The Weirdest Royal Interactions Caught On Camera

The British royal family is famous for their stiff-upper-lip attitude to all things stressful. When the press publishes unflattering stories — or unattractive pictures — that make the royals seem less than stately, they have been known to, essentially, keep calm and carry on. This attitude was especially apparent following Prince Harry's publication of the tell-all memoir, "Spare." The book made serious allegations against senior royals, even claiming that Prince William physically attacked his younger brother. Rather than dignifying these claims with a response, the royal family refrained from engaging with Harry's accusations. Just days following the book's publication, King Charles III traveled to Scotland, where he performed his royal duties with a smile on his face. In full royal fashion, he maintained his regal public image by keeping his family issues to himself. 

Of course, even the most restrained royals cannot always keep their private thoughts under wraps. Over the years, members of Britain's most famous family have accidentally allowed their facial expressions to betray their inner feelings. And, naturally, some of these moments have been captured on camera for all the world to see. From Princess Diana and Charles' awkward engagement photos to Princess Eugenie's public snubbing of her own family on Easter Sunday, plenty of weird royal interactions have been photographed for posterity.  

Princess Diana and King Charles' engagement photos

It's no secret that Princess Diana and King Charles' relationship didn't end well, but some sources indicate that the pair was ill-fated from the very beginning. According to professional body language experts, Diana and Charles' engagement photos were enough to reveal that the two were not exactly compatible. In an interview with Today, mannerisms specialist and book author Patti Wood explained that these pictures reveal that Diana was uncomfortable around Charles. Referencing a shot in which Charles touches his fiancée, Wood said, "His hands are on her shoulders, but it doesn't seem to relax her body. If you look at her body, it looks like a block, everything looks square."

Unfortunately, this picture seems to indicate that Diana didn't draw much comfort from her so-called Prince Charming. As Wood told Today, the young bride's body language shows a relative lack of ease with reference to her fiancé's touch: "Normally, if your partner is comforting you or if the touch relaxes or warms you, your body would have more roundness to it, softness." Additionally, Diana was displaying another layer of tension in the way that she held her arms folded across her midsection. In Wood's professional opinion, this was the princess' way of communicating, "I don't want you to enter here." Given that the couple only met thirteen times before getting engaged, Diana's reactions make sense. More than a whirlwind romance, the pair arguably had something of an arranged marriage.

Charles and Diana's Australian tour

Sadly, when it comes to chronicling King Charles III and Princess Diana's marriage, things seem to go from bad to worse. If the mismatched couple seemed uncomfortable in their engagement photos, they appeared even less connected on their 1983 tour of Australia. Even though the trip occurred just two years after their wedding, Charles and Diana already began displaying some weird royal interactions that hinted toward what was to come. This was especially evident in a photograph of the young couple hiking at Ayers Rock, also known as Uluru. On a visit to this gorgeous red-soiled monolith, Charles and Diana were photographed walking apart with their heads facing down. According to body language expert Traci Brown, this snapshot was a sure indicator that something in Charles and Diana's marriage was amiss.

Speaking to Today about the photo, Brown observed that Diana's posture was particularly unnatural: "They're hiking and this is not how you hike, with your hands in front of you." On top of that, the specialist explained that the pair's downcast gazes indicate the circulation of some intense feelings. Apparently, "There's some deep emotional stuff in this picture. It's not unusual to look that far down, but to look that far down when you hike ... there's a lot of deep negativity from Diana." Naturally, Brown also commented on the fact that the couple was walking yards apart from one another. This was an early sign that Charles and Diana were disconnected. 

Camilla seemed nervous around William and Kate at a state function

In November 2022, King Charles III met with South African president Cyril Ramaphosa at Buckingham Palace. The monarch's first official state visit in his new position as king largely went without a hitch. However, at the beginning of the event, there was some visible tension between Camilla, Queen Consort and the Waleses. One body language specialist even posited that Camilla seemed uncomfortable around Prince William and Princess Catherine, particularly at the moment of the couple's entrance to the grand event.

Speaking to the Express, nonverbal communication expert Judi James explained, "There was a small gesture of anxiety from Camilla as the very elegant William and Kate approached up the steps as she lifted her bag in front of her torso in a barrier gesture." Based on James' evaluation, this motion possibly means that Camilla feels nervous around her stepson and his wife. 

Although it is difficult to pinpoint where these feelings might be coming from, it is also worth noting that William and Camilla haven't always had the closest of bonds. As Prince Harry alleged in his memoir "Spare," William was initially opposed to the idea of Charles and Camilla's union, thanks to the latter's role in his own parents' divorce. Harry wrote, "Willy had been suspicious of the Other Woman for a long time, which confused and tormented him." Apparently, when the couple married, it happened "despite Willy and me urging [Charles] not to."

