- The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been married since 2011, and in that time they have welcomed three children to the family.
- Although the couple have celebrated big milestones together, recent rumours have suggested that their marriage could be on the rocks.
- Buckingham Palace has repeatedly declined to comment on the claims, and the pair typically remain quiet on private matters.
- INSIDER spoke to body language expert Patti Wood to get another perspective on their relationship.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have come a long way since they first met as fresh-faced university students.
The world has watched as they have celebrated milestone after milestone, from their royal wedding in 2011 to welcoming their children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis into the family.
However, despite being the subjects of intense speculation, the couple typically remain tight-lipped about their relationship.
They broke up for a short period in 2007 before getting back together just several months later. When asked about the split during his engagement interview with Middleton, William said they had to “find their own way” and “grow up” but didn’t spill any further details on the reasons behind the decision.
The couple have been married for eight years now, but that hasn’t stopped the rumour mill from turning, with several publications reporting that their relationship has been in trouble since before the birth of Prince Louis in 2018.
Kensington Palace has repeatedly declined to comment on the rumours, so it’s difficult for royal fans to gage what their relationship is really like, especially as the couple rarely show PDA during public engagements.
Royal photographer Tim Rooke recently told INSIDER that “we don’t often see Prince William and the duchess holding hands” because of the pressure placed on William, who is second in line to the throne.
It’s also typically considered to be against royal etiquette for members of the royal family to show displays of public affection at official appearances.
To get another perspective on the situation, INSIDER spoke to body language expert and author Patti Wood.
Wood, who holds a BA and MA in Body Language and Nonverbal Communication, analysed photos of the couple from the beginning of their relationship until now.
This photo was taken at the University of St Andrews, during the couple’s graduation ceremony in 2003. Middleton and William met while in their first year at the university.
“What I like the most about this is, if you look at their body language, you see the relaxation between them, and it’s almost like there’s movement in the photo,” Wood told INSIDER.
“It’s positive and relaxed, and it’s almost as if they are letting out a breath. Their hands and fingers are overlapping, their smiles are open and relaxed, and they have an ease with one another that links them together.”
William and Middleton met during their first year at the university, however they kept their romance low-key during their studies. The above photo, taken at their graduation ceremony in 2003, wasn’t released to the public until eight years later.
The couple tied the knot on April 29, 2011 at Westminster Abbey in London.
“The amount of effort he is making to go towards her, you can see it in how much he leans in,” Wood explained. “There’s so much energy there, you can see it in the muscles in his neck.
“You can also see the muscles in her neck as she goes into him, and there is a playfulness in their eyes.”
The newlyweds showed a rare public display of affection as they attended the Olympic Games in 2012. Their body language in this photo displays a “showing of ownership,” according to Wood.
“You can see how easily they wrap and unfold around each other. The fingers on the hand William has wrapped around Kate’s waist are together, as if he knows she is his,” said Wood.
She added that this suggested a “showing of ownership,” and that the pair are “clearly confident and relaxed in the relationship.”
“They are both showing that they belong to each other.”
This picture was taken during their royal tour of New Zealand in April 2014. The way William is looking at Kate mirrors the way Prince Harry often looks at Meghan Markle, according to Wood.
“Kate is really relaxed here, you can see it in her arms and shoulders, and her hair is flowing fully,” Wood told INSIDER.
“William is looking at her smile and he is enjoying seeing her smile. This is a moment you see a lot with Harry and Meghan, the way he looks at her as if to say, ‘isn’t she beautiful?'”
This photo was taken in 2016, during the Cambridge family’s vacation in the French Alps.
Wood said that while this photo displayed a “little bit more tension,” it is difficult to make an assumption, because we can’t see the position of their feet.
“It looks as though he is trying to keep her in balance, so he’s gripping her a little differently,” she explained.
“But that eyes-closed-smile shows a together happiness.”
They welcomed their third child, Prince Louis, on April 23, 2018. In this photo, they pose on the steps outside St Mary’s Hospital.
“In this photo you can see Kate’s desire to get closer to William,” Wood said.
“Her upper arm is getting closer to bring the baby in, but there’s a bit of tension there. William’s hand should be wrapped more around her, and the typical placement of his fingers is not there.
“He leans in, but not fully with his body. His silhouette is straight up and down. They are looking at the baby, but not leaning in as a couple – there’s a slight angle.”
William and Kate attended the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on May 19, 2018.
Wood’s analysis of this moment was short and sweet.
“Nothing indicates they are a couple in this photo, they are just two people talking to each other,” she said.
The couple were recently spotted at London’s Chelsea Flower Show, where Kate showed Queen Elizabeth II the garden she designed for the event. William looks more like “a security guard” than her husband in this photo, according to Wood.
Wood explained: “He is several steps behind her, he could be a security guard from that positioning.
“His fingers are gripped tightly in a symbolic fist. There’s an unusual amount of tension and holding of anger there,” she added.
“His chin is pointed up slightly, and there’s a lot of tension in his jaw, which shows a suppression of anger. His upper body is leaning back slightly, away from her.”
Wood added that she can also see “tension” in Kate’s body language, although it is not clear where that tension is coming from.
They made another appearance together at the Queen’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in May.
“She looks at him with such admiration but I wish they were standing side-by-side,” said Wood.
“He is standing in a fig leaf position protecting his pelvis. It is a baseline standard pose for him, but that odd finger sticking out is a sign of asserting masculinity.”
Kate and William were last spotted together at Royal Ascot on June 18.
“I love how he is leaning to the side towards her with his weight on that left side of the body, but the umbrella is there in between them as a barrier and blocking their ability to reach out to each other with comforting touch,” Wood explained.
Wood added that even though the duchess has her “hand protectively over her lower belly,” her lifted smile and raised eyebrows are a clear indicator of happiness while speaking with someone else they know.
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