Body Language Expert Says Prince William And Kate's 2022 Christmas Card Paints Clear Future - Exclusive

As Christmas 2022 approaches, the heartbreaking death of Queen Elizabeth II is still fresh in everyone's minds, and the first holidays without a loved one are always the most difficult. It's also the first Christmas for King Charles III since his accession, and the first for William, Prince of Wales, and Catherine, Princess of Wales, since being elevated to their new titles. But the royals are maintaining both a professional and festive demeanor as they go on with their holiday plans. 

While Charles prepares for the traditional family gathering, William and Kate will be busy with their children's holiday celebrations at their new school, as well as coordinating a televised carol service. They also released their official Christmas card (via Instagram), an informal shot of the family, all in sneakers and jeans or shorts, holding hands and strolling down a pathway. 

This image speaks volumes, according to body language expert Jess Ponce III, co-author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E.: 7 Keys to Unlock the Speaker Within." In an exclusive interview with The List, Ponce explains, "The photo is all about accessibility. The candid and casual feel of the image shows them being a family, just like yours or mine ... It's cheery without seeming [to be] staged." He adds that this picture is very different from the family's formal portraits. "This presents the idea that it is candid, in the moment, and in many ways a look into their private lives. It has an aura of behind the scenes of the royal family."

Prince William's focus says it all

Body language expert Jess Ponce III points out to The List an interesting detail in the Christmas card photo of the Prince and Princess of Wales. Whereas the rest of the family is looking at the camera, Prince William's glance goes to the side. "This gives a sense that he is not focused on the attention of being a prince and future king," says Ponce. Far from being shy, however, William gives off "regal" vibes, "standing strong and leading his family," he adds. While a hand in the pants pocket can signal insecurity, in William's case, Ponce says it shows intention.

Interestingly, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla's first Christmas card as monarch and consort (as seen on Instagram) also shows a lack of attention to the camera. The king is seen in profile looking ahead, while the smiling queen turns her gaze to her husband. Ponce says that this kind of avoidance is common in other photos of the king and his late mother. "[Y]ou'll notice that direct eye contact or acknowledgment of the camera is a rarity," he says. "The king's recent Christmas card reflects this. So it is fair to surmise this is the style of the royal family — one that is purposeful and consistent."

The combination of an approachable attitude, a family-centered focus, and a confident sideways gaze in this year's Christmas card reflects Prince William's determination to change the monarchy for the better