How the Queen breaks 'conventional rules of communication' with her 'stoic' body language

The Queen has broken common conversational rules for most of her reign

How the Queen breaks 'conventional rules of communication' with her 'stoic' body language
(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor / Getty Images)

The Queen has established herself as a trustworthy leader over the decades by refusing to obey social rules, according to a body language expert. 

The Queen may not exactly be considered a rule-breaker, but when it comes to meeting the public, she's never been one to follow the crowd. 

Ever since she ascended the throne in 1952, Her Majesty has proven herself to be both a skilled host and guest—always giving just enough without compromising her regal status. 

Despite softening slightly in recent years, the 95-year-old's public persona continues to be one of formality and stoicism—especially when it comes to matters of tragedy or political unrest. The Queen also routinely chooses to avoid standard codes of social etiquette when chatting to individuals, opting to embrace a surprisingly unorthodox approach during one-on-one conversation. 

In the run-up to her highly anticipated Platinum Jubilee 2022, folks are looking back at how the British sovereign has tactically flouted such protocol over the decades—and why these subtle actions have been so important to establishing her steely reputation. 


(Image credit: Getty)

"Since being in the public eye, she has never been one to follow conventional rules of communication," body language expert Darren Stanton explains on behalf of Betfair Casino. "In her early reign, you will have noticed that the Queen rarely reached out or touched anyone she was interacting with. This is because the idea of public displays of affection was frowned upon." 

As well as avoiding physical contact with the public, the Queen is also known to forgo the common social practice of 'mirroring'. Human beings will often imitate the behavior of the person or people with whom they're speaking, as a subconscious effort to create rapport. According to Stanton, Her Majesty actively resists this 'naturally occurring' practice to gently assert her dominance in the conversation. 

The Queen tactically encourages others to 'mirror' her actions 

(Image credit: Getty)

"Instead, she has the ability to build this same level of connection by adopting the notion of pace and lead," he says. "She uses her influence to find common ground and build trust with those around her, instead of mirroring their gestures and actions, with the other person slowly then beginning to mirror the Queen as a result." The result is a consistent image of stability—one that can't be manipulated or morphed by the behavior of others. 

"Over the years, the Queen has pretty much retained the same body language her entire life," Stanton adds. "She has become known for sitting stoically and still, surveying situations, and speaking with a clear and crisp tone, conveying her confidence, power, and the hold she has over those that are listening to her." 

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.