Expert Tells Us How Queen Camilla's Body Language Has Changed Since The Queen's Death

Back in 2005, when she was 57 years old, Camilla Parker Bowles officially stepped into the world of royal duties when she married then-Prince Charles. She immediately rose to the task, and by 2022, she worked with 100-plus organizations. "It's a wonderful transformation," royal biographer William Shawcross, explained to The Washington Post. "She's found it much easier than one might have expected to adapt to the pressures and strains of royal life."

In February 2022, Queen Elizabeth II prepared the world for the next phase of Camilla's royal responsibilities when she wrote, "It is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service," per The Telegraph. As a consort, Camilla's chief duty is to provide steadfast support to King Charles, as well as serve as a Counsellor of State in cases where the king is traveling or ill. 

Seven months later, Camilla's new role became a reality when Queen Elizabeth died on September 8, 2022. With major events like Elizabeth's funeral and Charles' coronation, it's been a year of extensive time in the spotlight as Camilla got acclimated to her new duties. "The road to Queen Consort has been a challenging one for Camilla," Jess Ponce III, body language expert, communication coach, and author of "A.W.E.S.O.M.E." informed The List in an exclusive interview. "Stepping into a similar-yet-different role can be overwhelming, especially when you have not been raised or even spent most of your adulthood in the royal spotlight."

Camilla was an ace supporter for Queen Elizabeth

Even before she became a queen consort, Queen Camilla demonstrated her ability to carry out a supporting role in outings with Queen Elizabeth. In June 2021, Elizabeth was tasked with cutting a cake using a ceremonial sword. When she expressed doubt over the process, Camilla helpfully suggested she hold the sword with both hands. After giving her a bit of advice, Camilla remained in the background. "She continued to be an onlooker as the Queen began to cut the cake," body language expert Jess Ponce observed. Since the long, curved blade wasn't the ideal cake-cutting implement, Camilla saw the queen was struggling a bit, so she helped the monarch out. "This act seemed very familiar, yet appropriate. She was assisting an elder person with a task," Ponce explained.

After assisting Elizabeth in putting a little more pressure on the sword, Camilla removed her hand from the hilt. "Camilla showed reverence for the Queen, up to the point where she seemed to need some physical assistance. The Queen did not seem to mind, and in fact, welcomed the help," Ponce noted, complimenting Camilla's thoughtful timing. 

Not all royal events have been fun for Queen Camilla

Even though Queen Camilla has had 18 years of experience at all kinds of royalty related events, some are more difficult than others. While she might not say anything to indicate how she's feeling, sometimes Camilla's body language says it all. In contrast to Charles, Camilla hasn't had the benefit of a lifetime of royal training to fall back on, notes Jess Ponce. 

The "A.W.E.S.O.M.E." author discerned several clues that Camilla wasn't having a great time at a June 2022 Platinum Jubilee Lunch., For starters, while Camilla remained dedicated to her duty, the body language expert thought the queen showed discomfort. "Her body seemed somewhat stiff and tense, showing her obligation to the situation." 

In addition, Ponce picked up some "awkward gestures" on Camilla's part, which could have been due to "her trying to remember whom to toast and in what order." It appeared that Camilla was a little flustered with the minutiae of the situation, Ponce informed The List. "This discomfort had very little to do with the Queen, but more with being part of a royal setting with the attention and protocols required of the royal family."

Camilla has been known to rely on a prop when she's nervous

Queen Elizabeth's death put widespread attention on the royal family as people mourned Britain's longest-serving monarch. The day before the late monarch's funeral, The Royal Family YouTube Channel posted a video of Queen Camilla talking about her mother-in-law. "She's got those wonderful blue eyes that when she smiles you know they light up her whole face," Camilla enthused. "I'll always remember that smile." Jess Ponce praised the queen's commentary, telling The List, "Camilla spoke very fondly of the Queen with sincere emotion in her voice and facial expressions. She had range, exhibiting both respect and a feeling of reverence for the role of the queen."

However, Ponce did notice one detractor in this poignant clip: a distracting prop. "While her words, tone and expressions really spoke volumes, once cannot help but notice her holding on to her glasses throughout this clip." The body language expert noted that it would have been better if Camilla had put her glasses aside. Instead, Ponce mentioned, "Holding on to her glasses indicates an insecurity. She put her nervous energy into a physical item. She not only held on to them, [but] she moved them around indicating she was struggling somewhat — and this is natural given the nature of the topic."

Queen Camilla felt a bit uneasy when the world watched her get crowned

The coronation on May 6, 2023, was a huge day for Queen Camilla as she was crowned along with her husband, King Charles. The event was also significant in terms of her title. Charles' coronation invitation referred to her as Queen Camilla, rather than Queen Consort, a gesture that indicated she would use the conventionally shortened title that past kings' wives had adopted. "Yet, despite getting the acknowledgment — one that she is rumored to have wanted for a very long time— she was self-conscious," Jess Ponce explained to The List. However, the body language expert conceded that it was understandable that Camilla would feel this way on such a historic occasion.

For Ponce, Camilla's discomfort was evident right after the Archbishop of Canterbury placed the crown on her head. "Her self-conscious behavior was noted in her fixing her hair, not only one or twice but multiple times. While her hair may have been in her eyes or not the way she wanted it, her motion to it a few times indicates that she was not only self-aware but worried about how she appeared, literally and figuratively." 

Ponce also remarked that Camilla has exhibited this type of behavior before, in instances "where she is concerned about fitting into her role and being appropriate — and maybe even liked by England."

Queen Camilla is feeling more relaxed these days

In the months after the coronation, Queen Camilla has become more comfortable in her job as queen consort. Camilla made an appearance at Wimbledon in July and chatted with several individuals, including the ball girls, ball boys, and a man with a search dog. Body language expert Jess Ponce noticed Camilla's ease and level of engagement at the event. "Finally, Camilla appears to be more comfortable and confident in her position. She is standing alert and speaks with certainty to others."

Camilla was able to find common ground with the ball girls and ball boys, jokingly telling them, "I remember doing it 100 years ago at Queen's (Club). It is quite difficult," per Express. In addition, the queen is a dog lover, having had her dogs embroidered on her coronation gown, and she enjoyed petting the rescue dog while she talked. 

This summer's events are just the start of how Camilla will evolve and grow, believes Ponce. "Now, we get to see what kind of Queen Consort she can be," the body language expert told The List. "She now has the freedom to make the role her own."