Boris Johnson's body language while apologizing to the Queen reveals 'hopelessness and despair' of a 'schoolboy'

Body language expert, Judi James, has commented on Boris Johnson's nonverbal communication during his public apology to the Queen

Boris Johnson's body language
(Image credit: Future: Image 1:WPA Pool / Pool/ Getty Images //Image 2: WPA Pool / Pool /Getty Images)

Body language expert Judi James has explained how Boris Johnson was really feeling during his recent public apology to the Queen.

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022, Boris Johnson apologized once again to the Queen for the Downing Street parities that took place just the day before the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral.

Prince Philip died at age 99 in April 2021 but because of strict COVID regulations, the Queen had to sit on her own at her husband's funeral, without the support of her family as she laid the Duke to rest.  

Despite these strict regulations, it has now been revealed that the day before the Duke's funeral, 'boozy' parties were taking place at Downing Street where the pandemic restrictions were being flouted by politicians.

On Friday, January 14, Boris' deputy spokesperson told journalists, “It’s deeply regrettable that this took place at a time of national mourning, and No 10 has apologized to the palace for that.”

The Prime Minister has now publicly apologized for his actions in a broadcast that has divided viewers. In an interview with Beth Rigby for Sky News, Boris Johnson looked embarrassed as he spoke about his 'deep regret.' 


Although some have suggested this apology was insincere, others have suggested that the Prime Minister was truly ashamed that this took place and his apology to the Queen came from a place of genuine regret.

Body language expert Judi James has examined this interview and has explained what the Prime Minister was feeling when he apologized to Her Majesty.

"There is a  moment as Beth Rigby questions the PM when he looks down for as long as twelve seconds, shaking his head gently in what looks like a gesture of hopelessness and despair," said Judi.

"If Boris thought appearing in a face mask might save him from revealing too many of his inner thoughts and feelings here he made a grave mistake as the mask merely forced our attention onto his eyes, the most honest and powerful communicator in the entire human body."

"At the start his eye expression looked haunted, with the right eye looking reddened and watery, hinting at potential tearfulness. But as he stood listening as the Queen was brought up he must have felt the mistake in terms of the mask."

"With his head lowered he performed an eye cut-off signal, looking down rather than allowing us to see his eye expression. He did the same movement several times after that although he did try to use eye contact as he spoke his apology to Her Majesty."

Judi added that his posture also portrayed a strange image of a 'schoolboy apologizing'—which is a rather unusual and unprecedented position for a Prime Minister to be in.

Judi explained, "with his hands behind his back and his shoulders slumped and his vocal tone low, Boris looked like a schoolboy apologizing in the head’s office rather than a PM and global leader."

The expert added that a sincere apology can be achieved without the need to look powerless. This could explain why Boris' over-the-top attempt to appear humble during the apology may have come across as inauthentic. 

"It is possible to apologize without deflating like this and without losing your air of authority. A straight-back and sustained eye contact can look just as authentic as a defeated-looking slump, especially when that includes avoidance of eye-gaze," said Judi.

Although it's unclear if Boris' apology was genuine, it is clear that he was embarrassed to be caught flouting his own COVID restrictions while the Queen made sacrifices for her country during the pandemic.

Following this debacle, there has been a lot of debate about Boris' position as Prime Minister. While some are wondering if the Queen can fire Boris, others are speculating that this scandal signals the end of BoJo's time as Prime Minister.

Political commentator for the Mail, Dan Hodges, just revealed that Boris Johnson was crying in front of politicians just yesterday. Dan tweeted, "Tory MP: 'Boris broke down in tears in front of several of us yesterday. He kept saying sorry. He knows he’s finished'."

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The reporter later tweeted, "No.10 spokesman: 'The story about Boris crying is completely untrue'." However, followers are reluctant to believe the stories and comments that are currently being released by Downing Street.

Laura is a news writer for woman&home who primarily covers entertainment and celebrity news. Laura dabbles in lifestyle, royal, beauty, and fashion news, and loves to cover anything and everything to do with television and film. She is also passionate about feminism and equality and loves writing about gender issues and feminist literature.


Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.