10 Times Princess Anne's Body Language Said It All

There's no denying that Princess Anne is a living legend. She was the first royal to compete in the Olympics. She rebelled against tradition by refusing to give her children royal titles. Then there was the time TikTokers embraced her as an idol. 

But one doesn't need to look at Anne's absolute best moments to understand why she's a national treasure. From her regal stoicism to her hardworking ways, Anne fully embodies what it means to be a royal. She's said to be one of the busiest members of the firm — she attends hundreds of official engagements each year — and despite being of retirement age, she has no intentions of slowing down. "I don't think retirement is quite the same [for me]," the princess told Vanity Fair in 2020. "It's not just about, 'Can I get a tick in the box for doing this?' No, it's about serving ... It comes from an example from both my parents' way of working and where they saw their role being."

The princess royal is also known for her famously brash attitude, even earning the nickname "Her Royal Rudeness." According to some body language experts, Anne's nonverbal communication style is just as fierce. With her proud, upright posture and no-nonsense expressions, Anne truly is the crown jewel of the monarchy. That said, even the world's most stoic princess has been known to wear her heart on her sleeve occasionally. During these moments, Princess Anne's body language revealed her true feelings.

Her marital troubles were obvious during a 1983 interview

Princess Anne married her first husband, Captain Mark Phillips, in 1973. Around 500 million viewers witnessed the fairy tale ceremony, which was televised worldwide. But it wasn't long before skepticism caught up with the pair. By the 1980s, there were whispers of marriage troubles and an imminent divorce. In 1983, Anne made a surprising move by addressing the rumors during an interview on "Parkinson in Australia." Anne's then-husband joined her in the hot seat. When asked about the state of their marriage, Anne slammed the rumors, calling them "uninformed gossip." However, her body language said otherwise.

According to body language expert Judi James, Anne's behavior during the interview showed signs of "very mild inner panic" (via Express). As she answered the question, the princess fidgeted and shifted her hands in her lap. "While Anne looks down in a cut-off ritual we can then see her eyes dart from side to side at the use of the word 'divorce,'" James said. When Phillips spoke about their marriage, Anne shot him an iconic death stare. James noted, "Anne is at her haughty best in this interview, using some intimidating techniques like her head tilt, raised chin, and one arched brow to try to keep regal control during this interview." 

There was good reason for Anne's uneasiness during the interview. In truth, her marriage to Phillips was indeed plagued with infidelity and unhappiness. The pair ultimately divorced in 1992.

Princess Anne looked more confident than King Charles during a royal event

Charles may be the king of England, but Princess Anne reigns supreme when it comes to confidence. Unlike her brother, who often shows signs of nervousness, Anne has mastered the art of regally stoic body language. 

As expert Judi James told Express, Charles often relies on "self-comfort rituals" — such as adjusting his cuffs or pocketing his hands — during public appearances. In contrast, Anne's public persona "tends to be upright and assertive, with her arms down at her sides." Expert Darren Stanton shared similar thoughts about the princess' body language, telling Express, "It seems from certain expressions that Anne is the most confident, in my opinion, of all the royal children."

The siblings showcased their vastly different personalities during Trooping the Colour in 2000. As they stood together outside Buckingham Palace, both sported military uniforms — however, only one of them looked truly regal. Charles wore an anxious expression while Anne looked stern and comfortable. The future king also clasped his hands protectively in front of his body. Anne, on the other hand, stood tall with confidence. James also noticed her powerful facial expression. The expert remarked: "Anne's features tend to involve raised, arched brows and widened eyes and a smile that is either suppressed or tilted down at the corners." 

Princess Anne gave Queen Camilla the cold shoulder in 2005

It's no secret that Queen Camilla has a turbulent history with the royal family. In the '90s, her affair with then-Prince Charles tore apart the regal's marriage to his first wife, Princess Diana. Consequently, Camilla spent years trying to repair her public image and her relationship with the royal family. 

Although Charles and Camilla wed in 2005, some royals weren't so eager to accept her as their in-law. Body language expert Judi James noticed that Princess Anne wasn't shy about signaling her disapproval of Charles' new wife. "Earlier photos do suggest a potential for frostiness between Anne and Camilla ... " James shared with Express. "There were few, if any, poses of the two women chatting or even looking relaxed together."

