11 Times Prince Harry's Body Language Said It All

Try as he might, Prince Harry will likely never be able to escape public scrutiny by virtue of his royal celebrity status. The prince's acrimonious with the press hasn't resulted in any dearth of coverage about his life, which has consistently remained a point of interest spanning the periods before and after his move from Britain. Even in the moments that Harry has been decidedly reserved about his state of mind, visual journalism has provided body language experts with many prospects to discuss, decode, and determine the prince's sensibilities. Even the subtlest shifts in Harry's demeanor do not go ignored. 

For instance, known social behavior expert Judi James deciphered five behavioral layers in Harry's deportment in the minute-long trailer for his docuseries "Harry & Meghan" alone. "His chin is slightly raised and he seems to do a long blink," she told The Sun, offering meaning behind what would have likely been an insignificant gesture to the layperson viewing him on screen.   

From key milestones in his life to changes in his persona over the years, professionals have weighed in on many aspects of Harry's life. As one of the most controversial members of the British royalty — who periodically locks horns with members of his family through explosive revelations and public remarks — Harry is hardly ever out of the news cycle. That said, on more than one occasion, the renegade prince's actions have spoken louder than his words. Here are 11 times Prince Harry's body language said it all. 

Prince Harry seemed 'overwhelmed' on his wedding day

Evidently, even a prince isn't immune to getting the jitters before tying the knot with the woman of his dreams. Prince Harry was apparently overwhelmed on his big day back in 2018 when he said "I do" to Meghan Markle, according to body language experts. "Like many extrovert guys who are normally the life and soul of any party, Harry's body language on his own big day suggested a man shocked and overwhelmed by the strength of his own emotions," royal commentator Judi James told Harper's Bazaar, pointing out his fleeting smiles and his occasional lip-licking that were clues to Harry's pre-wedding anxiety. While the larger majority of the 29.2 million viewers who tuned in to watch the globally televised event may not have been able to catch these giveaways with such expertise, it would have been hard for them to miss other emotions Harry was expressly displaying. 

There were endless moments of deep love between the couple, evident through tell-tale signs that included hand-holding and eye contact. "Even when they're not looking at each other, they're maintaining a connection through touch," body language decipherer Blanca Cobb told Cosmopolitan. Meghan was an equal (if not greater) contributor to this whole effort, with experts deeming her to be the more confident and relaxed of the two at the ceremony. Besides the doe-eyed Disney princess gaze she kept flashing at Harry, her body was free of "leakage" signs and fidgeting that indicate anxiety, per James.  

He looked relaxed after leaving his official role in the royal family

Making a royal exit from his family was a sensational move but also one that proved to be massively favorable for Prince Harry. After he left his homeland with Meghan Markle in a startling phenomenon unforgettably dubbed Megxit, Harry visibly took on a lighter demeanor. The couple's migration from Britain to Canada had the prince looking "buoyant, happy and even excited," royal body language commentator Judi James told Express.co.uk. "His wide, eye-crinkling smile looks authentic and congruent and a million miles from the very haunted eye expression he was often seen sporting in the UK," she added, even bringing attention to Harry's informal, relaxed attire. Dr. Terri Orbuch, renowned relationship expert, attested to this view in telling Women's Health that Harry looked "less stiff" since heading across the ocean. 

Expert observers have long highlighted Meghan and Harry's synchronized body language, deemed to be a dead giveaway of deep romance between partners. This show of love and support was gloriously on display even in the weeks leading up to the pair's official relocation from Britain. "I see a freshness and lift in their postures that seems magical, protective, and exclusive," expert Patti Wood told Reader's Digest, remarking on the pair's rain-flecked fairytale snaps from the Endeavour Awards 2020. Harry and Meghan's statement of exit, which emphasized their step back from royal duties and desire for financial independence, was reportedly instigated by and further motivated tensions within the royal family. 

He appeared visibly uncomfortable at the Invictus Games 2022

The Invictus Games are Prince Harry's brainchild and therefore presumably, one of his comfort arenas. The sports gathering organized for men and women in uniform has, since its inception in 2014, made for compilations of some of the best moments in the prince's life. But lately, the prince has seemed more tense than usual at event proceedings. A deviation from his generally proper body language came when Harry, in the middle of a sitdown interview with "Today" host Hoda Kotb at the 2022 games, briefly ran his hands down his knees to his calves.

Analyzing Harry's gesture, body language expert Louise Mahler said on "Sunrise," "They call that 'turtling,' trying to go back into your shell. ... That looks like he's sitting down for a nice relaxed, friendly chat." The moment could also be pinned down to the subject matter of the interview, which related to Harry's meeting with his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, whom he was close to.

The run-up to the 2023 games doesn't seem to be progressing all too comfortably for Harry, who was spotted looking rather stressed at a pre-event celebration in Germany. "His body pose appears reticent and wary, making him appear ridiculously camera-shy," Judi James said in an interview, per The Sun. His nervousness manifested so significantly in his tight smile and clenched fingers that Meghan Markle seemingly had to lean in to support him.

