A confident looking Prince Harry put on a resilient performance during his first public outing since last weeks bombshell announcement, a body language expert has said.
This morning the Duke arrived at Buckingham Palace, the week after he announced his plans step back from his senior role in the royal family.
He met school children and delegates from all 21 of the 2021 Rugby League World Cup nations.
At 12pm he joined rugby legend Jason Robinson and Great Britain's most decorated female Olympian Katherine Grainger to make the draw.
While the Prince was busy choosing England's opponents in the opening game, body language expert Judi James was paying close attention to the royal's every move.
"Harry's thumbs-up gesture says it all here," Judi explained.
"(It is) used as a confirmation signal that everything is okay.
"The thumb is erect, showing an emphatic emphasis on resilience and reassurance, and his arm is extended to make sure the gesture is meant and also seen by all."
As for the Duke's facial expressions, the overall impression was slightly less clear.
"But with (the thumbs-up) comes an incongruent facial expression, with his smile suffering from signs of tension around the lower jaw, which also seems to jut slightly, hinting at bravado," Judi continued.
"The thumbs up might be used by Harry as much to boost his own confidence as to signal to his guests here."
It seems that Harry rose to the occasion on what could have been a difficult day, exhibiting a positive and cheerful demeanour.
However, one small gesture suggested not all of the Prince's thoughts were focused on the day's events.
Judi continued: "Overall this very active and jaunty-looking appearance did show several signs of an optimistic and energised approach, although when his right hand is engaged in a confident gesticulation the left is seen performing a slightly anxious finger-pick.
"Harry's two handed cupping gesture or even what looks like air-quotes gesture suggest he's in a dominant but playful mood, but his trait of touching his wedding ring reveals where his inner thoughts and emotions might lie too."
Harry's appearance today was his first since he and Meghan announced their intentions to step back from their senior roles in the royal family.
The Sussexes said they wanted to become financially independent and intended to split their time between Britain and Canada.
The bombshell announcement led to a two-hour Sandringham summit, after which the Queen released a rare statement saying she would have preferred the pair to remain as full-time royals.
She referred to the couple simply as Harry and Meghan and “the Sussexes”, instead of using their formal titles.
Regardless, the pair's high-stakes gamble paid off in the sense that the Queen gave her reluctant blessing for them to break away.
Meghan then flew back to Vancouver to be with little Archie, leaving Harry back in Britain to weather the storm alone.
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