How ‘nervous’ Meghan Markle channeled the Queen in her VAX Live appearance, body language expert claims

Meghan Markle took notes from the Queen in her first TV appearance since Oprah interview, according to a body language analyst

Meghan Markle took notes from the Queen in her first TV appearance since Oprah interview, according to a body language analyst
(Image credit: Chris Jackson - Pool/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle took inspiration from the Queen during her VAX Live speech, according to a body language analyst. 

The Duchess of Sussex has been compared to her grandmother-in-law in her first TV appearance since that tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey—a parallel that some experts believe to be intentional. 

In the pre-recorded message released on May 9, Meghan spoke passionately about the importance of gender equity in the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The expecting mother of one, who serves as campaign chair of Vax Live with her husband Prince Harry, explained how women have been 'disproportionately affected by this pandemic' and urged governments around the world to ensure equal distribution of vaccines. She also condemned the rise in gender-based violence over the past year, as well as the worrying decline of women in the workplace. 

Wearing a feminist necklace that pays homage to her unborn daughter, the duchess apparently evoked traits of the Queen at certain points of the speech.

"The regal note appeared she sat, upright and elegant, to refer to ‘My husband and I’ in the style of the Queen," said Judi James, author of The Body Language Bible. 

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Echoing Her Majesty's characteristically composed nature, the duchess maintained a stoic disposition throughout the video. "Meghan’s body language at the start looked as serene and static as the large cushion beside her," James added. 

However, unlike the Queen, who has decades of practice in royal speeches, Meghan wasn't able to completely mask her anxieties. 

James pointed out the duchess's subtle yet persistent 'self-comfort thumb-rub gesture', which may 'suggest some inner nerves.' The former actress's trepidation isn't surprising, given the level of criticism she has faced since she married Prince Harry in 2015. The British tabloids' treatment of the new royal ultimately resulted in the couple's emigration to the US in 2020, a decision that only intensified the press's vitriol against Meghan. 

Despite the inevitable backlash, the duchess appeared to be relaxed for the majority of the video. The speech, while a little rigid at times, showcased her strong public speaking skills and familiarity with the camera. 

"Meghan’s rather static delivery did lack her usual cues of passion for her causes and it did look more ‘guru’ than political leader—although she appeared to become more comfortable as the speech progressed," James said.

The duchess, who looked radiant throughout the video as she 'cupped' her pregnant belly, also spoke of her excitement to be bringing a baby girl into the world. 

"My husband and I are thrilled to soon be welcoming a daughter," she said. "It's a feeling of joy we share with millions of other families around the world. When we think of her, we think of all the young women and girls around the globe who must be given the ability and the support to lead us forward." 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.