Harry ‘the invisible man’ as nerves appear during royal return, expert suggests

The Queen’s grandson kept a low profile at Friday’s thanksgiving service in central London

03 June 2022

The Duke of Sussex’s body language at St Paul’s Cathedral suggested he had agreed to be the “invisible man” at the Jubilee service, an expert has said.

Harry kept a low profile at Friday’s thanksgiving service in central London, arriving holding hands with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, ahead of his father and brother, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge.

Body language expert Judi James said the duke’s gestures and expressions indicated his anxiety levels were “quite high”.

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The Duke Sussex (centre) and Princess Beatrice attend the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral (Phil Noble/PA)

She told the PA news agency: “It was like he had agreed to be the invisible man there to some extent.”

Ms James said Harry’s mannerisms during the service included keeping his head down – which can be seen as a “gesture of submission” – while he also appeared to touch his clothes frequently, which can be a signal of anxiety.

“There was also a return of the slightly haunted eye expression we used to see before they moved,” Ms James said.

Photos taken inside the cathedral show Harry at one stage with his mouth open, appearing to enjoy a joke with another, unknown, royal seated across the aisle.

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The Duke Sussex was pictured at one stage with his mouth open (PA)

His cousin Princess Beatrice, sitting a few seats down, was also grinning in the same direction.

Ms James said this moment could also show a sign of anxiety on Harry’s part.

“It looks like when pressure becomes almost unbearable and you’ve been subdued, it could be nervousness causing it.”

After the service, Harry and Meghan were spotted on the steps of the cathedral, holding hands while smiling and chatting with Harry’s cousin, Zara Tindall.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with his cousins Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Ms James said this point showed a more relaxed Harry, adding that “everyone seems to relax” around Zara and her husband, Mike.

“There was that one moment when Harry seemed to relax a little bit. I think he must have been quite anxious about where the cars were or when the cars were turning up. He was looking to see where they were.

“He seemed grateful to be able to smile and seemed less anxious at that point.

“Up to that point his anxiety levels seemed quite high.”

Ms James also said the body language of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made them “look like the future king and queen” and suggested Kate “looked quite firm, as if she’s starting to take the lead”.

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave the service (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Ms James said: “She walked in first, waved to the crowds first. She threw a glance in St Paul’s at William, and she nodded her head forward like she was steeling him to do the walk out past his brother.

“She seems to come into her own at events like this, she takes over the regal presence without the Queen there.”

Meanwhile, William looked “joyful and upbeat”, although he appeared to move his head away and raise his programme slightly in what could be seen as a “barrier gesture” as he made his way indirectly past Harry on the way out of the cathedral, Ms James said.

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