12 Times Kate Middleton's Body Language Said It All

Grace, congeniality, propriety. These attributes have been synonymous with Princess Catherine since she stepped into the British royal clan back in 2011. With each passing year, the princess' import and popularity has only grown within and without the monarchy. Though much credit lies in Catherine's commitment to her official duties, a lot of it also boils down to that part of her job profile that has to do with keeping up appearances — something she has proved she is highly skilled at. "Kate is an accomplished masker," as reputed royal body language analyst Judi James put it to the Daily Express. The senior royal has come to be "known for her pitch-perfect social smiles that she can keep in place without looking strained or inauthentic for long periods of time." In form and facade, Catherine can very well be defined as the ideal royal. 

But she's still only human. Like any of the rest of us, Catherine has been caught deviating from her prescribed set of stately expressions to reveal the fundamental mortal that lies underneath her royal armor. Upon close inspection, one can make out a rollercoaster range of emotions Catherine has freely displayed in public, some of which have aligned with major milestone changes in her life — from her journey of motherhood to her shift into seniority as the Princess of Wales. Here are 12 times Catherine's body language said it all — and we couldn't help but hear what it had to say. 

Princess Catherine was encouraging of her children's independence at the coronation

Princess Catherine delights the public with more than just her royal persona. Her commitment to being a dutiful mother to the three children she shares with Prince William – Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — is always on resplendent display when the family steps out together, either for work or leisure. Though body language experts have described her parenting style as hands-on, they have also noted that Catherine isn't reluctant to let her little brood explore on their own. The world got a peek into this empowering royal dynamic at King Charles III's coronation in 2023 when Charlotte and Louis walked hand-in-hand behind their mother, unattended and self-responsible. She kept Louis, the most notoriously cheeky of the lot, in check with "motivational 'reward' touches of affection when he did something right," expert Judi James observed for The Sun

Visuals of the Princess of Wales laughing warmly with her children, deftly navigating their tantrums, and gazing at them ever so proudly have been a part of public memory since she first became a mother in 2013. At events large or intimate, the trio has been known to command her attention. As body language expert Blanca Cobb said in Good Housekeeping, "It's as if she's taking an emotional temperature reading to make sure that everything is alright." That said, her relaxed body language around her children — marked by gestures like wrapping her arms only loosely around them — is indicative that she encourages their independence.

She was icy towards Meghan Markle after the queen's death

It's hard to pinpoint when exactly things went south between Princess Catherine and Meghan Markle. By late 2018, The Telegraph had raised suspicion over their relationship being at a "breaking point," but the sisters-in-law were spotted engaging on more-than-cordial terms on many occasions hence. Though tensions between the Fab Four were popularly ascribed to the souring of Princes William and Harry's relationship — with Harry and Meghan's exit from the royal family in 2020 reportedly escalating the situation — their wives were not apathetic about the feud. The friction between them was on bold display in 2022, when Meghan flew down from the United States to attend Queen Elizabeth II's funeral in London. 

Body language experts picked up on moments where Catherine apparently tried to "freeze out" Meghan. "On numerous occasions Meghan looked over at Kate, however, the gaze wasn't reciprocated," Katia Loisel, a connection specialist, told 7News. The characteristically confident Meghan didn't seem to be in top form while meeting mourners at Windsor Castle. Per Loisel, she was "orientating her body away from Kate," who was not above shooting Meghan an "icy stare." 

If expert observers are to be believed, the Princess of Wales is no stranger to throwing intense glares. Looking at photos taken during their 2017 Warsaw trip, longtime royal commentator Judi James told the Daily Express, "There are several photos of the occasion that show her looking unhappy or even throwing William some pointed looks." Clearly, royals have bad days, too.

Her body language matched her husband's during a public outing

Mirroring each other's actions is a universal love language between couples. Whether they have themselves noticed this tell or not is hard to say, but hawk-eyed body readers have sure spotted fan-favorite royal couple Princess Catherine and Prince William match gestures on several occasions. This observation was made as far back as in 2015 at the opening ceremony for the Rugby World Cup, where the pair sported identical postures — from the same hand clasps to the same open-mouthed smiles. 