In 2005, Anne seemingly gave Camilla a snub during the Order of the Garter service. One photo from the event shows Charles and Anne decked out in their customary robes, with Camilla standing behind them. James analyzed the photo for Express, stating, "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." She also noted that Anne's arm was raised in a defensive "barrier gesture." Fortunately, the women have worked out their differences over the years. Nowadays, there are more signals of friendship between them, according to James.

She appeared to be team Meghan Markle in 2018

When it comes to her family's public image, Princess Anne knows the importance of being tactful. She's a champion of keeping up appearances, even when it means playing nice with her least favorite royals. Decades ago, Anne was famously tight-lipped about her frosty relationship with Princess Diana. She also concealed an alleged years-long feud with Queen Camilla. In 2023, the regal was probed about the "slimming down" of the royal family after Queen Elizabeth's death. "It doesn't sound like a good idea from where I'm standing," she told CBC. With a shortage of working royals and a strict image to maintain, it's no wonder that Anne is eager to keep the peace with her fellow regals — including her controversial niece, Meghan Markle.

Since marrying Prince Harry in 2018, Markle's relationship with the royals has been fraught. Some watchers believed that Anne had reservations about Markle from the start — however, Anne challenged that notion in October 2018 when she shared a tender moment with Markle. 

While attending Princess Eugenie's wedding, the pair had a pleasant conversation and even shared some laughs. "[Meghan's] passion for her causes and her eloquence, plus what looks like a shared sense of humor did throw up some poses where the two women looked genuinely happy in each other's company," expert Judi James shared with Express. James also noted Anne's facial expression, a "rounded-cheek, eye-narrowed smile that suggests genuine pleasure" with Markle.

Princess Anne demonstrated her daughterly affection during an outing with Queen Elizabeth

As Queen Elizabeth's only daughter, Princess Anne had a famously close relationship with the sovereign. At age 18, the princess followed in her mother's footsteps and became a working royal — but their connection was just as personal as it was professional. Not only did the pair have similarly stoic personalities, but they also bonded over their mutual love of horses. Plus, Princess Anne's body language showed telltale signs of genuine camaraderie with her mother. 

In 2021, Princess Anne stepped out with Queen Elizabeth for an official engagement in Glasgow. Royal watchers couldn't help noticing the princess' cheerful disposition during the visit. Instead of her usual stiff-upper-lip expression, a smile illuminated her face. As body language expert Judi James noted, Anne's daughterly affection was on full display that day. "Anne is clearly daughter and friend to the queen, with both women looking uniquely relaxed in each other's company here," James told Express.

In addition to her warmhearted demeanor, Anne showed clear signs of admiration for the queen. "Anne's body language here shows her projecting the fondest of love and pride to her mother but without any fussing," James said.

Fans noticed that she doesn't have chemistry with the Edinburghs

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, is a working royal and dutiful member of the firm. She joined the royal family in 1999 when she married Princess Anne's brother, Prince Edward. From her cherished bond with Queen Elizabeth to her friendship with Princess Catherine, Sophie is known to have excellent rapport with the monarchy. Although she's a valued royal family member, Sophie spends noticeably little time with her sister-in-law, Anne. When the two are spotted together, they don't exactly give off "best friends" vibes. Their questionable dynamic has made some fans wonder if the two even have a personal relationship outside their royal duties.

In 2018, Anne and Sophie shared a laugh while celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. According to expert Judi James, the women's body language indicated core personality differences. James noted Sophie's cheerful expression and "girlish" posture. Anne, on the other hand, was steely and casual. "This lack of mirroring between the two women looks like a signature feature of their body language together, suggesting a lack of really strong friendship or closeness," James told Express.

Despite their differences, Anne and Sophie do have a cordial relationship. "There are several personality traits that could easily bind these two women, who share a sense of energy when it comes to their royal duties and an uncomplaining attitude bordering on the stoic," James said.

The internet went wild when she shrugged at Donald Trump

Princess Anne is known for being unapologetically blunt and sassy. Over the years, she's delivered countless moments of cheeky perfection, from clapping back at reporters to telling off a would-be kidnapper. Anne's legendary wit was the center of attention in 2019 when she had a surprising reaction to then-U.S. President Donald Trump. 

The notorious moment took place during a celebration of NATO's 70th anniversary. While greeting Trump, Queen Elizabeth turned and gestured to Anne, who stood in a nearby doorway. Rather than joining them, Anne shrugged and continued keeping her distance. Many perceived the shrug as a dis against the controversial politician — and the internet was obsessed. Cosmopolitan proclaimed it the shrug that "will live on forever."

