Prince William and Kate Middleton smiling awkwardly at the 2020 BAFTAs
Will & Kate’s Red Carpet Body Language Was Confusing
by Candice Jalili
Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images

If you were too busy watching the Chiefs beat the 49ers on Feb. 2 to tune into the 73rd British Academy Film Awards, you're welcome in advance — because I come bearing a full analysis of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s BAFTAs 2020 body language. The royal couple was in attendance at the star-studded event, and luckily for all of their adoring fans who may have missed it, photographers managed to snag plenty of pictures of them making their way down the red carpet. In addition to providing fans with even more pictures of them looking glamorous as ever, the photographers were also able to provide the public with a lot of insight into what the royal couple's dynamic was like that night.

"Overall they don't seem really lovey-dovey here," Traci Brown, body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, says of their body language at the event after examining the photos. That being said, she also notes "they don't seem overly strained, either." Brown believes their confusing body language can be chalked up to two possible explanations: "My thought is that they are [either] under some sort of protocol about how they can act or it's not their best time together as a couple." (Of course, the royal family tends to avoid PDA in public — there literally is protocol about how they can act with their partners.) Itching for more intel? Check out Brown's thoughts on five separate pictures of them from the BAFTAs red carpet below.

William is uncomfortable and Kate's not down for any PDA.
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Have you ever noticed Prince Harry has a penchant for blocking his torso with both his hands when he's making public appearances? If you haven't here's an example:

Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images

And another!


OK, you get the picture. The point is Brown says William is taking a page out of his brother's book by protecting his torso with his hand in the above pictures.

"This is a sign of protecting himself from the environment," she says. As for Kate, she's not really offering much comfort to her hubby. "Her purse is in her right hand so she's blocking them from holding hands," says Brown. "Usually they show confidence and some kind of affection towards each other, so this is highly unusual for them as a couple."

They're out of sync.
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In this picture, Brown says you have to turn your attention to their walking pattern. For starters, William is leading with his left foot while Kate is leading with her right so they aren't in step with each other. Second, he's walking a bit ahead of her. The combination of these two leads Brown to believe "they're just a little more out of sync as a couple here than what we're used to from them."

Then there's William's hand, which isn't exactly giving off the best vibes. "He's got his hand in a fist which we don't usually see, either," says Brown. "It's not a tight fist which would show anger but rather a light one showing strain."

OK, fewf. There was still some affection.
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If the other pictures had you bugging about that there might be some trouble in paradise with your fave royals, this picture should serve as a shining glimmer of hope. "Here we see the first signs of him like we're used to, [bringing] Kate close with his hand," says Brown.

And now they're in step again!
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And with that, they're back, baby. "They're walking in step here, so they've come closer in this moment," says Brown. "And they've got a similar look on their face. Great couples match each other's body language and emotions, so this is much more like the Will and Kate we're used to."

Seems like this was a tense night.
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Right off the bat, Brown notes this picture looks super similar to the first picture. There are just a few minor differences: First, William is going full Harry and covering his torso with both his hands. Second, Kate is fidgeting with her engagement ring.

"There's just lots of stress here," says Brown. "We may have one of the clues as to why — see all the cameras behind them? But is there something else? That's what we just don't know."

Trying to look composed as hundreds of people are screaming your name and snapping your picture quite frankly does seem super stressful. So I'm going to go ahead and chalk their weird body language up to that.