Although Meghan Markle and Prince Harry have made few official appearances as a couple — they’ve only been dating publicly since November 2016 — the bulk of the photos they appear in seem to be full of PDA.
Here’s what their interactions say about their relationship, according to North Carolina-based body-language expert Blanca Cobb:
1. Meghan crosses her legs toward a man-spreading Harry
‘When you cross your leg toward someone, you’re accepting them into your comfort zone,’ says Cobb of Meghan’s positioning. ‘It’s a sign of connectedness.’ Although Meghan appears to be crossing her arms for comfort — nothing more — the positioning of a person’s fingers can reveal their emotions, according to Cobb: ‘With relaxed fingers, you’re saying that you’re feeling all right,’ she says, adding that Meghan’s big smile shows she’s having fun.
The prince’s legs suggests he’s feeling pretty freaking good about himself. ‘Confident people take up space, and confident men tend to sit with the legs spread apart,’ Cobb says. But Harry only looks completely relaxed at first glance. When you zero in on his hands, you can see he’s playing with his fingers. ‘This is a sign of discomfort or nervousness,’ Cobb says.
2. Meghan and Harry hold hands while walking
Holding hands palm-to-palm is a sign of deep love and a strong bond, according to Cobb, who adds that the way Harry’s hand is placed over his fiancée’s suggests he’s the decision maker in their relationship. That said, in this photo, both Meghan and Harry lead with their left feet. ‘[This] shows they’re connected and in sync emotionally with each other,’ Cobb says.
She’s less concerned with Harry’s left arm crossing over his body — ‘It looks like he’s scratching his right arm,’ she says — than his facial expression. ‘It very well could be that something was on his mind.’
3. Harry gets all up in his jacket
‘Prince Harry pulls what I call, ‘The Napoleon Bonaparte,’ in which he places his hand on his abdomen,’ says Cobb, referencing Napoleon’s trademark gesture.
Like the French military leader, Harry is using his hand to protect his vital organs. But symbolically, this takes another meaning: ‘It’s as if he’s shielding himself from an uncomfortable situation,’ Cobb says. In the context of this situation — the couple’s engagement announcement — the act could mean he’s uncomfortable sharing his new relationship status.
Still, the pose could also be benign: ‘Prince Harry shows this gesture so much that I think it’s a habit,’ Cobb adds. ‘I don’t think he realises he does it.’ The way the couple is holding hands — with fingers interlocked — suggests ‘a strong emotional and intimate connection,’ Cobb says.
Harry’s left arm, which is in front of Meghan’s body, serves as a subtle sign of protection. ‘Prince Harry is taking the lead in the relationship,’ Cobb says, noting the usual way Meghan covers Harry’s left hand with her own, which is out of character for the couple.
‘The partner whose hand is on top is typically the one who’s in charge or the dominant partner in the relationship,’ Cobb says — and that person, based on the photos, seems almost always to be Harry. That said, there are no signs of conflict or power struggle in the photo. ‘When you’re in love you want to get as physically close as you can to your partner,’ she says of Meghan’s right elbow brushing against Harry’s side.
4. Meghan covers Harry’s hands
‘By keeping her hand over both of their [interlocked] hands, Meghan is providing support and comfort [to Harry],’ Cobb says. ‘It also [provides] reassurance for her as well.’
5. Meghan clutches Harry’s hand and arm
Again, Harry and Meghan interlock their fingers, signalling a close and intimate bond. ‘When your fingers are interlocked, you’re able to caress your partner’s hand with your fingers,’ Cobb says. Meghan is also using her left hand to hold onto Harry’s arm. ‘It’s a way to pull him closer to her,’ Cobb says. ‘You feel secure, safe, treasured when you’re emotionally and physically close to the one who holds your heart.’
6. Harry sits behind Meghan
In this photo, Harry sits a step higher than Meghan, which suggests he has a more pronounced position in their relationship. His cheek is touching Meghan’s head— an obvious sign of affection and intimacy, according to Cobb — and she leans into him for support.
Meghan also rests her right elbow on her fiancée’s upper right thigh. ‘It’s a classy way of stating that he’s hers and suggests intimacy, as she’s getting close to his pleasure zone,’ Cobb says. Although the photo is clearly posed, Cobb sees the couple’s intertwined thumbs as further proof of their connection.
7. Meghan hangs on
In this photo, Prince Harry walks slightly ahead of Meghan, concealing the left side of her body with his right side. Cobb sees this as a protective gesture or another way for Harry to assert that he’s the one who takes the lead in their relationship.
From: Good Housekeeping US
COVER PHOTO: Gallo Images/Getty Images