‘Fast blinking, anger’: Meghan and Harry’s body language
THIS is "the Meghan show".
A body language expert who analysed Meghan Markle and Harry's Oprah interview, has said it seemed she was "retelling a well-rehearsed and practised storyline".
Dr Louise Mahler said she found the Duchess to be "charming and likeable" and like she was reading from a script as they tried to set up the next chapter of their lives in the US.
But she said her body language appeared to show no physical signs of distress when she spoke about her dark struggles with not wanting to live anymore.
"While Meghan is discussing some dark topics around mental health and the pressure she was feeling as a royal, it comes across as a performance, as though she is reading from a script," she said.
"In the fairytale-like storyline, Meghan says she was happy, then concerned, at the point of breaking and now a survivor of the darkness, yet her body showed little sign (other than some brief tears) of physical distress as she speaks.
"This is highly unusual as when we speak of such darkness and emotional concern our tones, breath and body will change as we recall difficult times.
"Other than the odd 'gulp of air' Meghan showed almost none of these signs, holding posture and tone throughout."
Dr Mahler said her most emotionally connected moments are around her concern for their son Archie.
She said her voice was "breaking and then becoming high and sighing" when she revealed members of the royal family had concerns over his skin colour before he was born.
Author and body language expert Judi James told the PA news agency she came across as "regal" and "elegant," adding her emotions appeared genuine.
"She didn't overact the emotions," she said. "When you hear what she was telling us, we had one moment in the middle where she did cry, and I have to say, I know she's an actress, but we saw the tears coming out of her eyes.
"And then her voice cracked, which is a pretty difficult call for an actress to simulate."
Ms James said it was "interesting" that the couple told Winfrey much of their happy front during their time as working royals was an act, and they were in fact badly struggling.
When Harry entered the interview, Ms James said his body language showed "anger" and "resentment" towards his father.
Harry accused the Prince of Wales of refusing to take his calls as he went public with his grievances about the royal family.
He revealed he and his father are estranged, adding: "I feel really let down."
While Harry showed "love" when discussing his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, he was "comprehensively" negative when it came to Charles.
"I think specifically what emerged was his anger about his father," she said.
"He spoke with affection about the Queen, he spoke with love for his brother, William.
"But when his father was mentioned the dramatic pause lasting several seconds before he spoke kind of said everything, really.
"And that's when he started to do the fast blinking. He sighed, he did a leg judder, he did a tongue poke.
"So that's where probably the key focus of resentment seems to lie."
Ms James said "there was no real effort to mask his (Harry's) response" to Charles.
The expert said another key takeaway from the interview was how forceful Harry was.
Rather than a "tamed, surrendered male" being "dragged around" by Meghan, the duke was a "lot more assertive - he was very eloquent, very keen to talk".
Dr Mahler observed he was genuinely concerned for Meghan.
"Harry is as relaxed as I have seen him in a public setting since leaving the royal family," she said.
"When Harry speaks, while rehearsed and practised, you can hear the genuine concern he had for Meghan as she tried to adapt to life as a royal, as he bites his lips, looks down and leans into Meghan.
"His body and voice when talking to what Meghan has gone through is congruent of love and concern for her and his son, this is a man who would do anything for his family."
Dr Mahler added: "The influence of Meghan on how Harry changed his view from a happy royal to one who was now 'trapped' by the life is telling, the combination of Meghan's unhappiness and his own childhood loss was like a veil lifting," she said.
"This is why he now sees Charles and William as 'trapped' and unable to see as he can, pointing to an almost 'cult-like' influence that Meghan has over him, influencing how he now sees Royal life and his family.
"Like all cults you need a guide or spirit, and Harry and Meghan are intimating that their decision to move away from the royal family has in some way been guided by Diana.
"This was very much the Meghan show, her performance is outstanding as she tells the story of a young naïve women entering a world in which she did not understand and was not wanted, a prison from which she bravely escaped, today a survivor who could not be broken."
"Harry is relegated to a supporting role, a key character who has been saved from a life of servitude by the hero of the fairytale like story, and that hero is Meghan."
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Originally published as 'Fast blinking, anger': Meghan and Harry's body language