Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall shows ‘anxiety’ and ‘wariness’ in her Royal Family role

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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 73, married Prince Charles in 2005 after the couple tied the knot in Windsor Guildhall. Although Camilla’s entry into the Royal Family wasn’t the easiest, she has become increasingly popular in recent years. 

She now has many interests in different charities and organisations and is patron to almost 100 charities.

This means her role within the Royal Family involves attending events and engagements.

What does body language expert Judi James think of Camilla’s signals?

The expert explained: “Camilla’s body language as Queen-in-waiting is a world away from the confident, assertive and slightly challenging signals we saw her using as a young woman in that iconic photograph of her standing facing Charles in front of a huge tree.

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“Although she has been married to Charles and a very integral part of the royal Firm for fifteen years, Camilla’s non-verbal signals still seem infused with anxiety and wariness when she is in her public role. 

“They define her first and foremost as a supportive, reassuring and sympathetic companion to the future king but with no personal ambition in terms of her royal role.”

Although Camilla will attend events on her own, Judi explained that she is still wary about doing so.

The expert added: “With a tendency to stand in Charles’s shadow rather than eclipse him like the dazzling Diana, Camilla always takes her lead from and mirrors her prince, with her smile often only really coming alive when he looks at her. 

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“There are clues that she is a reluctant royal, still scarred by the wave of animosity that greeted her when she first went public with him.”

One of Camilla’s most recent appearances was in a video for her book project. 

At the time Judi explained that she seemed tired and struggled to show the importance of the project.

The expert shared how Camilla’s facial expressions can be “endearing”.

She said: “One of Camilla’s most endearing gestures is her rather sweet, self-effacing smile and it is this gesture alone that has done a lot to collect her fans among the public. 

“She has a puckered upper lip and some creasing around the eyes that makes it look like a modest, warm smile, although there are rarely any displays of teeth to suggest genuine happiness and smile rarely reaches her eye expression fully. 

“Her eye contact is rarely fixed on the cameras, either, suggesting an inability to relax and make total, confident contact or indulge in silent communications with the public.”

As well as this, Judi said that her poses and hand gestures also suggest she is anxious.

The expert continued: “Her shoulders tend to be raised, which can happen when the shoulder muscles contract with tension, and her arms are often held away from her torso and bent tensely at the elbow.

“Camilla’s current signature hand gesture is a forward steeple, with the fingertips touching. 

“This can often be a sign of status but it can also suggest a desire for distance. 

“The gesture does have history, too. Like Charles, Camilla has a tendency to use self-comfort hand fiddling rituals, often involving a nervous-looking thumb-rub. 

“When she first appeared at royal events she was seen shaking her hands as she walked up to greet people, which looked like an attempt to relax her hands in front of the cameras. That and the steepling gesture do look like conscious devices to keep the hands looking relaxed.”

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