The Royal Family

Body Language Expert: All The Ways Meghan Avoids Upstaging Harry

Ever since Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their engagement in November 2017, the world has been going nuts every time the couple breaks royal protocol; such as publicly displaying affection, holding hands, touching each other’s waists and god forbid if they use the adorable nicknames they have for each other.

And in the lead up to their very first overseas tour in October as a couple, some fans have noticed the very subtle gestures that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex use with each other in order to defer power to the other when it is important to do so.

Last week, the couple were photographed attending a WellChild charity even in London.

Dressed in stunning Altuzarra suit trousers teamed with a Stella McCartney clutch, Meghan looked wonderful as she stepped out of the car with her husband.

harry and meghan

On closer inspection, a thing that royal fans love doing, suggest that the 37-year-old may be employing some subtle techniques in order to push Prince Harry into the limelight.

Upon entering the venue, the former Suits star appeared to place her hand on the small of Harry’s back, gently nudging him forward to lead their entrance at the event.

‘It’s quite a theatrical-based technique,’ says body language expert and author Judi James.

‘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 upstage him.

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

prince harry and meghan

Or maybe the Duchess is just shy to barge in first to such an event, but what do I know?

While this might diminish her own profile at such a high profile event, James states that the gesture is consciously ‘self-effacing.’

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

After rumors started spreading that the couple had spent with royal guests George and Amal Clooney at their Lake Como home earlier this summer, experts think that this is due to the fact that the couple might want to have the same public appeal as any other A-list power couple.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry


For example, if we overanalyze the way Harry and Meghan walk together at royal engagements, it reveals that the Duchess often retreats behind her husband, letting him enter the spotlight first, making sure he leads.

“There’s a touch of celebrity about them,” James continues. “Similar to Amal, Meghan is rarely ever photographed without stilettos and often looks to her partner for support, as if she ever so slightly needs help.”

However, James thinks that Meghan is in more control than we think.

“There’s a touch of celebrity about them,” James continues. “Similar to Amal, Meghan is rarely ever photographed without stilettos and often looks to her partner for support, as if she ever so slightly needs help.”

This is a trait that Meghan has been spotted using during the couple’s engagement interview and photocall with the BBC last year.

‘When they posed for the photographers, she was the one using reassuring gestures and confidently touching Harry’s arm,’ adds James.

That said, Meghan’s tendency to let Harry lead the way when they walk might have more to do with royal protocol than with anything else.

A similar thing happened when she went on her first royal outing with Queen Elizabeth in Cheshire earlier this summer, as the former actress was keen to show her awareness of formality and maintaining royal protocol.

James continues: “She stood well behind Her Majesty during their visit and, similar to Harry, she’s conscious of the importance of protocol. Meghan could easily upstage Harry with the international interest in her fashion. I don’t think her positioning of herself behind Harry has an iota to do with lacking in confidence.”

As for the future, James thinks that we will see a change in the way Harry and Meghan interact with each other at public events.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

“Meghan is straddling two very different roles at the moment,” she argues. “She was once a high-profile actress campaigning for women’s liberation but has married into one of the most old-fashion families in the universe. Female roles – apart from the Queen – in the Royal Family are rather traditional, so I imagine she’s rather confused how to play her new position.

“In her new royal role, I think Meghan will initially have a more compliant, submissive role, looking to steer Harry in his duties. However, on the world stage, I envisage we’ll see her come to the forefront and become more dominant when it comes to accompanying Harry to events.”

The next time we will see these two will be at the start of their official tour of Australia next month.

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