Prince Harry seemed ‘regretful’ and ‘tense’ when he spoke about the US election with Meghan Markle in the Time 100 video, a body language expert has revealed.
The Duke of Sussex, 36, looked ‘uncomfortable’ and appeared to be ‘aware of the fall out’ that his comments would cause within the royal family as he joined wife Meghan, 39, to urge American citizens to ‘reject hate speech’ and register to vote, according to body language expert Judi James.
The address, filmed at their $14 million mansion in Santa Barbara, prompted Buckingham Palace to distance itself from the remarks by saying that ‘the Duke is not a working member of the royal family’, while Donald Trump said he is ‘not a fan’. The Royal Family are expected to remain politically neutral.
Analysing footage for FEMAIL, Judi explained that the Duke used ‘distraction rituals’ throughout which reflected his ‘level of discomfort’ at speaking on the issue.
Meanwhile she said Meghan appeared to have ‘hemmed in’ Prince Harry with her position on the bench, and she ‘checked the messaging’ as the Duke is speaking.
‘Uncomfortable’ Prince Harry, 36, seemed ‘regretful’ and ‘tense’ when he spoke about the US election with Meghan Markle, 39, a body language expert has revealed
Speaking to FEMAIL, Judi noted: ‘Harry and Meghan appear to prefer to dress their more rebellious acts up in an appearance of friendly, down-to-earth normality, meaning it can take a while to realise what they are doing here is game-changing in terms of the royal firm.’
At the beginning of the video, Judi explained: ‘There is no apparent tension in Harry’s posture here as he sits slightly slumped beside his wife, who adopts a much more regal, elegant and high-status pose that projects confidence and a sense of control.
‘Harry is even upstaged at one point by a large black dog wandering around the garden behind him which is another signal of projected casual normality.’
But Judi added the dynamic between the couple hinted at ‘powerful undercurrents’.
The body language expert explained: ‘Space is associated with power and status and again it is Meghan who has the larger share of the space on this bench.
‘Her US messages tend to come from a passion grown from her own experiences but with this narrative about voting in the election it is Harry who is the outsider again and his ‘hemmed in’ appearance seems to reflect that.
‘Meghan has space on the bench to move and stretch her legs diagonally but Harry ends up leaning over the arm of the bench to enable any splaying.’
Judi added the spacing may indicate an awareness from Prince Harry that he wants to avoid looking like the lead during the conversation.
Judi said the ‘confident’ Duchess of Sussex ‘checked the important messaging’ during the segment when the Duke was speaking
She said: ‘It’s possible he still needs to look like the guest rather than the host here to avoid looking like someone who is lecturing on a subject that doesn’t personally involve him.
‘The fall-out effect can be counter-intuitive, as when Obama lectured UK voters about Brexit and possible pushed voting in favour of Brexit despite the US president being very popular in the UK.’
While Meghan takes up more of the space on the bench, Prince Harry also uses distraction rituals throughout the conversation which reflect his discomfort.
‘This might look like a deeply likeable couple urging people to vote but Harry would have been well aware of the potential fall-out in the UK and in his own family,’ Judi explained.
‘His distraction rituals seem to reflect that and hint at some levels of discomfort. His mouth pulls into a partial Oxbow mouth shape in a micro-gesture that could signal some slight regret.
The Duchess left the Duke ‘hemmed in’ on the bench, where she took up the majority of the space with a ‘confident’ pose while he appeared ‘slumped’, according to Judi
‘His knees are splayed to suggest confidence and authority but it is a truncated gesture in terms of power as his legs are locked together at the ankle.’
She continued: ‘There is some eye-stutter and eye-shuffle to suggest tension and a build-up of distraction signals that even include what looks like a knuckle-crack gesture at one point.
‘Like nail-biting, knuckle-cracking can be a displacement or self-attack ritual that occurs when you can’t attack the person you are angry with.’
Meanwhile Judi said Prince Harry appeared apologetic as he said that he was unable to vote, but seemingly left the door open for future elections.
She explained: ‘Harry adopts a more apologetic tone when he says he can’t vote in the US, but he is quick to show he has lost out on nothing by moving to the US as he tells his audience he couldn’t vote in the UK anyway.
