Mourning in her own way. Meghan Markle appeared to keep her distance from Princess Kate and her children while paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II on Monday, September 19.
The Duchess of Sussex, 41, opted to stand “slightly away” from the Princess of Wales, 40, and her eldest children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, as well as Queen Consort Camilla during the Westminster Abbey service. (Kate and Prince William’s youngest son, Prince Louis, “stayed with the nanny” during the day, a source exclusively told Us Weekly.)
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Meghan’s physical distance could’ve been for a variety of reasons, according to body language expert Blanca Cobb, one of which is her continued tension with the royal family.
“Meghan’s body language doesn’t hint at her relationship with the Queen Consort, Kate and the children,” Cobb exclusively tells Us. “However, standing back and behind the Queen Consort, Kate and the children signals a possible emotional distance.”
The women were in attendance for both Monday’s Westminster Abbey service, procession and the committal service at St George’s Chapel following the queen’s death at age 96 on September 8.
The Methods of the Masters author adds that “funerals bring out contemplation, reflection and prayer for those who pray” and therefore the former Suits actress’ choice to not stand closer to her relatives could have been out of respect.
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“Perhaps, she wanted to give them space. Or she needed some space to reflect and think,” Cobb explains. “If she believes that their relationship is strained, then it’s possible that she stood back. You tend to keep a physical distance when you don’t feel emotionally close to someone.”
The Bench author and her husband, Prince Harry, have been somewhat at odds with the Duke of Sussex’s family following their 2020 step back from their royal duties. Tension continued to grow in March 2021 when the couple spoke out against The Firm during an explosive CBS tell-all interview.
However, when Elizabeth died Meghan and Harry, 38, seemingly buried the hatchet with their loved ones — at least momentarily — to come together and mourn. The twosome, who share son Archie, 3, and daughter Lili, 15 months, have been spotted at multiple events in London and the surrounding area with Kate and William, 40, since the queen’s passing.
While Meghan appeared somewhat detached from her sister-in-law and stepmother-in-law, 75, during Monday’s events, her body language was respectful toward the late royal.
“Meghan’s body language reflects deference to Queen Elizabeth,” Cobb tells Us, noting that at times, her arms were “close to her side” and at other times, they were “slightly in front of her with her hands clasped in front of her lower abdomen, known as the fig leaf.”
The expert adds: “This is a closed body language move that shows respect and keeps the focus off of yourself.”
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During the funeral, the “Archetypes” podcast host “tended to look down and straight ahead and she showed little movement,” which Cobb explains is related to one’s emotional state. “When you’re sad, you tend to stay still and bow your head — particularly if you don’t want others to see your emotions, and you can get lost in thought,” she says.
Although Meghan was physically distant from Kate and Camilla, Cobb points out that the queen’s service was meant to be all about the longest-reigning monarch, not her daughter-in-law and granddaughters-in-law.
“This particular moment of watching Queen Elizabeth’s coffin wasn’t the time to interact with anyone,” the expert tells Us. “It was a time to show deference to the Queen and Her Majesty’s funeral proceedings.”
Scroll down for a first-hand look at Meghan’s body language during the emotional service:
A Moment of Silence
Meghan stood quietly beside Prince Edward’s wife, Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
The podcast host was noticeably distancing herself while outside Westminster Abbey.
The queen’s loved ones joined together on Monday to pay homage to her life and service.
Ladies in Black
Meghan, Camilla, Kate and Sophie, 57, were all seen paying their respects to the late monarch.
The Archewell cofounder subtly bowed her head on multiple occasions.
Kate Pays Tribute to the Queen
The Princess of Wales honored Her Majesty by wearing a pearl necklace from her collection to the service.
Her Majesty’s Legacy
George, 9, and Charlotte, 7, were the youngest members of the royal family in attendance.
King Charles III’s Right Hand
Camilla played her part and supported both her husband, 73, and her family as they marked the end of the queen’s reign.
With reporting by Diana Cooper