The death of Prince Philip, tragic though it was even at his advanced age, came at a particularly awkward moment for the royal family. A little over a year ago, Philip’s grandson Harry had made the unpopular decision to resign from his duties as a royal and, what’s worse, ship out to the (former) colonies and take up residence in Santa Barbara. Even more shockingly, he then proceeded to court the kind of media attention the royals have traditionally shunned, culminating in a tell-all interview with the Queen of America, Oprah Winfrey. Although the sordid details of the interview were kept from the gravely ill Duke of Edinburgh, it’s unlikely that he’d have been pleased by all the fallout.
Well, despite Harry’s sinking popularity after his public dirty laundry airing, he nevertheless did the right thing by returning to the U.K. for his grandfather’s funeral. How could he, after all, desert the man who’d walked at his side when he had to follow his own mother’s casket through the streets of London at the tender age of 12? Needless to say, Harry may have been feeling some complicated emotions upon his return. The List spoke with two body language experts, certified movement analyst and public speaking coach Robin Konie and life coach/relationship expert Nicole Moore, to get their take on the prince’s actions at the funeral and what they may have to tell us about his new role in the family.
Harry's upper lip isn't so stiff
Konie spoke of the funeral procession itself as feeling “almost choreographed as family members fell into line.” While almost everyone kept their eyes either straight ahead on the Land Rover bearing the casket or else cast down to show proper reverence for the solemn occasion, Konie noticed that “occasionally, Harry’s gaze seemed to drift to the right toward Prince Charles and, at times, Prince William.”
Moore also notes how Harry’s eyes had a different tale to tell than that of traditional British restraint. She speaks of “a very telling moment during the funeral procession where Harry’s body language broke from those around him,” saying this occurred when “he looked up into the sky longingly, almost as if he was looking for some sort of direction.” She wonders if “perhaps in that moment he was thinking of his mother Diana,” which does seem likely as she’s been much on the mind of both Harry and his brother William as of late. She also thinks this skyward glance may speak of ‘his desire, at times, to escape from the demands of royal life…[and] the emotions and tension of the funeral.” Well, the funeral is over now and Harry will likely be flying back home pretty soon, but it’s to be hoped that he’s made some small steps towards reconciliation with the rest of the family, as perhaps only that will bring him the peace he seems to long for.
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