William and Kate went out following a false break-up report

If Camilla, Queen Consort has ever made Prince William and Princess Catherine feel tense, the press has got to the couple even more. A prime example of this occurred in 2022 when international outlets falsely reported that the Waleses broke up. As reported by Newsweek, the drama started when French outlet Oh My Mag! published a poorly researched article, alleging that William and Catherine had parted ways. The platform apologized for its error, telling Newsweek, "This story is indeed false and has been published by accident." Nevertheless, this did not prevent from picking up the story and further spreading the rumors. 

Shortly following the media explosion over the false reports, William and Catherine stepped out to mingle with the cast of "Top Gun" at the film's premiere. Sadly, however, the couple seemed stressed following the events of the past few days, as body language expert Blanca Cobb told Cosmopolitan. With reference to the Waleses' red carpet entrance at the event, Cobb observed that two things were off: "William's right hand is balled into a loose fist, which suggests that he's feeling a bit tense ... Kate is holding her clutch in her right hand, which is a physical barrier to William. This doesn't allow him to hold her hand if he wanted to." Despite this tension, however, Cobb opined that "no matter what's going on for the couple, they're maintaining an emotional connection."

Sophie of Edinburgh seemed unhappy at the Sussexes' wedding

These days, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the resident outcasts of the British royal family. However, that was not always the case. Back in 2018, when the Sussexes tied the knot, the pair were integral members of the firm. As body language expert Judi James told the Express, this was especially evident in the way that King Charles III reacted to his son's big day: "[The wedding] treated us to the sight of Charles walking his daughter-in-law the final length of the aisle beaming with what looked like pride and delight." 

That being said, not everyone was "beaming" during the ceremony. Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, was spotted in the pews looking absolutely steely. Speaking to the Express about the duchess' facial expression, James noted that Sophie seemed distant at the event, observing, "the normally sparking Sophie [was] sitting hunched and grim-faced in the pew behind Camilla."

Although it's unclear why Sophie reacted so negatively to the Sussexes' wedding, one potential explanation could pertain to a weird royal interaction that she had with Meghan. According to royal expert Gyles Brandreth, Meghan actually rejected Sophie's offer to help her get adjusted to palace life. Writing for the Daily Mail, Brandreth explained, "To help Meghan, the queen suggested that her daughter-in-law, Sophie Wessex, would be an ideal mentor ... Meghan made it clear that she did not feel she needed Sophie's help. She had Harry."

William and Kate gave Harry and Meghan the cold shoulder at Commonwealth Day

The Sussex wedding was not the only time that things seemed tense for the British royal family. On Commonwealth Day in 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their final appearance as working royals. If Prince William and Princess Catherine were trying to mask their feelings about the Sussexes' decision, they did not do a good job of doing so. As the couple approached their spot in the church pews, the Waleses seemed to give the Sussexes the cold shoulder. 

Chatting with Cosmopolitan, nonverbal communication analyst Blanca Cobb opined that these interactions seemed tense. According to the specialist, it appeared that William and Catherine were snubbing Harry and Meghan — especially because Catherine chose to interact with other royals, even as she failed to greet her sister-in-law. Cobb observed, "As Meghan waves, she and Harry say hi. Kate doesn't look in their direction but talks briefly to ... [Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh] who's seated right behind her." In this situation, Catherine's behavior seemed particularly out of place, as it went against most rules of normal social interactions. "Even though it's a formal occasion, Kate could have smiled or waved," Cobb noted.

Interestingly, the Sussexes later spoke out about this event, describing it as deeply uncomfortable. In the docuseries, "Harry & Meghan," Harry recalled: "I felt really distant from the rest of my family ... [I]t looked cold. But it also felt cold."

Charles got mad at Camilla for running late at a walkabout

Although some of the weird interactions within the British royal family reflect some serious drama, that is certainly not the case for all of them. King Charles III, for example, lost his temper at Camilla, Queen Consort at a walkabout in Wrexham — and that didn't seem to reveal much more than a simple marital spat. As demonstrated in a video shared by the Independent on YouTube, Charles turned to an aide and asked, "Can we try to get [Camilla] back again? Please? We need to go!" The king went on to bemoan how long Camilla was lingering with the crowds: "I was trying to wait for her, but she goes on!"

While this might seem like a typical case of bickering spouses, some experts found this interaction unacceptable for members of the royal family. In an interview with the Express, body language expert Judi James asserted that this sort of public spectacle reflects poorly on the monarchy: "I know people are creating empathetic links by saying this is a common theme between husbands and wives and that it makes Charles seem more human, but his wife is the new queen and he is making a very public scene about her that lowers her status." Specifically, James disapproved of how quick the king was to anger. She opined, "Charles displays not just a bad temper but also disloyalty here." 

