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  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attended the 2018 WellChild Awards. 
  • That year, Meghan Markle nudged Prince Harry forward by placing her hand on Prince Harry’s back in what a body language expert called a “canny move” not to “up-stage.”
  • Next, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will attend the 2022 WellChild Awards on Sept. 8, 2022. 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are set to attend the 2022 WellChild Awards as part of their September 2022 U.K. return. Before they do, revisit their appearance at the same event in 2018 where the Duchess of Sussex, per a body language expert, “very cleverly” tried not to “up-stage” the Duke of Sussex with a simple arm movement. 

Meghan Markle nudged Prince Harry forward at the 2018 WellChild Awards

Harry and Meghan attended the WellChild Awards at London’s Royal Lancaster Hotel in September 2018. Upon their arrival the Duchess of Sussex, now 41, had a hand placed on the Duke of Sussex’s back, nudging him forward. 

The gesture, which Meghan’s been seen doing various times in years since, is what body language expert Judi James called “quite a theatrical-based technique” at the time. 

“She’s well aware that Harry is the star and popular among royal fans so, as a former actress, she’s very cleverly trying not to up-stage him,” James told Elle UK in 2018. 

“By pushing him forward ever so slightly,” she explained, Meghan “boosts the prince’s ego and profile, making him feel more of an alpha male in the situation.”

A body language expert called it a ‘conscious’ move by Meghan Markle not to look ‘overly dominant’

James went on to describe Meghan’s gesture at the 2018 WellChild Awards as “self-effacing.” 

“It will work well with the public,” she said. “[Meghan] is a Hollywood actress that’s come over to the UK so will be conscious not to appear overly dominant.” 

Furthermore, James dubbed it a “canny move” considering she’s more familiar with red carpets than Harry. “As the older partner in the relationship with slightly more experience in A-list situations, I’d say she’s more confident than Harry by a mile,” James said. 

Meghan Markle’s body language resembled Amal Clooney’s

Meghan Markle, who did a 'canny move' by putting her arm on Prince Harry's lower back at the 2018 WellChild Awards according to a body language expert, steps out of a car as she arrives at the 2018 WellChild Awards
Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

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“There’s a touch of celebrity about them,” James said before comparing the Suits alum to Amal Clooney. 

“Similar to Amal, Meghan is rarely ever photographed without stilettos,” she said. Further, Meghan “often looks to her partner for support, as if she ever so slightly needs help.”

But, as James shared, it’s actually Meghan who is in control via “backseat driving.” 

“Meghan’s penchant for backseat driving is seen in her constant touching of Harry’s back with the palm of her hand,” she explained. “It’s quite a controlling quasi-maternal support gesture, pushing him along, but it’s also flirtatious.”

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan’s four-day September 2022 return to the U.K. is well underway. The couple went to the 2022 One Young World Summit opening ceremony on Sept. 5 where Meghan gave a keynote address. Following a Sept. 6 Germany visit, they’ll return to England for more charity events, rounding out the trip with the 2022 WellChild Awards.