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A body language expert found the dynamic between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during a 2018 appearance revealing. While Harry seemed to want to steer her away from the fans, she responded with a gesture that sent a signal she wanted to spend time with them.

Meghan Markle provided reciprocal body language that sent a strong message to Prince Harry
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Prince Harry treated Meghan Markle ‘like a puppet’ during the appearance, body language expert says

In 2018, Harry and Meghan visited Cardiff Castle in Wales for a festival celebrating Welsh culture. It was their first visit to Wales after they got engaged and Meghan was still navigating the pacing of royal engagements.

Harry seemed intent on keeping Meghan on task and preventing her from lingering too long with the fans who had gathered to see them.

Body language expert Judi James analyzed this early Harry and Meghan appearance, telling Express how Harry appeared more dominant than he is today.

“Looking at Harry and Meghan’s body language today, their power and status signals look pretty evenly balanced but possibly often weighed in favor of Meghan when it comes to confidence, experience and star quality,” James explained.

James noted, “It is shocking to see how dominant to the point of arrogant Harry’s body language rituals were with the woman who he was newly-engaged to, on their first official visit to Cardiff back in 2018.”

She added, “Harry decided to treat her like a puppet here, leading her, turning her, steering her and even grabbing her by the wrist with what looks like an air of impatience to get her to move along.”

Meghan wanted to spend time with fans, but Harry was eager to move things along

James also pointed out how Harry appeared to have different intentions than Meghan.

“Harry’s gestures here and his non-verbal interruptions show his intentions are at odds with Meghan’s,” James said. “She looks delighted to stop and talk to the fans, even signing an autograph at one point as though she’s on the red carpet.”

The body language expert added, “These moments were her forte and she appeared to enjoy a level of relaxed rapport that other royals (apart from Diana) are not really known for. Meghan was approaching the crowds on a one-to-one, personal and very human level, while the more regal Harry just looks driven by time and urgency.”

Meghan’s subtle ‘reciprocal gesture’ sent a signal to Prince Harry, expert explains

James analyzed Meghan’s body language as she reacted to Harry’s attempt to move her along.

“It’s interesting to see how Meghan handles this and how much the tide has changed since then,” James said. “As Harry places a hand on her back in what looks like another bid to usher his fiancé, Meghan responds in one pose with a reciprocal gesture, stretching one arm out behind Harry’s back, too.”

The body language expert pointed out how Meghan subtly pushed back with a gesture that indicated what she wanted.

“This looks like a subtle way to let him know that she doesn’t need or want quite so much ushering and that, as a champion of equality, she would also like a role in the choreography and steering,” James explained.

Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.