Prince Charles' body language shows readiness to be King in stark contrast to 'invisible man' Prince William at opening of Parliament

Prince Charles' body language has been compared to Prince William's as the pair take on very different roles at the opening of parliament.

Prince Charles' body language
(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

Prince William and Prince Charles' body language has been examined by an expert who has revealed why the pair had such a stark contrast in expressions at the opening of parliament.

As the Queen canceled an important appearance for the first time in 59 years due to 'episodic mobility issues,' Prince Charles, stepped in to cover for the Queen with the support of Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Body language expert, Judi James, compared Prince Charles and Prince William at the opening of Parliament and suggested that both of these key members of the Royal Family understood their very different roles at this ceremony.

Speaking to woman&home Judi James said, "We got a glimpse into the royal future yesterday as Charles stepped into the role vacated by the increasingly fragile Queen and William seemed to be invited along as heir-in-training."

"But the point about William is that he clearly needs no training or induction from his father" said Judi. "This is a man who has been carefully and very intelligently been taking his own son George under his protective and supportive wing all his life to ensure he is able to approach his destiny with confidence and comfort. He is clearly a great role-model who gets the job and its challenges but how does Charles shape up when it comes to his own approach to the job of King?"

The body language expert then referenced Prince Charles' ‘complaint’ to Duchess Camilla which was revealed by a lipreader.

"A lip-reader claimed Charles said ‘Oh my word that was uncomfortable’ to his wife as he arrived yesterday for a deeply historic and important gig. Nothing wrong with that, perhaps his back was aching. But given his mother is now 96 and with mobility issues but has never once been heard complaining or seen looking anything other than stoic and determined, we might have been given a glimpse of the different approach her son might take to the role of monarch," said Judi.

The expert explained that Charles appeared agitated and nervous as he took delivered the speech and his facial features fave away his nerves.

"Charles’s body language and his general approach to life seems to be the opposite of stoic. His hands perform acute self-comfort rituals and his facial features are often seen wincing, grimacing or performing asymmetric smiles. As he read the Queen’s speech the micro-grimaces were present, as were some suggestions of nerves as his hands seemed to shake, making the papers waggle," said the body language expert.

Despite these nerves, Judi agreed that Prince Charles is a royal who is fully aware of his royal future, and perhaps this is what was most obvious when he was delivering his mother's speech.

"Charles looks like a man who is fully accepting of history and destiny. His gaze fell on the crown and remained there for a long, reflective-looking while. But Charles can also appear to be a man for whom the duty and intrusion that comes with that destiny might be a heavy yoke around his neck," concluded Judi.

Prince Charles and Prince William

(Image credit: HANNAH MCKAY / Contributor/ Getty Images)

In a stark comparison, Judi James said that Prince William was something of an 'invisible man' at this service and allowed his father to take the spotlight with his subtle gestures.

"William’s body language yesterday gave him the air of the invisible man. He towers over his father but he walked further back, keeping his head lowered and his hands clasped in front of his torso in the fig-leaf position."

Judi added that all of the Prince's efforts were to keep him from 'upstaging' his father in any way. "He sat on his chair with the puckered brows and sucked-in lips that suggested quiet sadness that his grandmother was missing. Overall he seemed to want to keep a low profile and to avoid upstaging his father." 

The expert added, "William seems to be taking an approach to the job that involves avoiding the mistakes of a previous generation and building something newer and stronger."

Prince Charles

(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

Body language expert Darren Stanton, on behalf of Betfair Casino, disagreed with Judi and argued that despite the nerves, the Prince was 'at ease' when taking over from the Queen, which demonstrated his readiness for the crown.

"From his body language, Charles seems at ease with the transition as he has clearly spent most of his adult life preparing for the moment he takes over the throne, " said Darren. "Despite his confidence, there were certain gestures Charles made that suggested he found the situation he was in a little overwhelming and it was clear to see there was concern for his mother, the Queen, too."

The expert then explained that the stoicism displayed by Prince Charles was the Prince's attempt to emulate his mother the Queen when she opened parliament in previous years.

Darren argued, "Interestingly, he demonstrated none of his usual non-verbal gestures—like tucking his hand into his jacket or playing with his cufflinks, both signs of self-reassurance when you may not feel particular confidence in a certain situation. While delivering the Queen’s speech, Charles appeared focused and adopted elements of the stoicism his mother has become known for."

The body language expert added that this mirroring of the Queen showed the Prince of Wales' serious side and his understanding of the importance of this role.

"For Charles, preparing for his new role seems to have elevated him and given him a new sense of duty. Under normal circumstances, he is quite animated, smiling and laugh, whereas here we see a serious more side to the royal. Given it was a serious event, his focused and sincere expression was proportionate to the importance he placed upon it," said Darren.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.