Body Language Reveals Which Royals Don't Get Along

Among all the celebrities and public figures who captivate the world's attention, only a handful possess the magnetic appeal of royal families. Part of an ancient institution, the royals bring an element of storied charm that is hard to come by. If one thing has remained constant, however, it's their decorum. Royals are the definition of a stiff upper lip — no matter what is going on in their personal lives, the royals can almost certainly be counted on to smile and put their best foot forward. This may be seen as a bit of a hindrance for royal watchers and commentators waiting for any inside info or clue as to what things are like behind closed doors, prompting many to analyze body language instead.

No matter how wide their smile, some positions and mannerisms on a royal family member's behalf can't go unnoticed. Whether they're involved in a rare moment of PDA or interacting with a royal who they've had tension with in the past, the firm members can't escape all the cameras — and thus the body language experts who dissect their every move.

Royals have done their best to put on a united front, especially the British royal family in the wake of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's departure, but some ice-cold relationships can't be thawed by even the most radiant of smiles. These are the instances where body language reveals which royals don't get along.

Camilla is said to be uncomfortable around Catherine and William

While the royal family has known each other for long periods of time, it's taken Camilla, Queen Consort, a while to bridge gaps between herself and fellow royals. Not only was she on the outside looking in for years, but Camilla was — and is still to an extent — seen as the other woman in King Charles III and Princess Diana's marriage, causing quite a bit of residual tension. Of all the royal family members she interacts with today, Camilla is said to be nervous around Prince William and Princess Catherine, according to body language expert Judi James. Camilla not only has to contend with William's strong dedication to his late mother but also with the couple's popularity — William and Catherine are certainly more favorably looked upon than Camilla and Charles.

James dissected the scene for Express by analyzing a joint event between the two couples at the Royal Pavilion. "There were strong signals of positive anticipation from Charles as his daughter-in-law Kate walked up the steps to greet him. His hands seemed to pause above his pockets and his warm eye-gaze looked focused on her," James noted, before commenting that Camilla's movements were not nearly as welcoming.

"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," James said.

William, Catherine, Harry, and Meghan have an ice-cold relationship

It's no secret the dynamic between Prince William, Princess Catherine, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle is cold. The "Fab Four" — as they were coined back in the day — only had a handful of positive joint appearances before Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping back from royal life, and the few instances that the couples have reunited have been incredibly tense. Most notably, their joint Windsor walkabout in the wake of Queen Elizabeth II's death displayed just how distant things had become between them, and analyzing their body language for Woman's Day was Dr. Louise Mahler (via Now To Love).

"Harry and Megan are fascinating. What is absolutely clear, is that William and Kate do not want to be associated with them. They are being polite. And it's a very minimum, otherwise they're getting no eye contact. Distance is being kept," Mahler told the outlet about the two couples, proceeding to focus on their barrier-making body language. "The only conversation is about logistics, what's happening now, and even the arm goes up to protect from William against Harry, and then off, no eye contact, moving off," she continued. "Harry has 'I am peeved' written all over his face."

Shifting attention to William and Catherine specifically — who had just been named the Prince and Princess of Wales — Mahler noted that they wanted to establish how different they are from Harry and Meghan in the eyes of the public.

Harry was kind in his body language toward Camilla for the sake of his father

Even before Meghan Markle came on the scene, Prince Harry has always marched to the beat of his own drum. He made it clear early on that he would rather be with fellow soldiers in the military on active service than shaking hands at a formal royal event, and such became even more clear when Harry interacted with Camilla, Queen Consort. Analyzing their body language, expert Judi James told Express that the Duke of Sussex has only ever behaved warmly toward Camilla for the sake of King Charles III — such a dynamic has gotten even colder in the wake of Harry's book, "Spare," and the claims he made about the queen consort.

"There's always been an air of politeness about Harry's body language with Camilla," James asserted. "Given Harry's profound loyalty to his mother and her memory, this decision of polite attentiveness should suggest some very strong bonds of affection for his father, too. Harry is clearly a man who will go to war with his family in public if necessary, but he must have decided to take a polite approach to Camilla when it would have been easy to send out some subtle body language signals to suggest he was quietly keeping his distance."

James went as far as comparing Harry's approach to Camilla to Diana's, noting that the mother and son share a similar approach related to "[going] through the motions."

Tense body language between William and Harry started developing in 2021

Before Prince Harry sat down for his documentary series with Netflix, before he released his tell-all book "Spare," he made it clear that his relationship with the royals — and namely his brother, Prince William — was on thin ice. Their well-documented feud was rumored to have started when William expressed concern about the speed of Harry's relationship with Meghan Markle, and things proceeded to go downhill from there. After Harry and Meghan left the royals in January 2020, it would be quite a while until fans saw William and Harry interact with one another in person — but that day came in July 2021 when the brothers unveiled Princess Diana's commemorative statue, and body language expert Karen Donaldson broke down their tense interaction for Women's Health.

