How Prince Harry & Meghan Markle's Wedding Body Language In 2018 Differs From Will & Kate's In 2011
On April 29, 2011, the world watched as Prince William and Kate Middleton exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey in London. This past Saturday — seven years after Kate donned that iconic Alexander McQueen gown and she and Will became the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — it was Prince Harry's turn. He and American angel Meghan Markle tied the knot at St. George's Chapel in Windsor, just outside of the British capital. And, while both ceremonies were touching and both couples looked overjoyed in their own ways, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding body language is quite a bit different than that of William and Kate's.
But you don't have to take my word for it — I brought in the pros to do a little comparing and contrasting. Elite Daily spoke with body language experts Tonya Reiman, Patti Wood, and Blanca Cobb to uncover what each set of newlyweds' actions revealed about their thoughts and feelings on the big day — about the cheering crowds, their new spouses, and the significance of this historical moment (for themselves and for the world).
Both couples shared adorably quick kisses and even more adorable, telling glances with one another. But that's just the beginning. Here's a look at exactly how Harry and Meghan's newlywed body language in 2018 differs from William and Kate's back in 2011 — plus what their physical cues reveal about their relationships.
Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle likely had pre-wedding jitters.
Just after Kate Middleton made her way to her groom, she clearly clenched her father's hand, indicating that she realized what a BFD this was.
When Kate meets her groom at the altar, she takes a deep breath and clenches her father's hand, which Reiman chocks up to "wedding jitters or perhaps soon-to-be 'princess' jitters."
It's a feeling the duchesses likely shared, as we saw Meghan take a deep breath the moment she entered St. George's Chapel.
"In the shot of her standing at the church door, you see [Meghan] trying to catch her breath with nervousness, but her face is relatively calm," says Wood.
"As she walked down the aisle, Meghan was completely poised and she wore a peaceful smile," notes Cobb. "She kept her chin slightly lowered and looked up at her awaiting prince. The look was romantically flirtatious!"
(Also, can we all take a moment to appreciate how gosh darn excited page boy Brian Mulroney is? Be still my heart!)
The royal bros were so excited for one another.
One of the most charming moments of William and Kate's wedding came before the pair had even joined hands: When Kate made her grand entrance, Harry took a peep at the beautiful bride coming down the aisle, and said something that looks like, "Wait until you see her" to his older brother.
"The look is affectionate and childlike with a boyish grin — it demonstrates the warmth he feels for his future sister-in-law and his brother," explains Reiman.
On Harry's big day, he and his brother both bobbed and smiled as Meghan made her way down the aisle, accompanied by their father, Prince Charles.
"Prince Harry was swaying with nervousness in a comfort rocking motion," notes Wood.
The dukes appeared to be a bit antsy, too.
Speaking of crowds, even William and Harry get a bit antsy knowing that so many people are watching (and also, you know, because they're getting married!). Though both dukes grew up in the public eye, they showed a few signs of discomfort and nerves on the big day.
"On the balcony, William [kept] touching his outfit," says Reiman. "This appears to be a sign of displacement — slight nervous behavior to keep your hands busy."
While Harry looked cool as a cucumber during the couple's carriage processional through Windsor, he was definitely feeling some feels during his vows.
"[We] see him rock forward and back in nervousness, but he is smiling, except on the 'til death us do part,'" says Wood. "His bottom lip comes up and over to suck the sadness of the thought of that loss back in. That is incredibly sweet and sad and shows his real love for her. You see him have trouble breathing staying still and calm as she gives her vows."
They also exchanged loving touches throughout the ceremony, in some less somber moments.
"While they held hands [during the ceremony], Harry caressed Meghan’s fingers with his thumb," Cobb explains. "Again, touch is a silent sign of love, connection and emotion... When you’re in love, you want to touch the one your heart beats for."
Is it cool and normal if my heart only beats for Harry and Meghan? Yes? Great.
Meghan seemed less shocked by the crowds than Kate did.
In 2011, the streets of London were flooded with adoring royal fans — all hoping to catch a glimpse of the new, happy couple — and Kate Middleton was seemingly in awe.
When the couple popped out onto the balcony of Buckingham Palace after the ceremony, Kate could hardly keep her eyes off of the never-ending crowds below.
"Note the wide-eyed astonishment as Kate says, 'Oh, [wow],' upon seeing the enormous crowd — innocent behavior that seems to make William smile," says Reiman.
Moments later, when the couple shared one of their first-ever kisses as husband and wife, "William [kept] his eyes lingering on Kate and Kate quickly [turned] back to the crowd," Reiman explains. "This [was] most likely due to Kate’s excitement at being exposed to this size audience."
While the crowds for Harry and Meghan's wedding were seemingly endless as well, Meghan appeared to be slightly less overwhelmed, instead shooting Harry coy glances and even suggesting they share their first kiss (seriously, if you watch the footage back, I'm pretty sure she says "Do we kiss?" and Harry says, "Yeah." It's the cutest.)
"Their first kiss is a gentle, almost two-second, lip kiss with eyes closed – they open their eyes and look at each other before turning back forward – a sign of love," Reiman notes. "Their ride in the carriage is filled with hand holding, little conversation and waves."
Both couples are genuinely so in love.
At various moments during both royal weddings, the happy couples exchanged looks and shared little moments that showed how truly, madly in love they were — and each and every one set my heart on fire.
"In the unveiling... after she smiles up shyly, they have a moment where they are fully present with each other [and] non-verbally he says something that makes her laugh," says Wood. "They actually have a fun, intimate moment in the midst of all the formal pageantry! How marvelous."
How marvelous, indeed. Similarly, on William and Kate's big day, "The eye contact [was] sometimes a gaze where they [spent] several seconds engaged with one another," Reiman explains. "The few times they did kiss [on the balcony], they both smiled [and] leaned into each other, while making sure they did not turn their back on the crowds — sure signs of being in sync and happy."
"They have an amazing chemistry between them, at the same time, you can see the comfort level between them," says Reiman, and Cobb had a similar assessment of Harry and Meghan's connection.
"Both Harry and Meghan radiated the biggest, happiest smiles for each other," she explains. "This royal couple isn’t shy about showing each other the way they feel. Whether it’s a smile, a touch, a caress, they’re quick to show their affections. It’s quite heartwarming."
I think everyone watching around the world saw the same. Gosh, don't you just love royal love?