Meghan Markle performed a ‘small love letter to Prince Harry with her giggles, nose wrinkles and coy expressions’ – while he looked ‘much more ill at ease on his return to the UK’, a body language expert has claimed. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned to Britain this week to attend the One Young World summit in Manchester last night, where Meghan, 41, gave a keynote speech.
In her address to the 2,000 or so guests, the mother-of-two, 41, appeared to offer a ‘small love letter’ to her husband, according to body language expert Judi James, who noted her ‘long blinks and nose-wrinkles as she referenced him’. However, while Meghan apparently appeared ‘regal and elegant’ beside her partner, Harry looked ‘much more ill-at-ease on his return to the UK, responding by looking down and then upward with what looked like a sigh’, said the expert.
Last night was the couple’s first public appearance in Britain since returning for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June as Harry’s legal battle with the Home Office rumbles on after they were denied 24/7 taxpayer-funded armed police bodyguards. Comment on the duo’s appearance, Judi said: ‘From her stunning scarlet outfit to her giggles, long blinks and nose-wrinkles as she referenced him, Meghan’s performance last night looked like a small love letter to Harry. ‘She also looked quite regal, touching the proffered hand as she stepped from the car like a true and very elegant duchess.
‘Holding hands with Harry on arrival she touched his back in her signature gesture of loving reassurance as he bent to greet the hosts and, sitting cross-legged and elegant beside him, she whispered and chatted to him throughout the flag ceremony. ‘Her speech held key body language points about being a “Mum”, which led to a long, emotional cut-off eye blink of gratitude as the audience broke into applause at this achievement and then came her reference to 2019 when her life “changed significantly”. Her face puckered in an expression of coyness as she did a knowing smile to the audience to recognise her marriage to Harry.
‘She even giggled to suggest her emotions were still as strong as they were back then and she spoke of being “thrilled” he was able to join her this time. ‘There was even some eyelash fluttering to make her appear in the honeymoon stage of her love story with Harry.’ Yet the Duke of Sussex didn’t appear as comfortable, according to Judi, who said: ‘Harry himself appeared much more ill at ease on his return to the UK, responding by looking down and then upward with what looked like a sigh. ‘His anxiety rituals were frequent, suggesting a desire to self-reassure as he touched his clothing and checked his tie several times.’
The event brought together young leaders from more than 190 countries and where Meghan, a counsellor for One Young World, gave an address on gender equality – her first in-person speech in the UK since quitting as a senior working royal more than two years ago. Meghan smiled and held hands with the duke as they made their way through the auditorium, ahead of taking to the stage in front of 2,000 young leaders. Harry and Meghan sat centre stage on a bench together as they joined One Young World counsellors to watch the flag bearers enthusiastically parading the flags of more than 200 countries during the opening ceremony.
Mother-of-two Meghan swayed in time to the music, which included Dancing In The Streets and Respect, as she clapped her hands. She then addressed the audience, telling young future world leaders: ‘You are the future… you are the present… You are the ones driving the positive and necessary change across the globe now, in this very moment. And for that I am so grateful to be in your company today.’ Meghan also spoke about the first time she was asked to be a counsellor for One Young World in 2014 and having a ‘pinch me moment’.
She recalled: ‘And there I was, the girl from Suits. I was surrounded by world leaders, humanitarians, prime ministers and activists that I had such a deep and long-standing respect and admiration for. And I was allowed in, to pull up a seat at the table. ‘I was so overwhelmed by this experience, I think, I think I even saved my little paper place-marker with my name on it. Just proof: proof that I was there, proof that I belonged, because the truth was, I wasn’t sure that I belonged.’ The Duchess continued: ‘Because the truth was, I wasn’t sure that I belonged. I was so nervous, I doubted myself and I wondered, wondered if I was good enough to be there?’ But she added One Young World, ‘saw in me, just as I see in you, the present and the future.’
Meghan added: ‘And I want to make that point because often times I speak to young girls about the years ahead. About what you will do, about what you will have to adopt to fix from previous generations and also what legacy you will leave. ‘Too often in that, we neglect the point – you are doing it now. You, here, in this present moment, this is where it is all beginning.’ Harry and Meghan were earlier pictured going into a side entrance of London Euston after being driven the 27 miles from their UK base at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor to the railway station in a hybrid electric Range Rover – a journey taking about an hour.
The Sussexes were accompanied by two bodyguards and followed by another Range Rover as they were driven out of the grounds of Windsor Castle, ahead of Meghan making her first speech to a British crowd since Megxit. They had spent the night less than half a mile from Prince William, Kate and their three children – but the families are not expected to meet, in a decision that underlines the deep rift between the brothers. Meanwhile, the couple’s decision to use at least two private security firms and dog teams to form a ring of steel around Bridgewater Hall comes just days after Meghan told The Cut magazine in the US that it takes ‘a lot of effort’ to forgive and hinted that she can ‘say anything’.
It is understood the couple and event organisers have arranged private security after Harry was told he was no longer entitled to taxpayer-funded official armed police bodyguards. A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police confirmed its officers were not involved, adding that security for the event had been ‘privately sourced’. The area outside the 2,300-seat venue was cleared of the public an hour and a half before the couple arrived after 6pm, it was reported.
Harry and Meghan’s trip comes amid Harry’s ongoing legal battle with the Government over his security when in the UK. He launched legal action after he was told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protection after stepping back from the Royal Family in 2020. He said he did not feel safe under current security arrangements bringing his family here and has offered to pay for British police to act as bodyguards himself. Last month, he won a bid to bring a High Court claim against the Home Office.
Next stop for the couple is Germany for the Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 One Year To Go event which is taking place on Tuesday, before they return to the UK for the WellChild Awards in London where Harry will speak on Thursday. The Sussexes are believed to have arrived at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor on Saturday ahead of their European tour. The property is located just 380 feet away from the Cambridges’ new four-bedroom Adelaide Cottage, where William and Kate spent the weekend with their children.