The video of the Queen cutting cake with a sword reveals ‘anxious’ relationship dynamic between HRH and Camilla, says body language expert

The Queen cutting cake with a sword video has revealed some interesting intricacies in the royal’s relationship with her daughter-in-law

Queen cutting cake with sword video'
(Image credit: WPA Pool / Pool / Getty Images)

The Queen cutting cake with a sword video has been viewed by royal fans across the world who love this charming interaction, but a body language expert has revealed Duchess Camilla’s anxiety as the Queen wielded the sword. 

• The Queen attended the Eden Project's ‘The Big Lunch’ initiative with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Cornwall.
• A body language expert has revealed what the Duchess’ body language reveals about the dynamic between the three royals.
• In other royal news, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Peter Phillips and wife Autumn Phillips have officially divorced.


Sky News journalist Thomas Newton posted the video of the Queen cutting her cake. The caption of the video read, “Her Majesty wielding a sharp sword, and an even sharper tongue.”

In the video, the ceremonial sword was lent to her by the Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Edward Bolitho. The Queen then began to wield the sword and briefly stated, “I don’t think this is going to work.” An aide told the Queen, “There is a knife if you want it.” The Queen hilariously replied, “I know there is, but this is something that is more unusual.”

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Those surrounding the Queen laughed at her quick wit and all applauded as the Queen—with the help of the Duchess of Cornwall—was able to slice the sword through the cake. 

Leading communication and body language expert Judi James, who has previously appeared on ITV’s This Morning and had her own four-part body language series on Channel 5 called Naked Celebrity, spoke to woman&home about this interaction between the Queen and the two Duchesses.

Judi revealed: “The relationship dynamics between the Queen and Camilla and Kate were illustrated via some body language cues during this ‘sword-gate’ incident as the Queen took a huge, heavy and rather lethal-looking sword to hack into the Big Lunch cake.”

“One thing we can tell about the Queen is that she is allergic to making any concessions about her age. She arrives and walks alone at royal visits and there is never anyone hovering to offer help or assistance. This very much adds to her profile as a powerful Head of State and boss in terms of the Royal Firm,” said Judi.

Judi revealed that Camilla seemed anxious about wanting to help the Queen without overstepping. 

“The sword incident looks like one risk too far for Camilla though. Watching the Queen lift it and push it into the cake we can see Camilla’s anxiety levels rise by the lifting of her hand and pinching of her fingers. However there is also a strong air of indecision too, probably based on not wanting to step in and look as though she is trying to take over control from a 95-year-old woman,” she said.

She continued, “Camilla looks torn between protecting and helping her mother-in-law and showing respect and standing back. She throws a glance at Kate as though trying to enlist her help but Kate clearly seems to get that HRH is not a woman to be made to look weak or frail in public.”

She concluded that although the Queen may have ultimately needed Camilla’s help, Duchess Kate probably came off better following this interaction. 

Judi revealed, “Camilla becomes quietly desperate, using a tie-sign to try to team with Kate, nudging her with her elbow. This gesture can be seen as disrespectful though. Catching younger relatives nudging one another when you are talking or doing something is often rightly seen as a lack of respect by older people and it is interesting that, rather than join in to help or take over, Kate steps out of the way, laughing politely instead at the joke that the Queen is obviously intent on making by using the sword rather than the smaller cake knife provided. In the end, Camilla does grab the sword to help cut the cake but it could be Kate’s position at the side-lines that went down better with the very stoic Queen.”

Fans loved the Queen’s casual attitude to slicing a cake with a sword and many took to social media to congratulate Her Majesty. One fan commented, “I didn't know that watching The Queen cut a cake with a sword was something I needed to see, but here we are.”

Another commented, “Lovely to see Her Majesty putting aside her own emotions and creating new memories of her visits. It has been done many times before but still how novel to see the cake being cut with the sword by Her Majesty the Queen.”