King Charles recently welcomed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Buckingham Palace during his UK visit. A body language expert noticed how Charles treated Zelensky as a “hero” with almost no “power display” in sight.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky visited the UK and met King Charles
On Feb. 8, Zelensky met with King Charles at Buckingham Palace. When Zelensky arrived at the palace, Charles told him, “We’ve all been worried about you and thinking about your country for so long, I can’t tell you.”
Zelensky remarked that it was “a great honor to be here,” adding, “Thank you for finding the time for me.”
In a speech at Westminster Hall before his meeting with the king, Zelensky said, “Today I will have the honor to be received by His Majesty the King. It will be a truly special moment for me, for our country and, in particular, because I will convey to him from all the Ukrainians the words of gratitude for the support His Majesty showed to them when he was still the Prince of Wales.”
The president continued, “And I also intend to tell him something that is very, very, very important, not only for the future of Ukraine, but also for the future of Europe.
Zelensky explained, “In Britain, the king is an air force pilot and in Ukraine today, every air force pilot is a king for us, for our families, because they are so few, they are so precious, that we the servants of our kings do everything possible and impossible to make the world provide us with modern planes to empower and protect pilots who will be protecting us.”
He added, “God bless Great Britain and long, long live the king. Slava Ukraini.”
Expert looks at King Charles’ and Zelensky’s body language
Body language expert Judi James analyzed King Charles’ gestures and expressions during the meeting, telling Express that the host didn’t display any power gestures. “Charles is treating Zelensky like a visiting hero here, even lowering his head slightly in a partial bow ritual as he splays his arms wide,” she explained.
James continued, “He uses one arm to direct Zelensky to his seat and the other to register welcome and respect.”
She added, “There is little, if any, form of regal power display from Charles here: if anything he looks like the one doing the honoring.”
King Charles seemed ‘delighted to be hosting’ Zelensky, expert says
James also noted the firm handshake between them, as well as King Charles’ eye contact. “Their handshake is firm and tight enough to, again, suggest Charles is delighted to be hosting the Ukrainian leader,” she said.
The body language expert continued, “He even seems to have pulled Zelensky’s hand in towards his torso at waist level as they shake to help minimize the spatial gap between the two men.”
She added, “Additionally, the crinkled eye smile and eye contact suggest a desire to tune in and to listen to his very welcome visitor.”
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