Kate Middleton ‘is best when not in vision with William’ - how the Princess of Wales ‘holds her own’ despite her ‘tough job’

According to experts Kate Middleton's body language suggests 'higher levels of confidence' and her speech is 'less formal' when she's solo

Kate Middleton ‘is best when not in vision with William’ claims expert. Seen here she visits Kirkgate Market
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Kate Middleton “is best when not in vision with William” according to a speech expert who believes she “holds her own” as she carries out her “tough job”.  

So much has changed since Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding and the future King and Queen Consort are undertaking more responsibilities than ever. In recent weeks, the Princess of Wales’ Royal Foundation Center for Early Childhood launched their Shaping Us campaign. This is one of her biggest projects to date and Kate has also been taking on solo engagements more frequently in recent years. And navigating work alone apparently suits the Princess of Wales as it reportedly “free[s] her up” to express herself even more. 

Getting candid with Express.co.uk, speech expert and voiceover artist Jon Briggs previously expressed his belief that Kate comes across as more casual when Prince William isn’t with her. 

William, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall and Catherine, Princess of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit the National Maritime Museum

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"From what I have seen, Kate is less formal when she is on her own,” he claimed, adding that, "As a consort to William she is used to putting him first.” 

Jon speculated that her position as consort to someone who’s now first in the royal line of succession could be influencing the way she speaks at joint engagements. 

"Being the number two in a relationship or even a conversation - knowing that all eyes tend to be on the number one is a tough job, you learn your place and that you’re not really the important one here,” he said. “Kate holds her own but is best when not in vision with William at the same time. It clearly frees her up to express her own opinions more."

The expert’s suggestion that Kate Middleton “is best when not in vision with William” and freer to “express her own opinions” apparently also shines through in her behaviour. Analysing clips of Kate solo and with Prince William at engagements that have been shared on social media, author and body language expert Judi James explained to Woman&Home that there is a greater range of body language signals shown by Kate when she’s solo. 

Judi explained, “Kate does tend to use a wider variety of body language signals when she is doing solo appearances without William and this suggests not just higher levels of confidence but an ability to dig deeper in terms of some of the issues and campaigns she is discussing.”

Catherine, Princess of Wales visits the Reading Ukrainian Community Centre

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According to Judi when the Princess is working alone “there are no filters” in terms of “mirroring or complimentary behaviours”. She believes that as a result we often see a “more serious version” of Kate who uses “more eye contact, touch and expressive gesticulation”.  

Analysing the Princess of Wales’ body language when she’s with her husband, Judi remarked upon their “very high level of mirroring”. This reportedly includes when Prince William clasps his hands in front of his torso, where his body language could be seen as “quite bashful”. 

“When this happens we can see subliminal mirroring from Kate, who will often perform a similar gesture, which can make her look less confident,” she said. “Her eye contact will also fluctuate more too, as she flicks her gaze across to William’s face in an affectionate checking gesture.”

This sweet “checking gesture” perhaps suggests that when they’re together Kate Middleton is just as aware of Prince William as herself and that this understandably has an effect on how she comes across, just as much as how she speaks. In contrast, when the Princess is solo her confidence, opinions and seriousness all reportedly shine through a little stronger. 

“When she speaks about her causes there is some real passion and this commitment is visible in the way she uses many more parts of her body to get her message across, from her eyebrows, eye expression, fluctuating smiles or lip-pursing to some very emphatic or illustrative hand gestures,” Judi declared. 

Catherine, Princess of Wales chats with students on the Childhood Studies BA

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This ability to showcase her confidence and thoughts about the issues and projects close to her heart seems to especially shine through when Kate flies solo. As Prince William’s consort he has precedence over her in the Royal Family, but she seems to have found a way to navigate both solo and joint engagements, mastering this “tough job” and adjusting her speech and body language accordingly.  

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!