A body language expert looked at one Prince Harry moment In the Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan where the Duke of Sussex appeared “deeply emotional.” Harry struggled to find the right words as he discussed how Meghan Markle’s private letter to her father was printed by the Mail on Sunday.
Prince Harry is ’emotional’ when talking about Meghan Markle’s letter to her dad
In the documentary, Prince Harry said, “How would the Mail have either the stupidity or … the whatever you want to call it … to print a letter between a daughter and a father? Well, the answer’s simple: they knew the family would encourage us not to sue.”
In his analysis for The Behavioral Arts YouTube channel, body language expert Spidey pointed out Harry’s “non-verbal communication,” beginning with an eyebrow flash for emphasis when he said the word “stupidity.”
As he said the word “stupidity,” Harry also showed “a very slight forward and downward gesture with the head, as if to affirm, ‘That’s stupid,’” Spidey pointed out.
The body language expert also noted how Harry’s “eyes scan downwards, left and right, left and right, as he looks for the right word to say here and never finds it.”
He explained, “One thing that I have found in my experience to be true and that a lot of behavioral analysts swear by is the fact that downwards with the eyes typically tends to be deeply emotional.”
Spidey continued, “Typically, when we’re happy, things go up… we know that upwards is happy and we see this in body language. And we also know that sad things tend to be downwards.”
He added, “With deep emotions, things tend to go downwards.”
“I do think he’s quite emotional with this topic,” Spidey said. “It’s getting him deeply emotional which is why I think he’s scanning down here for the right word. It has to be an intense word and he just doesn’t find the right word. Maybe because any word he thought of isn’t something he wants to say in a documentary.”
Harry’s hand gestures are revealing, expert says
The expert also touched on how this clip provides a baseline for Harry’s hand gestures. “He’s very animated here and he’s talking with his hands a lot,” Spidey noted. He pointed out how Harry’s hands are positioned sideways with the palms facing inwards or with the palms up, and he also gestures towards himself.
Spidey shared that hand gestures are illustrators that go with what you’re saying, but admitted there is “uncertainty about what the orientation of the hands mean.”
In terms of Harry displaying his hands palms up, it can indicate uncertainty as well as asking for something or offering something, the expert explained. “With Harry I think we’re actually seeing both those things,” he said. “In the beginning, he’s talking about uncertainty” as he puts he gestures with his palm up.
At the end of Harry’s statement, both of his palms are up, indicating that he’s giving the answer when he says “well, the answer is simple…”
Prince Harry discusses getting away to Vancouver Island with Meghan Markle
In the next clip Spidey analyzed, he noted how Harry’s hands extended outward. Harry spoke about getting away to Vancouver Island to have “some space to think and just work out what on earth we’re doing.”
Harry noted, “There wasn’t a single paparazzi that lives on Vancouver Island. That was the reason we chose it. It’s an island.”
In the clip, Harry’s hands come outward, with the expert explaining, “I think he’s thinking in his head, ‘We just needed a break, we needed to disconnect and get away from it all.’”
Harry also displayed a bit of “sass” when his head bobbled during the comment, “It’s an island,” according to the expert.
Showbiz Cheat Sheet acknowledges conditions and cultures can impact body language and is sensitive to all backgrounds.