"Prince Harry seems to be a tad uneasy. We can see it in the manner in which his upper body is slightly bent forwards and his shoulders slightly slouched," Donaldson analyzed, noting that Harry was likely trying to guard his feelings. Noting that he was also playing with his wedding ring during the event, Donaldson said: "This is a displacement gesture. When we are tense, we engage in non-verbal gestures that help us deal with the uncomfortable things."

The expert also pointed to the tense positioning shared by William and Harry, noting that they were not only standing far apart from one another but were walking out of sync while side by side.

Anne and Sophie don't have a close relationship

Princess Anne has proven that she is nothing if not dedicated to the monarchy. Regularly named the hardest-working royal, Anne has a stiff-upper-lip approach that makes even the most stoic look like a silly kid — this became increasingly obvious as she started to interact more with Prince Edward's wife, Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh. Two very different women, Anne and Sophie both work on behalf of the crown, but in a way that would make one think they live in two completely different worlds. Breaking down their dynamic, namely at a Royal Air Force joint event, was body language expert Judi James for Express.

"Their body language together hints at differences that appear to move both women into rather contrasting states when they are together," James explained. "[During one outing] Sophie's upright body language appears to become more girlish and keen to please with Anne, who herself appears to settle back into her seat to stare at the crowds. While Sophie wears a tooth-bearing, polite royal smile Anne merely raises her brows and keeps her lips closed."

Focusing on the event itself as an example, James continued: "Sophie looks uncharacteristically giggly and school-girlish here that looks prompted by something Edward is saying to her, rocking with uncontrollable laughter, with her eyes squeezed shut and her hand covering her mouth. This naughty schoolkid body language seems to have brought out a far more prim response from Anne."

Charles and Anne's body language shows a complicated dynamic

Though King Charles III is the star of the monarchy given his proximity to the throne, it's Princess Anne who has given him a run for his money. Charles has historically been seen as a softer, more emotionally driven figure in the royal family, whereas Anne has a decorum that is incredibly indicative of her late parents, Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip. Given how different they are, it's not surprising that Charles and Anne have shared some rather tense body language. Given Charles' proclivity for jealousy, body language expert Judi James inferred for Express that being surrounded by strong women such as his mother and Anne made things harder for him as a leader.

"Charles grew up sandwiched between two remarkable women. Both his mother and his sister are hard-working, strong and stoic, with no outward signs of emotions like anxiety or self-doubt," James asserted of the king. "Charles on the other hand has always shown signals that suggest self-pity and inner anguish."

Focusing on just how different their well-documented school days were — adding to the distance between them — James pointed out: "Growing up he and Anne perfectly defined the chalk-and-cheese sibling relationship, with Charles suffering through his school years while Anne just got on with things. As Charles adopted a more academic approach to the life of a future king, Anne became a successful, no-nonsense sportswoman alongside her regular royal duties."

There is a lot of distance between Beatrice and Eugenie and other members of the family

The royal family is all about appearance, and Prince Andrew is a thorn in the institution's side. No doubt thanks to his behavior, however, his daughters Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice have also found themselves on the outskirts of the firm, and body language expert Judi James broke down just how different they are from their royal counterparts.

"There is a very large, pronounced divide between the behavior, styling and body language of the late queen's granddaughters," James told Express, specifically referring to Zara Tindall and Lady Louise Windsor, both of whom were granddaughters of Queen Elizabeth II like Beatrice and Eugenie. "Zara and Louise appear to have embraced a country lifestyle that includes a shared passion for horses, with both being skilled competitors as well as avid race-goers like their late grandmother. Meanwhile, Beatrice and Eugenie's lifestyles have been very typically town-based socialites, with work for charities and art galleries plus a love of attending the big London parties and events with their mother."

Noting even further how much Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson influenced her daughters, James referenced Fergie's status as a royal outsider and divorcee, both aspects that would've prompted more distance between the princesses and the royals as a whole. "Fergie has always been a hugely influential factor in her daughters' lives and styling and it's this that has probably taken her girls away from the traditionally royal horsey lifestyle," she said.

Harry's reactions when reunited with William and Catherine speak volumes

There have only been a handful of times when Prince Harry has reunited with Prince William and Princess Catherine, but those few moments have been fraught with tension. Take a moment to think back to Harry before Meghan Markle — he was always the third wheel to William and Catherine, showing up as their sidekick who didn't really have his own thing going. Perhaps they got too used to having him at their beck and call because Harry has now paved his own path outside of their expectations. Breaking down their dynamic when reunited for the Windsor walkabout was body language expert Jesús Enrique Rosas, who took to YouTube to analyze Catherine's response to her brother-in-law specifically.

"Catherine was walking tall with her hands relaxed and her chin really up," Rosas noted. "I have seen Catherine walking thousands of times and she usually doesn't have her chin that high up — in some scenarios, it could be read as arrogance." But, according to Rosas, she was showing who was in charge.

