.”
And Cobb’s analysis of the balcony kiss seemed to confirm this theory. In particular, she noted that the pair were standing apart from each other and not holding hands while they kissed. “It was their wedding day! They should have been touching and embracing heart to heart,” she said. “It looks like they’re going through the motions.”
But there was one thing that Cobb was more certain of: even if William and Kate were hesitant about being affectionate with each other in public, they seemingly weren’t at all afraid about displaying their love for their children. And the body language analyst explained as much to Good Housekeeping in January 2018. “Their attentive body language indicates that they’re in tune to their children’s emotional needs,” she said to the publication.
Cobb added, “Both Prince William and Kate are all smiles while interacting with their children, letting us know how much they enjoy being parents.” Thanks to the efforts of Princess Diana, William and his brother Harry were brought up in an environment as close-knit as possible – and it seems as if William’s children will be, too.
In addition, Cobb has similarly analyzed the body language of Harry and his wife-to-be Meghan Markle. Specifically, she looked at the engagement photos that the pair had released and duly gave her verdict to Good Housekeeping. “Prince Harry uses his legs as a shield around his lady and sends a silent message that he’ll protect her from the world,” she said of one of the images.
Good Housekeeping also suggested that there was a big difference between Harry and Meghan’s engagement photos and those of William and Kate. Harry and Meghan were more “lovey-dovey,” the magazine said; William and Kate, on the other hand, displayed “limited intimacy.” Perhaps, though, that’s because William is second in line to the throne and so feels the need for greater formality.
And it’s also interesting to note how, in just one generation, members of the royal family have seemingly bypassed the unspoken rules about affection. Charles and Diana’s engagement photos, for instance, involved the couple simply standing awkwardly next to each other with hands on shoulders or arm in arm. Their marriage, however, was purportedly an unhappy one – and, hopefully, their more demonstrative sons will have more luck.