The Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge have been less reluctant to show each other affection during their royal tour of the UK aboard the Queen’s train. They gave “very authentic glimpses into their relationship to boost morale” as they travelled around the country thanking frontline workers for their efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Judi James told the Daily Mail how the pair looked different as they seemed to “relax” in front of the cameras.
She said: “There has been a relaxing of the body language rituals of William and Kate recently.
“And it does appear to date back from Megxit, after which the remaining top-tier royals suddenly put in an effort to appear actively cheerful and upbeat and, in the case of the Cambridge’s, much more openly affectionate during their public appearances.
“It has appeared to allow William and Kate to relax a little more in public and to show some very authentic-looking glimpses of their relationship, rather than forcing them to put on a fake performance for the cameras.”
Ms James highlighted that the Duke had placed his hand on Kate’s back “as a gentle steering gesture in the past”.
However, she explained that during the royal tour “he placed one splayed hand onto the back of Kate’s waist while they were just standing chatting to a member of the public, meaning it was a spontaneous touch of affection rather than a tie-sign to carry on walking.”
The expert explained that in the past William and Kate may have wanted to only show their love for one another subliminally, but that had changed recently.
She said: “[William] and Kate specialised in bland body language for years, with little more than their intense subliminal mirroring to hint at the strength of their feelings, but they do seem to have realised now that they can relax more without losing control of their privacy.”
During their visit to Cardiff Castle, the couple sought to display “a sense of warmth” as they stopped at a Toast Your Own Marshmallow stall.
Ms James said: “Timing this tour close to Christmas, William and Kate appear even more determined to project the Christmas spirit, boosting morale around the country not just via their regal presence but in the way that our relatives and friends used to boost morale when they were able to visit us at Christmas, by projecting a sense of warmth and fun that is visual between them as a couple as well as the warmth they will be projecting to the people they meet.
“Their emphatic signals of affection yesterday were also a much needed booster for everyone whose relationships have been fraying around the edges during lock-down.”
According to the expert, the royal couple’s experience during the pandemic affected how they portray their emotions in public.
She added: “I think their work during the pandemic, with their ability to project warmth and support during video appearances, plus both William and Kate’s surprising levels of talent as presenters talking straight to camera (his documentary of mental health in sport and her recent campaign launches on social media), must have added to their confidence when it comes to being more emotionally revealing.”
As well as physical touches, the Cambridges shared a “look of love” as they waited for their royal train in Euston station.
Ms James said: “By far the most intense ritual was they eye contact they exchanged when they were at the station.
“When a couple are play-acting affection they will often avoid eye contact as any change or hardening of their eye expression will give away their true feelings about one another.”