Prince William & Harry showed bond despite rift at Diana statue unveiling- but smiles were ‘over-worked’, expert says
PRINCE Harry and Prince William showed their brotherly bond despite their rift at the Princess Diana statue unveiling – but their smiles were "overworked", a body language expert has claimed.
Today would have been the late royal’s 60th birthday, and it is the first time Prince Harry has seen brother Prince William face-to-face since Prince Philip's funeral in April.
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Body language expert Judi James told Fabulous that Prince Harry and Prince William prioritised "their roles as Diana's sons over their roles as brothers."
She said: "Emerging side-by-side their smiles did appear slightly over-worked at first but one very telling trait was how their body language was mirrored.
"This kind of mimicry suggests strong subliminal bonds, hinting that old ties still bind them despite their current rifts.
"Harry’s hand reached to touch his wedding ring, which is a self-comfort gesture suggesting some inner tension although it also hinted how much he sees his family as a source of support.
"Apart from that and some self-touches to check clothing from both brothers, their overall postures looked remarkably relaxed and more so as the unveiling went on.
"There was some eye contact between them, driven most by Harry, and both laughed together at moments, using some very emphatic and animated hand gestures.
"They also appeared to work as a team once they got to the unveiling. Standing looking up at the cloth that was draped over the statue we could see them discussing tactics together and even grinning as they did so.
"For me the most poignant and perhaps authentic moment that could have suggested desire to re-unite as sons came when they both stood gazing up at the face of the statue in silent contemplation.
"Harry then looked across at William and although we couldn’t see William’s face this did look like a very meaningful shared moment.
"In the end they did well. It might not be the end of the rift but it could well have signaled the beginning of the end."
Harry and William have been working together on the project since 2017.
But despite today's ceremony marking the culmination of years of work, it's understood the pair are barely speaking, while their relationship is "incredibly strained".
Experts say today will be hugely important for their future relationship with one another.
Sources close to their uncle Earl Spencer say the family hope they will be brought together as they remember their mother.
And speaking on Good Morning Britain, Kate Garraway said: “You’d be hoping they would both be thinking how upset Diana would be that there was a falling out between them and that might be just the trigger to start a conversation that gets things back on track.”
ITV's royal editor Chris Ship replied: “I think a lot of people watching this, a lot of people who have been saddened by the fall-out between these two brothers who were once so very close, would hope today could be a trigger, a moment for them to start talking again.”
Meanwhile, Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell said if the feud doesn’t end today, perhaps it never will.
The statue was commissioned four years ago, and today’s unveiling has been a private affair for the royal brothers.
Just a handful of guests were seen at Kensington Palace, including Diana's brother Earl Charles Spencer and sisters Lady Sarah McCorquodale and Lady Jane Fellowes.
The statue has been installed in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace, and members of the public will be able to see it for free as it is in the surrounding grounds of the palace.
Members of the public will only have to pay to tour Kensington Palace itself, along with the various exhibits including to see Diana’s wedding dress.
Harry’s hand reached to touch his wedding ring, which is a self-comfort gesture suggesting some inner tension although it also hinted how much he sees his family as a source of support
The statue is the work of Ian Rank-Broadley, an acclaimed artist who has a long track record of creating images of the royal family.
A palace insider confirmed that William and Harry had been involved in the statue's design – including advising the sculptor even on how her nose should look.
Harry's pal Omid Scobie previously said Harry and William will show "professionalism and nothing more" at the emotionally-charged reunion.
Although the brothers have messaged each other about England's historic win over Germany in Euro 2020, Mr Scobie – the co-author of Finding Freedom – says a public reconciliation is hugely unlikely.
He told BBC Breakfast: "I think what we will see is two brothers extremely professional in a moment that's not about them at all."
However, he said the world will "see them put everything to one side" for the poignant day.
"Maybe, for us that are watching, we're curious to see how they will be by their side with each other, but I think we will just see professionalism and nothing else."
But he said the day will be a reminder to William and Harry that they were once very close.
"Despite the distances between the two brothers today, it's a project that started with the two of them very much in communication with each other, working side by side, and I think today will be a reminder of that moment as they finally unveil this statue to the world," he said.
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