Prince Harry and the Queen body language: From ‘doting grandmother’ to ‘Megxit tension’

Prince Harry losing patronages was 'always coming' says expert

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Queen Elizabeth II, 94, is extremely fond of Prince Harry, 36. The royal’s soft spot for her cheeky grandson was made clear in the personal statement released by the Palace after a Megxit deal was reached last January. In the message, the Queen made clear Harry and Meghan would always be a beloved part of the Windsor family despite their decision to step down as working royals.

The statement read: “Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family.

“I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.”

The statement was unusually personal in its nature and highlighted the Queen’s deep wish for Harry and Meghan to be happy.

Nonetheless, Harry and Meghan’s decision to quit the Fold plunged the monarchy into crisis and according to a body language expert, there was obvious tension between the Sussexes and senior royals months before they announced their decision to step back.

Body language expert and author Judi James analysed photos of Prince Harry and the Queen together over the years and shared her findings.

The expert told “There has always been a very relaxed, easy-going-looking relationship between Harry and his doting grandmother The Queen, with Harry often appearing to take advantage of some of the freedoms that come with being the second son in the family to bring out HRH’s fun side with some more irreverent displays of body language that always seemed to get a matching response.”

According to Judi, Harry’s determination to “be himself” at royal events often delighted his grandmother who is said to have a dry sense of humour.

The expert said: “It’s common to see other royals on their best behaviour around the Queen in public but Harry always delighted in being himself and the result is some sweet photos of the pair enjoying one another’s company with some openly affectionate displays.

“The body language does evolve, though.

“From a watchful granny when the boys were tiny to a very adoring-looking grandmother when Harry began to grow up, the Queen’s poses during his much more ‘adult’ husband and father-to-be phase just before he quit the UK suggest she was mirroring his air of tension and detachment with some much more troubled-looking facial expressions.”


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In response to a 1987 photo of the Queen with William and Harry as young children, Judi said: “The way that Harry has climbed higher than William here illustrates his more adventurous side and his attention has clearly been taken by something they are both watching.

“The Queen bends very low here to get her head close to the boys and to share the moment and the strong bonds are visible in the way all three share the same mirrored facial expressions.”

By contrast, Judi claims a more recent photo of the royal grandmother and grandson reveals there was “distance” between them.

Discussing a picture of Harry and Meghan with the Queen taken in July in 2018, Judi said: “It would be tragic to think that the current dramas have in any way eroded the strong ties of affection and shared humour between Harry and the Queen, but some of his last poses with his grandmother as a senior royal seemed to show growing tension or worry on both sides.

“In his new roles as husband and father-to-be and with a huge change of lifestyle on the agenda, Harry swapped many of his more fun facial expressions for a more serious and reflective demeanour.

“Here he shows signs of the inner pressure he must have been under as he planned his exit from the UK and that loss of his more playful side seems to have been mirrored by the Queen.

She added: “It used to seem impossible to stand next to Harry without grinning and sharing a joke but here there is what looks more like a glare from the Queen as she looks past her grandson.”

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