How Prince William is following in the Queen’s footsteps as he prepares for future role as king

Prince William's body language reportedly shows signs he's 'modelling himself' on his grandmother

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, wearing black as a mark of respect following the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, visits 282 East Ham Squadron, Air Training Corps in East London on April 21, 2021 in London, England
(Image credit: Photo by Ian Vogler-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince William is said to be “modelling himself” on his grandmother the Queen’s approach to wearing the crown as he prepares for his future role as King. 

Prince William has long been under the royal spotlight and it seems that the Queen has been a source of major inspiration for him. He previously revealed during a 2016 interview with the BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell that his future role as king was not top of his “priority list” at that time. Though the Duke of Cambridge did state that the Queen is a “guiding example of just what a good monarch can be”.

Despite the Queen’s leadership, however, the Royal Family has faced difficult times in recent months, following Prince Harry and Meghan’s bombshell Oprah interview. This saw Prince Harry describe his brother as “trapped” in the institution, though it’s now been claimed that Prince William is instead “embracing” his destiny.  

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge leave The Thistle Service at St Giles Cathedral on July 6, 2018 in Edinburgh, Scotland

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

As reported by The Sun, royal author Penny Junor stated: “Harry is absolutely wrong. I don’t think William feels trapped at all. I think he absolutely gets what his destiny is and he is embracing it.”

“He is modelling himself on his grandmother the Queen”, she added.

The suggestion that Prince William has been inspired by Her Majesty’s approach to ruling is certainly very intriguing—and one that his body language seems to support.

How has Prince William been following the Queen’s example? 

As a senior royal, Prince William is regularly pictured attending important engagements and it’s these snapshots which can give a great indication of how he is managing his responsibilities. 

TV Body language expert and author of The Body Language Bible has suggested that Prince William currently lacks Her Majesty’s “trait of silent stoicism under pressure”, as shown in the way he spoke out on Royal Family "racism" claims. However, she believes that several of Prince William’s other body language traits suggest he’s “showing signs of modelling himself on his grandmother when it comes to her approach to wearing the crown”.

Following Prince Harry and Meghan’s decision to “step back” as senior members of the Royal Family, it was reported that the Queen had formed a new royal “Firm of Eight” senior royals to attend engagements together.

Queen Elizabeth II (R) talks with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, (2L) and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as they wait to thank local volunteers and key workers for the work they are doing during the coronavirus pandemic and over Christmas in the quadrangle of Windsor Castle on December 8, 2020

(Image credit: Photo by Glyn Kirk - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Analysing a heart-warming picture taken in December of the Queen and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Windsor Castle, Judi has remarked upon the “mutual respect” and “role-bonding” body language of Prince William and his grandmother. 

“In between posing for photos it became clear that William was there in a very empathetic role to his grandmother, showing signals of the kind of direct and intimate style of communication (given the restrictions of social distancing) that suggest mutual respect and status and role-bonding,” she explained. 

“Their eye contact is engaged to suggest exclusive attention and the way that William has bent his torso to even the height differential as much as possible as well as to get closer emphasizes that exclusivity.”

And whilst she observed some “mirroring of the hand gestures”, she believes Prince William’s “tight hand clasp looks like a gesture of service and deference” to the sovereign. Though in this capacity, Prince William was undeniably supporting the Queen, during their recent Royal Tour of Scotland, he and Duchess Catherine took centre stage.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the closing ceremony of the General Assembly on May 27, 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland

(Image credit: Photo by Andrew O'Brien-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Commenting on a recent photo of the couple taken at the closing ceremony of the General Assembly in Edinburgh during their Scottish Tour, Judi suggests that this is possibly the “first pose” we have of them in a “traditionally regal-looking role”.

“Just as his grandmother will raise her own status signals during moments like this, William seems to have adopted a pose of more formal power and status here, placing his hands flat on the lectern in front of him and standing straight to make his speech using a very emphatic facial expression that includes a subtle lower jaw-jut,” Judi revealed.

“The suit and the pose are in contrast to the more casual, jumper-wearing Prince we’ve been seeing during lock-downs but it shows that, like the Queen, he can raise his signals of authority in a heartbeat.”

And it seems that it’s not just the Queen’s ability to exude an air of “authority” that Prince William has adopted. According to Judi, a picture of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge together as they officially opened The Balfour, Orkney Hospital has revealed his “charming” side.

“Like his grandmother though, William appears to be working up a very charming and disarming social smile,” she explained. 

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge laugh as they officially open The Balfour, Orkney Hospital on day five of their week long visit to Scotland on May 25, 2021 in Kirkwall, Scotland

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

“Previously a man who was rather wary of the press and photo-opportunities, William now seems to have honed his social skills with what looks like encouragement and example-setting from Kate.”

Judi described Prince William’s “hugely affable” smile as involving a “display of upper and lower teeth”, but not so much as to seem like an “overkill gesture”.

“Instead this smile looks as congruent as those worn by The Queen on visits, with the cheeks raised and rounded and the eyes narrowed and crinkled in an eye-smile,” she declared.

Prince William's immense respect for his grandmother is well known, with it recently being claimed that he can "no longer hide" his anger at sister-in-law Meghan Markle for "disrespecting" the Queen. And he certainly looks to be drawing inspiration from the monarch as he follows the Queen’s wonderful example at royal engagements. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in 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!