Royals

Body language expert believes Duchesses Catherine and Meghan have clashed - and Catherine is the peace maker

Kiwi body language expert Suzanne Masefield says the rumours of a rift could be true.

By Karyn Henger

The world is awash with rumours of a growing rift between royal sisters-in-law, Duchesses Catherine and Meghan.

There have been claims that Duchess Catherine was reduced to tears after a tense bridesmaid fitting for Princess Charlotte before Meghan and Harry's wedding. Catherine was said to be furious over the way Meghan talked to royal staff. And last week we learned that rather than live next door to Catherine and William, Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan will be moving to Frogmore Cottage in the New Year.

Things don't sound peachy but how are we really to know? We see the two women together so infrequently - and don't actually know them - so it's difficult to get a gauge on what's going on behind closed doors.

There is this though... The interview that the "Fab Four" did together in February, when they spoke at the Royal Foundation Forum about their mental health initiative, Heads Together.

Watch the video, above, closely!

The interviewer asked them if they ever had disagreements working together as family, and watching the footage again now, their body language indicates that cracks may have started appearing even before Meghan and Harry were married.

We asked body language expert Suzanne Masefield, from Think Success, what she saw in the exchange and she concurs - with all four showing signs of anxiety, Meghan looking embarrassed, Catherine taking on the role of peace maker - and William making it clear he wants this sorted.

Here's what Suzanne can tell us about their body language:

Jokes on the surface - but the body language tells a different story.
Jokes on the surface - but the body language tells a different story.

Starting with Prince Harry: "Harry initially answers and even though he says it in a joking way, he sways back and forwards so there's a bit of anxiety there and he's got his ankles crossed," Suzanne observes.

While it's protocol for royal women to cross their ankles, it's not for men.

"When a man's doing that it indicates he's trying to keep control," Suzanne says. "Although his upper body is open, the crossing of the ankles shows he is keeping tight control."

He bites his lips when he talks about the rest of their lives, which again indicates anxiety.

Next: Catherine, who turns away from Meghan (and vice versa) when the question is put to them... Suzanne believes the turning away shows that the conflict sits squarely between the sisters-in-law. Catherine begins rocking, showing anxiety, and looks to her husband for support.

Suzanne suggests Catherine is protecting herself, emotionally, from Meghan by moving her right foot behind her left leg.

Her hands are clasped, showing anxiety, and she holds her arms straight, suggesting a tight composure. But she faces her palms upwards when she talks about 'working together' and there's almost a pleading tone in her voice, which Suzanne believes seems aimed towards Meghan.

"She's really trying to be the peace maker," Suzanne says. "She's using very open body language and trying to bring everybody together. And while she talks Meghan does turn to her, which shows Meghan acknowledges this."

William's body language is self-protective - he is shy - and when he says "we don't know" and faces his palms downwards he is indicating dominance, and that he would like this fixed.

This disagreement is not to do with him: "He is using the 'royal we'," Suzanne suggests.

Meanwhile, Meghan's body language shows embarrassment.

"When William's talking Meghan has her hand over her mouth and puts her head down and hides behind her hair. It's like she's embarrassed and she's taking some ownership. But then she flicks her hair out towards William and Kate, which could mean she doesn't want the conflict or what they're saying."

When she puts her hand on Harry she's possibly dominating him: "Make sure you look after me, I''m the boss," Suzanne suggests.

Meghan looks embarrassed. Catherine and William clasp their hands in anxiety.
Meghan looks embarrassed. Catherine and William clasp their hands in anxiety.

"I also found it quite interesting that Meghan felt the need to talk the moment Kate had spoken," Suzanne observes.

"It's almost like there's some competition going on there - although Meghan strikes me as someone who always has an opinion. Perhaps she simply felt Kate had spoken so now she should too."

Like Kate, Meghan clasps her hands - but note how differently the two women clasp hands, Suzanne points out.

Kate's body language is tight. Meghan clasps her hands loosely and rests her elbows on the arms of the seat. Her frame is wide and open.

"It's almost like she's wanting to oppose and she's quite comfortable but Kate isn't, and neither is William."

Towards the end of the interview, Meghan talks about diversity of thinking being a good thing and both Kate and William nod in agreement.

"Even though its only slight I'd say they do agree with her and that everyone's opinions matter," Suzanne concludes.

"But from what Kate says, as well as her gestures - and William's - I would suggest they would prefer it if it was less heated and easier to come to a resolution, to move forward positively.

"Although they have these issues in communicating and agreeing, they do seem open to working through it together at this stage. That may not be the case in future but, in this video, I'd say it is."