The hand clutch near the torso — which is commonly known as the fig leaf pose and doesn't particularly scream confidence — is of note. It's a stance William has been known to often take and one that Catherine occasionally mirrors during the couple's public outings. According to pro royal commentator Judi James, Catherine's mirroring likely comes from spousal sentiment. "The way she mimics his pose and makes it look much more elegant and less anxious helps to make William look less defensive or barriered by proxy," James told The Sun

Along with being a supportive wife, Catherine is also a premier royal with duties to fulfill and can't always afford to hang back with him. So at Wimbledon 2023, while her husband was left striking his signature fig leaf stance, Catherine took front lead and essayed her "very high profile regal leadership" to perfection, James told the Mirror. After all, the princess is the honorary leader of the Wales pack.

Like Princess Diana, she isn't afraid to embrace her playful side in public

Though their paths never crossed, the drawing of parallels between Princess Diana and Princess Catherine was only inevitable. Catherine joined the British royal family 30 years after Diana did but, in ways that were both intrinsic and overt, echoed her mother-in-law's personality in her absence. Royal fans and experts caught uncanny glimpses of the beloved late princess in Catherine in 2023 during a royal engagement, where she seemed more than delighted to let her stately guard down and indulge in outdoor games with children in Bath. "It shows she is prepared to have a go, and look a bit silly in front of the crowds, which is authentic," renowned body language expert Darren Stanton observed, per Mirror. This friendly spontaneity was typical of Diana, whose congeniality with the public led her to fondly be nicknamed the people's princess. 

While their legacies officially converged in 2022 when Catherine stepped into Diana's former role as Princess of Wales, they had been bound together by their similar approach to motherhood long before. Diana was a doting mother to Princes Harry and William, and when the latter married Catherine, she mirrored her parenting style — evident in as minor a gesture as bending down to talk to her children. "This is one way that parents show their children that they're equals," body language expert Patti Wood told Good Housekeeping. Beyond motherhood, Catherine also mirrors Diana's iconic style and massive popularity.

She genuinely enjoyed spending time with Queen Elizabeth on their visit to Nottingham

For all the time that she witnessed Queen Elizabeth II's reign since joining the royal family in 2011, Princess Catherine enjoyed the rare privilege of being a part of Her Majesty's inner circle. The late monarch was apparently on good terms with her granddaughter-in-law, sharing endless candid moments with her that included an exchange of wardrobe tips to gleeful laughter. One of the most famous exhibits of their amiable relationship came early on in Catherine's tenure as the Duchess of Cambridge when in 2012, she accompanied the queen to Nottingham for a Diamond Jubilee commemoration. 

Sat side by side, Catherine and Elizabeth laughed heartily in each other's company (as only real gal pals do). Catherine, however, was mindful of maintaining a respectful bearing. "Kate's body language is closed with her arms by her sides and her hands clasped, which shows deference to the Queen," body language expert Blanca Cobb told Elite Daily.  

As a future queen, Catherine made judicious use of her private time with her grandmother-in-law, imbibing priceless advice from Britain's longest-reigning monarch. Their chats went beyond informal teatimes, with a source telling Us Weekly, "The two of them will often spend hours discussing royal life and the future of the monarchy." The queen's mentorship was likely worthwhile, with body language experts observing that many of Catherine's social cues mirrored Elizabeth's — whether it was her enduring public poise or her excellent eye contact during conversations. 

Her demeanor displayed more confidence since she became Princess of Wales

Princess Catherine's aura has graduated from being wholesome to awe-inspiring after she stepped into her latest VIP role within The Firm. As Princess of Wales — just one title away from becoming queen — she has blossomed into fresh confidence that is on display for all the world to marvel at. "She is now at something of a peak in terms of sending out signals, which suggests she now not only fully embraces and understands her role, but that she feels comfortable in it, too," body language expert Judi James told the Daily Express. The anticipated pressure accompanying her seniority among British royalty has apparently not weighed down on her, as she strides ahead at official engagements and public appearances with greater flair and self-assuredness than before. And it seems Prince William has total faith in his wife's forward-looking power.