Meghan Markle seemed uncomfortable with other royals at the queen's funeral

During the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II, tensions were running high. The British royal family seemed uncomfortable with Meghan Markle in their midst, doing little to incorporate her into their ranks. This was deeply apparent in the footage of the funeral, which reveals that Meghan never really appeared integrated with the rest of the family. As psychologist and human behavior specialist Dr. Robi Ludwig told Fox, Meghan "is like a fish out of water, and it's obvious."

Unfortunately, Meghan's status as a royal outcast clearly impacted her body language. As Ludwig explained, "Meghan, with her head tilted down, covering her face, indicating feelings of shame and victimization. There is a sense that she is upset and uncomfortable." Interestingly, these intense feelings could be the reason that the Duchess of Sussex wore such a huge hat to the funeral. Speaking to Fox, Ludwig noted that the headpiece might have served as a barrier between the duchess and the people around her. "Meghan is using the hat to hide, a very different presentation style than she's exhibited in the past. She is looking down because she feels the disapproval and is out of her element."

Perhaps due to these negative interactions, Meghan opted against joining the royal family for King Charles III's coronation. Speaking to the Express, royal expert Afua Hagan justified the duchess' decision: "She doesn't want to put herself through all that because it's not worth it." 

Sarah Ferguson also seemed out of place at the funeral

Meghan Markle wasn't the only one who seemed uncomfortable during Queen Elizabeth II's funeral. The queen's former daughter-in-law, Sarah Ferguson, also seemed like a royal outsider at the event, according to at least one body language expert. Also known as "Fergie," Sarah joined the royal family in 1986 when she tied the knot with Prince Andrew. Eventually, however, she became a royal persona non grata, thanks to a public divorce and some topless poolside photographs. 

Fergie's status as a royal outsider was apparent at the queen's funeral — at least, that's according to the professional opinion of nonverbal communication specialist Judi James. In an interview with the Express, James commented on Sarah's presence at the service: "It was clear that the once-banished Sarah Ferguson seemed to have slipped back into royal ranks at the Queen's funeral service and it looked very likely as though it was at her daughters' instigation." However, just because Sarah was invited to the event does not mean that she felt in her element. "But did she feel comfortable doing it?" James asked, before adding, "Her body language suggested she didn't." This was partially apparent in Sarah's hesitance to walk forward upon arriving at Westminister Abbey. It was almost as if she was too intimidated to walk inside. 

Kate and William distanced themselves from Andrew

The issue of Prince Andrew seems to be something that no royal wants to deal with. Following his involvement with sex trafficking billionaire, Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew has become something of an uncomfortable subject. Perhaps because of this tense dynamic, on Easter 2023, Prince William and Princess Catherine were photographed trying to keep their distance from the controversial royal. As reported by the Express, the couple did their best to avoid being photographed with William's disgraced uncle. The pair even waited to enter the church for the Easter service, lagging toward the back of the group entering the building. 

Speaking on an episode of the podcast "True Royalty TV's The Royal Beat," royal expert Matt Wilkinson posited that this slow entrance was no coincidence. He explained, "I don't think there was a photograph of Andrew with William and Kate and the children ... I think the Cambridges did hold back so they weren't standing there with him." If this was indeed the case, it would be a strong indicator that William and Catherine do not approve of Andrew's association with Epstein. It could even hint that, when William becomes king, the royal family will not take such a lenient stance towards this controversial member of the family.

Princess Eugenie refused to walk with the royal family

Prince William and Princess Catherine were not the only royals to make a snub during the Easter 2023 services. Princess Eugenie entered the church separate from the rest of her family — and even paused so as not to walk in along with the rest of the royals. Speaking to the Express, body language expert Judi James mused, "Eugenie did seem to be struggling during her arrival at the Easter service yesterday, but was it her baby bump that was causing problems or something much more intricate in terms of family politics?" Apparently, Eugenie's slow approach to St. George's Chapel could be an indicator of her desire to demonstrate "loyalty to her closest family members," particularly Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. 

As an anonymous source told OK!, Eugenie remains close with Harry and Meghan. Due to work commitments, the princess and her husband, Jack Brooksbank, are reportedly planning on traveling between the U.K., the U.S., and Portugal in the coming years. According to the source, Eugenie and Jack will stay with Harry and Meghan in Montecito during the time that they are in the United States. Perhaps, then, it was as a result of this close tie to the Sussexes that Eugenie preferred not to enter the chapel with the remainder of her family.