He made an unusual gesture while meeting Melania Trump

One doesn't have to be a royal family fanatic to pick up on a tic of Prince Harry's. The royal is prone to tucking his fingers into the flap of his blazer, which experts infer is a method of self-preservation for him. This quirky trait of Harry's cropped up noticeably during his meeting with the former first lady of the United States Melania Trump in 2017. At one point, the prince made a hand gesture that looked not unlike a subtle heavy metal sign of the horns. While the internet had a gala time deeming it to be Harry's way of trolling Melania, body language experts had another theory. "He's covering his solar plexus area (the vital organs) and protecting it which just says he's not quite comfortable in the situation," Traci Brown told Good Housekeeping

Though this nervous gesture gave way to some wild theorizing and plenty of humor at the expense of Melania online, experts contended that it was likely nothing personal on Harry's part and is simply part of his habitual traits. "Given that Prince Harry is commonly seen making this gesture, I believe that he doesn't even realize that he's doing it," specialist Blanca Cobb told the publication, pointing out that fidgeting with one's clothes is a demonstration of the stress they are feeling in the moment. Harry also flashed his signature move during the official press photocall following his milestone engagement to Meghan Markle in 2017.  

There was a tinge of tension in his demeanor at the coronation

King Charles III's coronation in May 2023 was exceptional for many reasons, a chief one being his son Prince Harry's presence. The runaway prince's attendance at the ceremony that would see his father officially take the throne as monarch had become known in the weeks leading up to it — along with the knowledge that he would fly in solo from the United States. On the day of, all eyes were on Harry who — without Meghan Markle to support him through the ongoing rift with his family — displayed a variety of somber emotions. "His smile is tense as his lips are held tight and the corners pull out slightly. Additionally, there's a seriousness in his eyes as his bottom eyelids appear tight," body language decoder Blanca Cobb told Cosmopolitan

Harry's step back from his working royal role in 2020 also possibly deprived him of certain privileges, including a seat up front with his brother and sister-in-law in their new roles as Prince and Princess of Wales. Cameras did capture the odd smile from Harry but it was no indication of his amity with the rest of the royals, according to expert Traci Brown. "He's on the same page that he's always been. I don't see any improvements," she told Us Weekly. Harry didn't hang around long after the coronation and left Britain without staying till the end-of-day celebrations. 

His engagement photos showed he takes the lead in his relationship with Meghan Markle

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle make a great team. Like every successful syndicate, it seems this pair has clearly defined roles they assume when in public. One of the many times their unique dynamic came into the spotlight was post their engagement when Harry and Meghan greeted the world hand-in-hand for a photo call at Kensington Palace. The happy occasion was saturated with the couple's trademark PDA, which included a lot of loving gazes and smiling exchanges. Body language expert Blanca Cobb also noticed a certain power dynamic in the pair's appearance that day. "Prince Harry is taking the lead in the relationship," she told Cosmopolitan, referencing Harry's stance that covered Meghan's body. At the same time, Meghan's hand on top of Harry's signified a dominance of its own.

It seems this fine balance is something Meghan constantly initiates. The former "Suits" star, understood to constitute the more confident half of the royal pair, uses subtle communication with her husband to keep him front and center in public spaces. "By pushing him forward ever so slightly, she boosts the prince's ego and profile, making him feel more of an alpha male in the situation," body language expert Judi James told Elle, explaining Meghan's "theatrical-based technique" in the context of the duo's appearance at a WellChild event in 2018. 

There were signs of anger when he spoke about his family in a Netflix documentary

Following his exit from the royal family, Prince Harry's life has been a series of bold moves. In 2022, he was part of the Netflix docuseries "Harry & Meghan" that — in the same tell-tale style of his explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey and his memoir "Spare" — gave an up-close insight into his strained relationship with his family. The six-part show saw Harry go through the motions (and emotions) of the dynamic he shares with his father King Charles III and his brother Prince William, often uncomfortably. "At one point in the documentary, Harry is seen speaking about a tense meeting with William, Charles and the queen. Harry flashed an apparent expression of anger," body language pundit Darren Stanton stated to the New York Post

Some stress was also detectable in Harry's attitude, which, per Stanton, stemmed from the prince being caught in the middle of loyalty to Meghan Markle and the royal family. Harry's enduring tensions with William were also observed by Blanca Cobb, who went as far as to define the prince's emotion for his brother as contempt. "You can see a little bit of contempt on the left side of his mouth when the corner goes up a little," she told Bustle. Another wide-ranging observation that was consistent across the board of experts commentating on the docuseries was Harry's honest love for Meghan, evident in their playful interactions and loads of eye contact. Cue the swoons.

