Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's red carpet body language was full of meaning.

Harry & Meghan's Body Language At This Gala Is Low-Key Fascinating

Even their fingertips revealed ~ a lot ~

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Since they stepped down as senior members of the Royal Family in March 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made one thing very clear: They are an unbreakable unit. Despite the negative press and harsh rumors, this duo is sticking together through thick and thin, and their posture and facial expressions back that up. While attending the Salute to Freedom Gala in New York City on Nov. 10, Harry and Meghan’s red carpet body language was protective and united, aka exactly what you’d expect from them.

According to Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, the Sussexes’ body language on the red carpet was full of layered meaning. Per Wood, the couple is genuinely guarded and protective of one another — and it is not just for the cameras and reporters.

“It’s very subconscious,” Wood tells Elite Daily, “It is not staged.” In fact, according to her, this vulnerability is probably the opposite of what Meghan intended. “Her planned non-verbals [the bright red dress, plunging neckline, and pulled-back hair] are to show, ‘I’m brave, I’m strong, and I’m willing to show myself.’”

Still, Harry’s protectiveness and Meghan’s defensiveness are clear in their body language. Here’s how you can tell.

They Move As A Unit

Harry and Meghan walked the red carpet together — like together together. Wood explains, “They have a nice alignment of the legs, and they’re walking together in sync.”

That alignment is key here. It indicates that the Sussexes are on the same page and that they’re planning on acting as a team throughout the night, which makes perfect sense, especially considering Meghan’s red carpet interview.

ICYMI, when reporters asked if she felt proud of Harry, she told them, “I’m always proud of him.” Sounds like a pretty strong team to me.

Harry’s Protective And Meghan’s Guarded

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The way they walk together, specifically with Harry slightly in front of Meghan, is also notable. Wood says, “She’s a little bit behind him, so she’s seeing him as a protector.” And Harry is more than up to the task. “He’s taking on that role,” Wood adds.

But a closer look at Meghan’s body language, particularly the fact that “her arm out away from her body and bent at the elbow,” reveals that she isn’t relying solely on Harry to get her through this event. “It’s a guarding motion,” Wood explains. “She’s protecting herself.”

Meghan’s Smile Is Intimate

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Having an intimate moment in a crowd is no easy feat — especially when that crowd is on the red carpet. Still, Harry and Meghan managed to squeeze in at least one. In one photo, Meghan turns back to smile at Harry, and it’s clearly more relaxed from her earlier smiles, which Wood described as “more plastered on and stiff.”

In this moment, Wood says, “Meghan’s smiling back at him. And it’s a very nice smile with a slight head tilt. It is an intimate moment.”

Their Handhold Is Sweet

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While they walked the carpet together, Harry and Meghan held hands until they had to shake someone else’s. Holding hands is not unusual for the couple — during their March 2021 interview with Oprah, they also kept each other close. “They hold hands a lot,” Wood explains.

Still, there’s a slight difference in the way their hands are clasped here — and it adds to an overall impression of nervousness. “She has a little bit of tightening at the very tips of her fingers,” Wood notes. Considering what this duo has been through, a tight handhold seems totally appropriate.

There you have it: Harry and Meghan’s red carpet body language is all about looking out for each other and staying connected. Honestly, I can’t think of anything more suitable for this duo.