Observers have noted an apparent shift between the two since the couple took charge as the Prince and Princess of Wales. During the couple's visit to Birmingham in 2023, William opted for a loose grab of Catherine's waist instead of placing his palm on her back as he had done previously, pro commentator Jesús Enrique Rosas said on his YouTube channel, The Royal Rogue. The former gesture was presumably more common in the early days of their marriage because, as Rosas explained, "he was still helping Catherine with that subtle reassurance." We love a confident princess. 

She was focused on making memories with her children at Trooping the Colour

Princess Catherine loses no opportunity to enjoy quality time with her children — even during grand royal celebrations like Trooping the Colour. Though the annual ceremony has found a star attraction in Prince Louis — who has kept audiences enthralled with his audaciously goofy expressions at the event two years in a row now — it has also offered great scope for people to watch Catherine in action as a doting mom. "She beamed with pride when Louis started miming drumming along with the band in the carriage," body language expert Judi James told Marie Claire after the 2023 event. 

Though the Princess of Wales did use certain signals to keep her children in check, she remained largely unruffled and was committed to keeping up the little ones' enthusiasm. Out on the balcony, where 5-year-old Louis usually stages his antics, Catherine was joined by her husband in giving their children "encouragement and reward gestures and rituals." There were loving smiles and touches galore.

Ever since Catherine added motherhood to her royal portfolio that is predominated by her role as a senior member of the British monarchy, she has been balance personified. Dedication to her public duties has hardly diminished the attention she pays her children. As Patti Wood observed for Good Housekeeping, Catherine's gaze is often fixed on her children even at major events: "It's a way of creating a special memory despite the pomp and circumstance." 

She asserted authority over Prince William when the occasion called for it

Though Princess Catherine usually lives up to her picture-perfect reputation of gentleness, she is not one to tamp down her authority when the situation calls for it. It did in 2023, when she took over as the Colonel of the Irish Guards, a role that was passed on to her by her husband Prince William. She made for a stately image in a tailored dress and newfound confidence since becoming Princess of Wales. She presented a demeanor fitting for a colonel. "She was walking very upright as she was called upon to inspect the guards," body language guru Darren Stanton told Marie Claire. Her choice of a teal outfit too, was no coincidence according to Stanton, who pointed out that the princess leans toward such "superhero colors" on occasions where she insists on making a statement. 

"It's clear she wanted to stand out from the crowd and assert her authority over William and the other guests," Stanton added. It doesn't come as a surprise, since Catherine has been cited as the stronger half of the pair she forms with William, per Mirror. It was Stanton who also pointed out that it doesn't unnerve Catherine to play her part as an authority figure. She displays evocative confidence when meeting people (with or without William) and is comfortable accepting their gestures of submission to her. From curtseys to the bowing of heads, all convey one emotion to Catherine: "I acknowledge your importance." 

She didn't shy away from some good ol' PDA at the 2012 Summer Olympics

By the time the world got around to swooning over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's romance, the OG loved-up royal pair of Prince William and Princess Catherine had given us dozens of picture-perfect PDA moments. As a newly minted royal, the princess was never shy about expressing more-than-spirited affection for her husband in public. One of the most iconic snapshots of their relationship dates back to the 2012 Olympic Games that Catherine enjoyed with her arms wrapped around William and a euphoric smile on her face. Expert body language commentator Patti Wood observed for the Reader's Digest that the couple's pose formed "a perfect heart shape." There's no mistaking what this gesture means.

Though such overt displays of intimacy are far and few between now after the couple took on senior roles within the family, the Princess of Wales still manages to sneak in the odd gesture of romance on occasion. Butt pats, in particular. She was even audacious enough to land a sweet tap on her husband's bum before a cathedral full of spectators at King Charles III's coronation ceremony in Scotland, People reported. What cheek. (Get it?) 

