Every year, you can count on the Cambridges to keep the tradition of holiday photos alive, and this year’s photo of William, Kate, and their three adorable royal kiddos does not disappoint. For one thing, Prince William and Kate Middleton's 2018 Christmas card body language is honestly cracking me up. It’s probably the most relatable that this pair has ever been. Mostly because, if you’ve ever had to babysit multiple kids, then you are going to seriously feel Harry’s expression. It’s especially amazing when you compare it to last year's nice but very formal photo. Here, the Windsors let their hair down with a much warmer and more casual vibe that feels like a really merry Christmas.
While I definitely identified with William’s smile, I wanted to see what else we could learn about the family dynamic by having body language experts analyze the photo — and what they see in this adorable family photo made me love them even more. Body language expert Blanca Cobb tells Elite Daily that the warmth of this picture comes from it’s lack of formality. “The photo of William and Kate and their children is a photo of family and not etiquette, which makes the photo even more charming and endearing,” says Cobb. “It makes them a family that anyone can relate to. From their attire to their poses, it’s a reflection of their personalities.”
Cobb also notes how their poses reinforce their roles and the dynamic of their family. “Kate and William are the foundation of their family. Kate and William are sitting on the tree branch at a similar angle with their left legs extended out slightly. This similar stance shows that they’re emotionally in sync,” she explains.
Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, also notes the positions of William and Kate’s bodies, and how they mirror one another here. “See how her seated posture matches her husband, half on, upper bodies rounded and curved, ready to move, adapt and play,” she tells Elite Daily. “What this family photo show overall is that they are far more relaxed and playful with each other as a family than we have ever known.”
Now we’ve come to my favorite part of the image: William’s somewhat pained and totally relatable smile. Traci Brown, body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, noted their expressions immediately. “Kate looks like her radiant self. William's smile looks a bit forced,” she says. “See how his eyes aren't quite smiling? I notice how there's a kid between them. And this could be telling about why we see such a forced smile from him.” She adds that it’s likely all about the challenge of corralling three young children at once, rather than a sign of something amiss in the relationship. “They're outnumbered so I imagine they're exhausted but still looking spectacular overall.” Cobb agrees that the expression is a familiar one to folks with young children. “It isn’t an easy task getting the children to look at the camera at the same time,” she explains.
Fatherly expressions aside, everything you need to know about the dynamic of these kids with their parents is on full display here. Cobb breaks down everything she sees: “By leaning on his dad, George intuitively knows that William is a steady support. George shows his playful side with his pose, his left leg in the air and bent at the knee. Charlotte has a hold on both of her parents as she smiles sweetly. With her head angled down ever so slightly suggests that Charlotte is a bit reserved. Kate’s protective hold on Louis, lets him know that she’s got him. Louis has the world in his hand and through touch (holding on his mom’s wrist), he intuitively knows that he’s safe and secure. Louis is such a happy baby and his adorable grin shows it.”
All in all, this makes for a truly special holiday portrait — one that is befitting of the royal family. Perhaps Wood says it best when she concludes, simply, “It’s just a wonderful family shot!” Agreed.