“Body language is mostly subconscious, and those signals we send out are often authentic and true to what’s going on inside, even though we try to mask those emotions,” suggests Sonia Beldom, a communication coach, verified NLP practitioner, CBT therapist and executive coach.
“Body language is therefore thought to be a more reliable way of interpreting a person than the words they use. We use these signals to decode and interpret what’s in the mind of the person, and what sort of person they are. We also use these signals to interpret others’ moods and emotions.”
As attendees entered Westminster Abbey, Beldom says faces and chins down “shows humility and respect”.
Beldom says she saw classic signs of grief in the faces of the male members of the royal party – particularly King Charles, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex. She detected this in “furrowing of the brow, and especially when the glabella (the bit between our eyebrows, above the nose) displays sign of tension – increased vertical lines”.
When the congregation sang God Save The King, Beldom detects “a slight parting of his [Charles’] lips in a horizontal in-breath”, saying “it is a sign of grief, which he is controlling brilliantly”.
However, she adds: “King Charles and Prince William are incredibly composed. A tiny sign of self-soothing is seen as they rub the top of their swords with their thumbs. This is a mini version of massaging the thumb, which is a pacifying gesture.”
On the part of the Queen Consort and the Princess of Wales, Beldom suggests their body language was “incredibly controlled”. She continues: “By tightening mouths, we can more easily control our facial muscles. All the female royals are composed, with slightly pursed lips – which helps hold back emotion.”
Beldom describes the Queen Consort’s deportment as “beautiful”, saying: “Her shoulders were horizontal, neck relaxed, her chin is slightly dipped, which is no surprise in grief, and often portrays a person considering something upsetting.”
She said Princess Anne was “very composed, upright and stoic, whilst showing understandable signs of grief and inward thought”.