More on-brand for the decorous princess are subliminal signals of love that she is often caught flashing her husband. Jesús Enrique Rosas, body language analyst, explained on The Royal Rogue that affectionate gazes are a Catherine trademark that she commonly directs toward William's eyes and mouth. Swoon.

Her bond with Princess Charlotte seemed friendlier at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

Princess Catherine and Princess Charlotte are adding truth to the saying that mothers and daughters age into friendship. This "turning point" in their relationship was on vivid display at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which the young princess attended with her parents. Without her brothers in tow, Charlotte was lavished with attention from her mother, who was spotted constantly conversing with her. As expert body language decoder Judi James explained to the Express, there was "some very expressive gesticulation" from Catherine as she attempted to keep her daughter's interest engaged. James continued, "But judging from Charlotte's facial expressions and body language, Kate could soon become redundant in this role and start to just sit back and relax in public, as Charlotte looks the most enthralled member of the entire royal party."

Charlotte has noticeably begun imbibing the best of polite etiquette from her mother and is taking charge as a confident little lady. A tell-tale sign of Charlotte looking up to her mother as a mentor is her routine mirroring of the older princess' actions, evident at public events, such as during their Wimbledon outing in 2023. Not just Catherine's gestures, Charlotte also mimicked her mother's legendary self-assurance, longtime royal correspondent Jennie Bond told OK! magazine. "She seems to be taking these moments in the spotlight in her stride, just like her mother," per Bond, who pinned this trait down to Catherine giving Charlotte a secure, happy childhood. 

Her royal posture stood out at a family gathering

There is a world of difference between being a royal and looking like one. Princess Catherine checks both boxes. As a senior member of Britain's imperial family, she makes her presence felt as much with her impeccable discharge of official duties as with her majestic bearing. One of the many occasions Catherine's demeanor stuck out in a crowd was Queen Elizabeth II's funeral, which also marked the reunion of the Fab Four. As Catherine and Meghan Markle — flanked by Princes William and Harry respectively — greeted mourners at Windsor Castle, there was little doubt over who carried a more royal comportment. 

Inclined toward the utmost propriety, Catherine's face lacked any overt warmth, with body language expert Tonya Reiman pointing out for Fox News: "When you look at Kate, she is all royal. ... you have to recognize this is kind of what she's been primed for." Catherine's stoic manner was poles apart from the more emotion-ridden appearance of Meghan, which Reiman attributed to a difference in their approach toward acceptable behavior. 

To her credit, Catherine can pull off the other end of the sentiment spectrum equally skilfully. As behavioral expert Louise Mahler observed for Sunrise, Catherine was nothing less than a "glistening diamond" at King Charles III's coronation, presenting a regal form as the wife of Britain's future king: "What she does is years of practice and she has it down to perfection like no other performer I've ever seen." 

Her early relationship with Meghan Markle showed signs of friendship at a 2018 event

The alleged acrimony between Meghan Markle and Princess Catherine is fabled to be at the center of the ongoing royal family feud. But there was once a time when the sisters-in-law were the very image of camaraderie. Their first official engagement together was at the Royal Foundation Forum in 2018, back when Meghan was yet to join the family as Prince Harry's wife. According to body language expert Patti Wood's assessments for Good Housekeeping, the two seemed to "have a connection and [were] already comfortable with one another." One of the biggest indicators of that was Meghan's faithful mirroring of Catherine's actions, which indicated that she looked up to her. "Both women have their hearts forward and torsos slightly turned toward each other," Wood added. 

Though they appeared friendly with each other, their unique dynamic stemming from Catherine's seniority in the family was hard to miss. During the forum's lighter moments, Catherine wasn't as conscious about containing her amusement, while Meghan seemed at ease. "She's hiding her face and closing off her body," Susan Constantine told GH. Their sisterly friendship continued well past the early whispers of a fallout between Princes William and Harry, as witnessed at Wimbledon in 2019. There seemed to be no tension in their manners, with both royals leaning toward each other and engaging throughout the game. "They both also have genuine smiles, as indicated by the crinkling of the eyes," Blanca Cobb told Cosmopolitan