Knowing that the regals are supposed to be politically neutral, royal insiders scrambled to defend Anne and the iconic shrug. "The princess was unhappy to be dragged into that particular story because she has always been careful not to be seen to be political in any way," a source told Vanity Fair. A royal correspondent also weighed in via a series of tweets. "No, she didn't snub the Trumps. And she wasn't told off by the queen," the journalist wrote. "Trump was the last leader to be received by the queen. Anne raised her hands in the air, laughed, and said: 'It's just me.'" Still, some observers remain convinced that Anne's body language really did reveal her true feelings about Trump. 

Princess Anne tried to disguise her sadness during Queen Elizabeth's funeral

When Queen Elizabeth died on September 8, 2022, it shook up the monarchy and captured international attention. All eyes were on the royal family during her televised funeral, which drew 28 million viewers in the U.K. alone. Princess Anne put on a solemn, dignified face for the service, but her body language showed obvious signs of heartbreak. Body language expert Sonia Beldom noted for The Scotsman that Anne looked "very composed, upright, and stoic" in an effort to maintain her usual stiff-upper-lip persona.

According to expert Judi James, Anne's body language mirrored Queen Elizabeth's behavior during the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip. "[Anne is] trying to show strength in mourning in the style of her mother and her father. The memory of her mother sitting isolated but still resilient at Prince Philip's funeral seems to be a stance Anne is trying to emulate," James told The Daily Mail. Despite her strong exterior, the royal was understandably distraught over the death of her beloved mother. "At one point, she clasped her hands in a steepled gesture of self-control, but her thumbs were rubbing against one another in a self-comfort ritual," James said.

In another act of reverence, Anne curtsied to the queen's coffin as it was being carried into Holyroodhouse in Scotland. The gesture signified Anne's deep respect and everlasting love for the late sovereign. 

She was warm toward Prince Harry during King Charles' coronation

Luminaries packed the house for King Charles' coronation in 2023 — but one of the most anticipated guests was Charles' son, Prince Harry. Although Harry famously left the firm in 2020, some hoped that his attendance might signal a reconciliation between the prince and his estranged family members. Unfortunately, Harry kept his distance from many of his kin — including his older brother, Prince William. To add insult to injury, Harry was seated several rows behind William and the other senior royals. Some royal watchers were convinced that the regals had conspired to punish Harry with the awkward seating arrangement. 

However, Princess Anne's behavior at the event suggested otherwise. When Anne saw Harry at the coronation, she didn't give him the cold shoulder. Instead, she greeted him with warm, welcoming body language. The pair exchanged a silent greeting and Harry flashed a smile at his aunt. 

Royal expert Jennie Bond told OK Magazine that they seemed "very relaxed together" during the exchange. "It was entirely natural to stop and chat with her nephew with whom, I think, she got on pretty well over the years rather than cause some kind of public scene," Bond said. Still, Bond suspected that Anne was putting on a diplomatic face. "It was better to be amiable, but I am quite sure that deep down Anne has been absolutely furious with Harry for upsetting her mother, his grandmother, so much in her last years," the expert added.

She ditched her usual stoicism while playing with her grandchildren

Princess Anne may be known as the most stern and hardworking member of the royal family, but she also holds another important title: grandma. The regal has five grandchildren with whom she shares an adorably close relationship. In 2016, a source told The Daily Mail that Anne is a "hands-on" grandmother who supports her grandchildren and "loves to play games with them." Throughout the years, she's been seen performing numerous grandma duties, such as keeping the children entertained or coming to the rescue during a tantrum. Clearly, the princess royal doesn't hold back on expressing her love for her grandkids. 

Anne was at her grandmotherly best in 2015 while enjoying an adorable romp with her granddaughter, Mia Tindall. While Mia's mother, Zara, competed in an equestrian event nearby, Anne spent quality time with the toddler. Anne carried the little girl and snuggled her warmly before putting her down for some playtime. 

When the pair encountered a friendly dog, Anne knelt and held Mia's hand so she could greet the animal. Judging by her affectionate body language, it's easy to see that Princess Anne is loving the granny life. "Her facial expressions might sometimes suggest she can be a rather stern granny," expert Judi James told Express. "But it's also clear her playful side is triggered with the young children. She looks doting and delighted to spend time in their company."