Duchess of Cambridge 'friendly' not a 'stuffy guarded royal' in TV interview says body language expert

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

The Duchess of Cambridge “really came into her own” during a video call interview and could even offer seasoned presenters a tip or two according to a body language expert.

Kate spoke to Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby via video link on This Morning on Thursday as she launched her photography project in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery.

She won praise for her relatable tales of lockdown life and homeschooling as she chatted away about her family.

And body language expert Judi James says the interview shows how far Kate has come since the early days of her royal life, and how different she looks in a less formal setting.

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince Louis of Cambridge clap for NHS carers as part of the BBC Children In Need and Comic Relief 'Big Night In at London on April 23, 2020 in London, England.The 'Big Night In' brings the nation an evening of unforgettable entertainment in a way we've never seen before. Raising money for and paying tribute to those on the front line fighting Covid-19 and all the unsung heroes supporting their communities. (Photo by Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need/Comic Relief via Getty Images)
The Cambridges have been playing their part in the coronavirus response. (Comic Relief/BBC Children in Need)

Read more: Viewers praise 'relatable' Duchess of Cambridge as she discusses homeschooling three young royals in television interview

She told Yahoo UK: “Kate has never looked totally at ease with more formal speaking gigs that require a lectern and a script but, unlike a great swathe of the professional presenters and experts we’re seeing on our TVs during lock-down, she appears to be a natural at the skill of interviews via video-link.

“Previously she’s appeared alongside her husband via video link and he does seem to sit back slightly and allow his more relaxed-looking wife lead the conversations and do a lot of the talking, but appearing alone on This Morning, Kate really came into her own.

“Her background wasn’t a distraction, her lighting was good and she was almost perfectly framed in the screen, but it was her natural style of delivery that was really a revelation. Her smile broke out as soon as she saw her image on screen and she spoke more like a friendly co-presenter of Holly and Phil’s than a stuffy, guarded royal.

“She even turned the tables on the presenters a couple of times, throwing a curved ball at the end when she asked Holly and Phil to send their own photos in, plus a moment earlier in the interview when she sidestepped any traces of self-pity when being asked how she was coping during lock-down and asked the surprised-looking presenters how their families were coping instead.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 09: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the Commonwealth Day Service 2020 at Westminster Abbey on March 9, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
Kate and William have focused their efforts in mental health response. (Getty Images)

Read more: Detail you might not have noticed as Meghan read to Archie in first birthday video

James also praised the way Kate managed to “look as though she’s using eye contact” and use “active listening skills like nodding, pacing and subtle mirroring” despite not being face-to-face with the others.

She added: “There were no signals of nerves apart from one small trait when she fluffed a word and closed her eyes as though silently telling herself off.

“Otherwise she combined her fun smile and nose-wrinkling laugh with appropriate gestures of sadness or concern, when she sucked in her lips or steepled one brow, glancing reflectively to her left before speaking.

“Kate’s body language bridged the gap created by distance and technology here in a way that other more seasoned presenters might take lessons from.”

Kate spoke to This Morning presenters Phil and Holly to launch Hold Still and ask the nation to send her their photographs of life in lockdown.

DUBLIN, IRELAND - MARCH 04: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge helps prepare soup as she visits Savannah House, a residential facility run by charity Extern, in County Meath, north of Dublin on March 4, 2020  (Photo by Julien Behal/Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
The duchess has been praised for being likeable and relatable. (WireImage)

Read more: Duchess of Cambridge asks nation to send her their lockdown photographs as part of coronavirus pandemic project

She talked about homeschooling her three children, joking about George preferring his younger sister’s projects to trying to do his own work, and revealing she had ended up as messy as Louis when she took pictures of his artwork.

Discussing the inspiration for the community project, she said: “Life has changed totally for all of us. To see what people are living through and going through would be great.

“What I’m drawn to is people and telling the human side of this I think we are all connected to this and being able to show case portraits of this and collate a portrait of the nation at this difficult time is what inspired me, to connect everyone at a human level, and show our experiences.”

Entries can be submitted for free from Thursday until 18 June.