He felt protective of his wife after news of her pregnancy broke

Meghan Markle's pregnancy wasn't just cause for celebration for her family. The mood of well-wishers everywhere turned ceremonial with excitement at the prospect of the British throne's newest heir. Between the press and the public, attention towards Meghan maximized exponentially — and her ever-loyal husband Prince Harry was right by her side, rock-solid, protecting her from the world. "He's walking ahead protectively and often towing his wife behind him slightly in the kind of 'bodyguard' pose that we see with A-list power couples," Judi James noted for Cosmopolitan, underlining Harry's alpha functions as a to-be-father. True to his role, he was thoroughly watchful, turning to check on his wife every now and then during public appearances.

The expecting parents gave body language experts ample opportunities to analyze their pregnancy dynamic, since they were out and about on official duties through Meghan's term. During their Australian tour, communication pundit Blanca Cobb made out gestures from Harry — when he passed reassuring smiles to Meghan or placed his hand on her back — that signaled his supportive presence. "Harry is silently saying that he's got her," she told Us Weekly. Their in-sync energy protracted well into their initial days as parents when they were finally photographed with Archie at Windsor Castle in 2019. An overjoyed Harry seemed to have settled into fatherhood comfortably, holding his son in a delightfully relaxed embrace for press pictures, Cobb pointed out for Oprah Daily

He was ill at ease during the unveiling of Princess Diana's statue

Whispers of a rift between Princes William and Harry had dominated unofficial royal bulletins long before the younger sibling announced that he would no longer be a working member of the British monarchy. His dramatic decision to leave the family for the United States did little to improve their allegedly fractured relationship, which was on grand display on their mother's birth anniversary in 2021. In the midst of unfolding drama, Harry and William reunited in July 2021 for the unveiling of a full-size statue dedicated to Princess Diana on the grounds of Kensington Palace. 

Though there was no shortage of amicable moments between the brothers at the event — including instances of laughter and an emotional statement released jointly — body language experts couldn't help but notice an array of inconsistent behaviors between the supposedly warring brothers. "Harry's jacket pulling gesture can signify nervousness and is often a self-soothing gesture that helps distract him," expert Toni Coleman told PureWow, emphasizing that the siblings were visibly out of sync at the unveiling. Although William too, wasn't completely at ease, Harry was perceived to be in higher spirits than him. 

Patti Wood told Marie Claire that Harry "animatedly tried to get his brother's full attention and engage him in conversation," but William apparently failed to share his enthusiasm. Harry twiddling with his wedding ring was believed to be an indication of his awareness as to the root of the feud between them. 

He sought Meghan's support during their famous Oprah interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2021 was a goldmine of kinesics left open for analysis by the world. The issues of mental health, friction with the press, and alleged racism within the British royal family were supplemented by additional clues in Meghan and Harry's physical conduct during the CBS special that raked in approximately 50 million viewers. While expert opinion postulated that Meghan underwent a rollercoaster of emotions through the chat, the overarching sentiment in Harry's case alluded to stress. Hints in his stance included fidgeting with his wedding ring and sitting with crossed ankles. "Harry sitting in this manner for most of the interview tells us that he was in protection mode throughout," body language expert Karen Donaldson told Women's Health

His unease was especially noticeable when he spoke about his family. Communication guru Patti Wood even went as far as to describe Harry as "collapsed," telling Marie Claire, "If you look at Harry, you'll see he has his hand and arm to protect his masculinity." Something that was consistent in commentary across the board was that Harry and Meghan waded through the difficult interview by relying on each other. There were unabashed moments of hand-holding, which Wood summarized in a single analysis: "If they can touch, they will touch." Donaldson further brought attention to Harry's grip on Meghan's hand, contending that his tight hold revealed a greater need for support.

His actions seemed hurried at the Global Citizen event

Prince Harry, like the good supportive husband that he is, has no scruples about his wife taking the lead. Though much has been said about Harry being the boss man in his relationship with Meghan Markle, there have been occasions when he has stepped back so she can shine. Body language experts pinpointed the Global Citizen Live event in 2021 to be one such moment in their marriage. In their first joint appearance since the birth of their second child, the royal pair took the stage in New York City to talk about the fundamental right to access the COVID-19 vaccine — but it was Meghan who stole the show. "In performance terms it was Harry who seemed to recognize his wife as lead star, gazing at her with eyes slightly narrowed to show pride," expert Judi James told the Daily Mail

Though there were nervous tells like fidgety fingers, the prince balanced the act with a lighthearted tenor in his presentation, catering to the cheering crowd's royal frenzy with affectionate hugs and hand-holding. Psychotherapist Toni Coleman, however, had doubts about Harry's approach to the public and press-heavy event. She opined that his way of "pulling' Meghan along" revealed an urgency about his demeanor, which wasn't as easygoing as his wife's. "They are not in sync as though they have different feelings about this event and their roles in it," Coleman stated to PureWow