They have eight years of marriage and three children behind them, but last night the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge looked more like a bright-eyed couple on their first date, a body language expert has revealed.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Judi James told how Prince William and Kate, both 37, exhibited ‘subtly flirty’ behaviour usually seen in the earliest days of a relationship when they stepped out for the Royal Variety Performance at the London Palladium.
And while the couple are far less demonstrative with their affections than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, their more low-key displays still signal a solid relationship rooted in mutual affection and a sense of equality.
Here, author and expert Judi analyses five moments captured between the couple last night, from Prince William’s ‘gentle’ hand on their way into the venue to Kate’s adoring gaze in the back of the car as they headed home at the end of the night.
WILLIAM’S GENTLE HAND
A shy gentleman: Prince William was photographed placing a hand on his wife’s back as they made their way inside the London Palladium. The raised thumb suggests ‘intense happiness’
Prince William was photographed placing a hand on his wife’s back as they made their way inside the London Palladium last night.
As Judi noted: ‘William and Kate aren’t known for their overt PDAs and they can keep their touch rituals to a minimum in public but this back-touch from William looks unusually tactile and affectionate.
‘His smile looks almost shy here and the splayed hand appears gentle and gentlemanly, although that raised thumb suggests intense happiness.’
MIRROR FIGURES AND WILLIAM’S ‘KATE’ WAVE
They walk the walk: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned to wave to well-wishers on their way into the London Palladium last night – and were snapped on their way inside. The couple mirror each other with their walk, wave and facial expressions, Judi pointed out
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge turned to wave to well-wishers on their way into the London Palladium last night – and were snapped on their way inside.
While this might not immediately scream a ‘couple in love’, Judi explained there are still plenty of subtle signs of their intensely close relationship.
Judi said: ‘The couples’ trait of identical waves has been a feature from the earliest days of their marriage and it has always defined Kate as a strong partner in the relationship.
‘[Last night] it did appear that it was William copying her flat-palm, slightly more informal technique. The subliminal bonding is again visible here from their intense mirroring, that applies to almost every part of their bodies, including their walk, wave and facial expressions.’
THE CLASSIC ‘LOOK OF LOVE’
Like-minded: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were photographed in their seats at the London Palladium during the show in an image later shared on their Instagram account. Judi told how they mirrored each other with ‘eye-engage signals’ and heads at matching angles
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were photographed in their seats at the London Palladium during the show. The image was chosen by the couple to be shared on their official Kensington Palace Instagram account after the event.
Judi said: ‘The couple’s mirroring is always tight, showing like-minded thinking and a subliminal desire to present as an double act based on two empathetic equals.
‘Here though they add some strong eye-engage signals, leaning their heads together at matching angles to do so.
‘The eye contact has produced facial expressions that suggest the classic “look of love”, with a softening of the features plus a dimpled smile from Kate.’
A SHARED SENSE OF FUN
Rocking with laughter: The London Palladium was filled with laughter as stand-up comics took to the stage last night – and William and Kate were delighted to join in on the fun. The couple were once again mirroring each other, Judi said, suggesting a shared sense of fun
The London Palladium was filled with laughter as stand-up comics took to the stage last night – and William and Kate were delighted to join in on the fun. The couple were photographed laughing in their box during the show.
Again, this image was chosen by the royals and shared on their Kensington Palace Instagram account.
Judi said: ‘Royal Variety performances can prompt some smiles from the royal box but here William and Kate are literally rocking with laughter.
‘Again it is mutual though, with mirrored movements, suggesting a shared sense of fun.’
KATE’S ‘FIRST DATE’ SMILE
Not a mask: The Duchess of Cambridge was photographed smiling at her husband in the back of the car as they pulled away from the theatre. Judi noted that the Duchess appeared even happier once she had some alone time with her husband, as if they were on their ‘first date’
The Duchess of Cambridge was photographed smiling at her husband in the back of the car as they pulled away from the theatre. Even after a long night in public, the couple were still excellent spirits – perhaps even happier to finally be alone.
‘When any smiling public displays have been an act it’s the moment a couple take their seats in the car that you’ll often see masks begin to slip,’ Judi explained.
‘But if anything Kate’s expression of delight appears to intensify here. Her excited, widened eye expression, her rounded cheeks and her symmetric smile all make her look like someone on a first date.’