‘The emphasis on the word ‘this’ also leaves the hint that he might be voting in the next US election hanging in the air.’
Meanwhile Judi also pointed to a point when Prince Harry played with his wedding ring, indicating he is relying on Meghan for support and comfort
While Prince Harry is ‘tense and uncomfortable’ during the conversation, Meghan appears much more at home and displays ‘confidence rituals.’
‘Meghan is the calmer powerhouse here and her upright pose and rounded, apple-cheeked smiles signal a kind of serene confidence and affection for her audience,’ Judi revealed.
‘Her delivery is smoother than Harry’s but there are hints that she checks the messaging as he is speaking, suggesting collusion between them and mutual agreement with their points.’
Judi continued: ‘When Harry mentions not being able to vote her smile fades and her eyes dart slightly, making it look as though she is evaluating that point and problem.’
Meanwhile the body language expert said that Meghan and Harry appeared rehearsed in the discussion, and determined to keep their messaging correct.
She said: ‘Meghan also rubs her leg at one point rather than avoiding upstaging her husband. This self-comfort, distraction ritual suggests that even in what looks like a friendly, casual chat, the couple are keen to get their important messaging and their delivery right.
Meghan Markle’s political message
Over the past few weeks, Meghan has taken part in multiple interviews and summits – having reportedly grown ‘frustrated’ at her inability to get involved in politics while she was working as a senior royal.
This week, feminist activist Gloria Steinem revealed that Markle had joined her in cold-calling Americans and urging them to vote.
Steinem told Access Hollywood: ‘She came home to vote. The first thing we did, and why she came to see me, was we sat at the dining room table where I am right now and we cold-called voters.’
‘Said ‘hello I’m Meg’ and ‘hello I’m Gloria’ and ‘are you going to vote?’ That was her initiative.’
Meghan also told Steinem she was ‘so excited’ to see fellow mixed-race woman Kamala Harris nominated for vice president, in another strong hint that she is backing the Democratic ticket.
Meanwhile, she has also taken in voter appeals, at which she made a bold plea to women across the US to take part in the 2020 presidential election, speaking out about the need for ‘change’ at an online voter summit, while telling participants: ‘If we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem.’
‘When Meghan’s smile partially dies at the very end after their goodbyes it looks like another hint of that importance to her.’
Buckingham Palace washed its hands of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after they ‘told Americans to vote out Trump’ today.
A spokesman said it refused to comment on ‘not a working member of the Royal Family’ in a stinging response to the couple.
It comes after Royal insiders said the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘crossed a line’ by speaking out about the US election on November 3.
Prince Harry told voters to ‘reject hate speech’ while Meghan called the presidential race the ‘most important election of our lifetime’.
Speaking in a Time 100 video message, apparently filmed from their California home, Harry admitted he was not eligible to vote – adding that he had never voted in the UK either where convention dictates that royals keep well clear of politics.
While Harry and Meghan did not name their favoured candidate, many viewers thought it ‘obvious’ they were backing Joe Biden over Donald Trump – although a source close to Harry denied this.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: ‘We would not comment. The Duke is not a working member of the Royal Family and any comments he makes are made in a personal capacity.’
Royal experts told MailOnline the couple should give up their titles and sever their links to the monarchy for good if they wanted to comment on US politics, while insiders told the Times palace aides would be concerned about their intervention.
MailOnline editor-at-large Piers Morgan said: ‘Prince Harry poking his woke nose into the US election and effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump is completely unacceptable behaviour for a member of the Royal Family.’
Former Liberal Democrat MP Norman Baker, the author of the book And What Do You Do? What The Royal Family Don’t Want You To Know, said Harry should not speak out about US politics while he is still a ‘representative’ of the UK.
‘I think it’s appropriate for any private citizen to comment on the US election. The problem is that Harry has retained his HRH status and is not a private citizen but still a representative of this country,’ Mr Baker told MailOnline.
‘He needs to stop trying to have a foot in both camps – royal when it suits him and private when it doesn’t.
‘Or to turn on its head the old phrase, I agree with what he says but disagree with his right to say it.’