Duchess Camilla’s ‘desire for space’ in meeting with Geri Horner at royal reception revealed by body language expert

Duchess Camilla appeared cautious as she chatted with Spice Girl Geri Horner at St James's Palace.

 Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall attends a Service of Thanksgiving for the life and work of Sir Donald Gosling at Westminster Abbey
(Image credit: Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Duchess Camilla seemed to take a rather cautious approach when she met Spice Girl icon Geri Horner at a St James’s Palace reception.    

Duchess Camilla got to fulfil many Spice Girls fans’ lifelong dreams on October 28th when she met Ginger Spice, Geri Horner, during a major event held at St James’s Palace. The Duchess of Cornwall hosted the reception for the winners of the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2021, which saw a record-breaking number of entries under the theme, Community in the Commonwealth. The writing competition was founded in 1883 to promote literacy and creativity and the Commonwealth is incredibly important to the Royal Family. 

Last month, the Queen penned a secret message and marked Halloween season with a splendid orange and black outfit for the Commonwealth Games 2022 baton relay.  Now the literary achievements of young people across the world have been celebrated at the Duchess of Cornwall’s reception. 

But whilst Duchess Camilla looked delighted to meet the guests, author and body language expert Judi James has revealed there are certain “signals” that suggest the Duchess had a desire for “space” when she greeted Geri Horner, whom she’d previously met in 2019.

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In a new video shared by the Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English, as well as in pictures from the big day, the Queen’s daughter-in-law can be seen being cautious when it came to shaking Geri Horner’s hands. In the video the pair greet each other, Geri’s hands initially resting on the Duchess’ waist before moving to grasp both of her hands.  

“There’s several signals of established and even close friendship from Geri here, who greets Camilla with an air of open familiarity,” Judi James explained.  “As the Duchess approaches she throws both hands out to her sides in a mimed or truncate hug as though suggesting delight at meeting an old friend. She then air kisses Camilla, placing her hands on her hips and as the women part she grasps both Camilla’s hands in her own.”

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall meets Femi Elufowoju Jr and Geri Horner at a reception for winners of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay competition 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

When it comes to Duchess Camilla’s response, Judi shared, “Camilla looks less relaxed here and as she parts from the greeting she performed three gestures that imply a desire for space: First she places her hands in a forward steeple, which is a gesture of authority and distance. 

“Then she places her hands behind her back which avoids touch, then she laughingly performs a ‘stop’ gesture with her flattened palm out towards Geri,” the body language expert added.

Duchess Camilla’s apparent desire for space could, of course, be mere coincidence or could have simply been due to her being aware of the busy schedule and making sure she got time to meet everyone. 

Though this meeting also comes days after it was announced the Queen is pulling out of the COP26 Climate Conference following recent medical advice. It could potentially be that the Royal Family are currently being even more careful when it comes to their public interactions, given the possibility of colds at this time or year and in light of the recent Covid-19 pandemic. 

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall meets Femi Elufowoju Jr and Geri Horner at a reception for winners of The Queen's Commonwealth Essay competition 2021

(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

Especially if the Queen’s children and their partners are set to visit her during this challenging time, it would certainly be very thoughtful to be keeping a lot of contact with large numbers of people to a minimum.  

Either way, both Duchess Camilla and Geri Horner were still likely delighted to have met each other as they honored this year’s stand-out competition winners. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!