Such a distance between the three was once again seen — or not seen, for that matter – during King Charles III's coronation. While Harry did travel to Britain for the event, he narrowly avoided interacting publicly with William and Catherine, keeping his distance and quickly leaving for the airport once the big day concluded.

Charles and Meghan have a complex relationship, their body language proves

When King Charles III stepped up to the plate and walked Meghan Markle down the aisle during all that drama with her own father, it seemed as though the two were forging a tight bond. However, the fallout between Prince Harry, Meghan, and the royals as a whole stunted a potentially close relationship before it had the chance to get off the ground, and body language expert Judi James revealed to Express that Meghan was set on establishing a tight relationship with Charles before things went south.

"Charles and Meghan could possibly have forged a very deep relationship, according to their body language rituals. In a group setting Meghan tended to single her father-in-law out with her eyes and her facial expression seemed to light up when he spoke to her," James analyzed. "She would be seen dipping her head slightly to suggest both respect and a desire for some deeper conversations than just the level of small-talk and it is possible that the pair might have found a lot of common ground in their passionate approaches to global problems."

James additionally noted that Meghan's attempts to cater to Camilla, Queen Consort, were likely in order to win favor with the king, though all efforts quickly crumbled as the couple left their royal life behind.

Anne and Camilla have had ice-cold interactions with each other

Of all the royal women who have crossed each other's paths, Princess Anne and Camilla, Queen Consort, have a very complex past. Having both dated Andrew Parker Bowles — and with Anne watching Camilla and King Charles III's affair disrupt the monarchy — it's no wonder that these two don't really get along. In fact, body language expert Judi James told Express that tension between the two women was palpable during Camilla and Charles' 2005 nuptials, clearly indicating that things were off to a rocky start.

"At the poses after their wedding the queen and [Prince] Philip stood back and away from the couple on the steps, which prevented any happy family photographs being taken and it looks very much as though Anne is equally unwilling to look anything more than frosty here, too," James concluded. "There seems to be a sense of exclusion here as Anne stands closer to her brother to apparently push Camilla out of the small group here, even raising her arm so that her elbow forms a barrier gesture."

And things didn't stop there. According to Princess Diana's dressmaker, David Emanuel, Anne confronted Camilla after the coronation with a stark warning. "I heard that there was a Coronation dinner with which obviously the king and Camila were there, and apparently the Princess Royal said, 'You're not Queen, you're the [Queen] consort.'" Clearly, there is no love lost between these two.

William and Catherine haven't always seen eye to eye

Prince William and Princess Catherine have their fair share of heated exchanges. Their body language goes from hot to cold, and this was apparent in the time leading up to King Charles III's coronation. Body language expert Carole Railton told the Daily Mail that while Catherine's smile was pleasant when greeting well-wishers, her tense posture indicated that she was anxious — a far cry from her usual self. On the actual coronation day, things between the couple increasingly went downhill.

Things got off to a rocky start when Catherine and William showed up at Westminster Abbey late. They looked very stressed while walking up the stairs with their two youngest children in tow, and photos of Catherine, specifically, quickly made their way to social media. One Twitter user wrote of the newly named Prince and Princess of Wales: "Major 'fight in the car' energy from all four of them." Another Twitter user wrote: "Kate looks as if she had been crying. Her makeup doesn't cover the shadows under her eyes" while a third Twitter commentator chimed in with: "I know nothing about royalty but that's not a photo of a happy family."

Body language experts got yet another interaction between the couple at the crown prince of Jordan's wedding, where William gestured to Catherine and told her to hurry up while speaking to the bride. It was not a good look and made things that much more tense to watch.

Meghan and Catherine specifically have had a tense relationship, according to their body language

So much attention could be paid to the Windsor walkabout that there could be a master class. Not only did it display the dynamic between Prince William, Princess Catherine, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle, but it also gave watchers a glimpse into Catherine and Meghan's relationship. From the very beginning of her time in the royal family, Meghan was positioned by the royal rota as Catherine's counterpart, often being compared based on looks, decorum, public appearances, and more. While things were playing out within the status quo, Catherine and Meghan were cordial, but many royal experts will tell you that they never got super chummy. Joint appearances like their day out to Wimbledon together helped smooth over rumors of distance, but the Windsor walkabout proved just how cold their dynamic has gotten over time.

Analyzing the interaction, body language expert Katia Loisel told 7News that Catherine regularly tried to give Meghan the cold shoulder during their joint appearance. "Quite unlike the confident Meghan we know, Meghan appeared ill at ease during this encounter, which is not surprising given the recent criticism that she has faced," Loisel said. "On numerous occasions Meghan looked over at Kate, however, the gaze wasn't reciprocated."

Adding that Catherine looked through Meghan rather than at her, Loisel highlighted that Meghan went to wave on occasion, before getting nervous and turning the wave into a comforting motion of pulling her hair back.