- Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex visited Scotland on March 10, 2023, hours after Prince Edward had been named Duke of Edinburgh.
- A body language expert says Sophie, who is typically “tactile and personal,” seemed to “diminish her own status.”
- Whereas Edward’s body language resembled that of his brother, King Charles III.
Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh switched up her typical body language during a March 2023 appearance with her husband, Prince Edward, Duke of Edinburgh. According to an expert, the 58-year-old stood in her “husband’s shadow” after their new title change. Ahead, how Sophie ditched her usual “tactile and personal” body language and put “all eyes” on Edward.
Sophie’s body language suggested she wanted to ‘diminish her own status’ during Scotland visit with Edward
Just hours after announcing new titles on March 10, 2023, the now-Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh visited the namesake city of their titles. Edward and Sophie visited Edinburgh, Scotland, where they greeted crowds along the Royal Mile.
Analyzing the outing, body language expert Judi James noticed a difference in Sophie’s movements since the title change.
“It is normally Sophie taking the lead on most of their public appearances but all eyes, including hers, are on the new Duke of Edinburgh here,” James said (via Express).
The mother of two’s body language suggested “more reserve” and “even some shyness or awkwardness.” Sophie held tight to her handbag with both hands while seeming “keen to diminish her own status.”
This, as James noted, stood out in contrast to Sophie’s typical body language during public appearances.
“Sophie tends to be more tactile and personal,” the expert said. However, considering the title change, she likely felt “duty-bound to fall in with her husband’s preference here, hence the tight grip on the bag.”
Prince Edward appeared to take after King Charles with his body language in Edinburgh
While Sophie’s body language seemed to change slightly in light of the new title, so did Edward’s. The youngest of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s children, Edward exhibited “increased” so-called “status signals.”
His coat was reminiscent of a “uniform,” and he had “much more ‘in the spotlight’ body language,” James said.
“As he chats to the crowds he looks upright and rather formal, with one hand stuffed in his coat pocket and the other used for more dominant gesticulation like pointing,” she added, noting it’s a favorite “gesture” of his brother, King Charles III.
However, in contrast to Sophie’s more touchy-feely body language, Edward can tend to “look rather cold in an era where even higher-ranking royals tend to be more tactile and immersive.”
Sophie previously channeled Prince Philip with her body language
Not only does her new title mean a connection to the late Prince Philip (he was the Duke of Edinburgh before Edward), Sophie has, on occasion, channeled her late father-in-law’s body language.
In March 2022, she looked every bit like the royal family’s new “powerhouse” during a visit to the Rifles Headquarters. Like Philip, Sophie effortlessly interacted with guests with “energetic and involved-looking body language.”
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