- Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined Malala Yousafzai for virtual chat on Sunday
- Harry and Meghan spoke with Oxford grad from $14m Santa Barbara mansion
- Discussed importance of girls’ right to education on International Day of the Girl
- Body language expert Judi James claims Meghan’s confidence ‘shined through’
- Said Harry, 36, ‘fidgets non-stop’ and often looked distracted when not speaking
Prince Harry employed ‘Trump-like’ political gestures to stress his ‘personal epiphany’ and desire to make change while Meghan Markle looked ‘in awe’ of Malala Yousafzai during a virtual chat yesterday, according to a body language expert.
The trio connected via Zoom for a discussion to mark International Day of the Girl, with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex speaking to the Oxford graduate from their $14million Santa Barbara mansion.
Speaking to FEMAIL, body language guru Judi James said the occasion was ‘probably never going to be Harry’s strongest subject for an empathetic approach’, with him being a privileged male who had an expensive private education.
When he spoke, she observed how Harry used ‘the kind of over-expansive and emphatic gesticulation that we would normally see from a politician’, and likened his authoritative raising of his index finger index to a command oft adopted by US President Donald Trump.
Judi also noted that Harry fidgeted ‘non-stop’ when not speaking, and often looked distracted.
Meanwhile Meghan’s gestures – which included placing her hands between her legs and on her chest – made her look ‘in awe’ of their host, while her stronger sense of empathy for the cause ‘shined through’.
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‘Following some previous podcast comments that received criticism in the press in terms of empathy, Harry appears keen here to stress his personal epiphany as well as his gratitude for his own life of privilege,’ Judi said, highlighting how the Duke, 36, stressed words such as ‘lucky’, ‘blessed’ and ‘hugely grateful’.
Prince Harry admitted he had taken his education ‘for granted’, adding: ‘It is a privilege but every single person, every single young person across the world needs an education.
‘To know there are 113 million girls out of education, the numbers only going to go up. It worries me and probably worried all of us, the effect of that [a lack of education for women] has not only on the family but also on society as well.’
Judi said: ‘As a priviliged male who went through the best education money could buy, the International Day of the Girl was probably never going to be Harry’s strongest subject for an empathetic approach.
‘The contrast here between his intentional gestures, for example, the way he wants to be seen to be throwing his energy and backing into the cause, and his more awkward-looking leakage signals, is obvious.
‘When Harry takes his turn to speak he launches into the kind of over-expansive and emphatic gesticulation that we would normally see from a politician.
‘He punches one fist into the palm of his other hand, he uses a downward, mid-air finger-stab to mime re-writing the future and after his index finger rises in a gesture of command beloved by Trump, his hands fling about before creating a measuring gesture to suggest firmness.
‘In this performance mode, Harry looks like a passionate promoter of his themes and his gestures suggest some anger in his desire to make change.’
In between the moments of vocal campaigning, Judi observed how Harry’s ‘head drops’ and his ‘self-comfort rituals kick in’.
She added: ‘He fidgets almost non-stop while he is in listening mode, using a range of rituals from an eye-stutter, shoulder-shuffle, finger-pick, scratching and knuckle-cracking and rubbing and palm-picking.
‘He often looks distracted, but there are also moments when also he looks reflective.’
Meanwhile, Judi told how Meghan’s gestures made her look ‘rather in awe’ of Malala, 23.
‘[The Duchess] self-diminishes by scrunching her body and pushing her hands between her legs,’ she explained.
‘Her stronger sense of confidence and empathy for the theme shines through though in her verbal confidence and the way she balls her hands into fists and also uses the signature hand on the chest gesture to illustrate her own emotional connection to the cause.’
Earlier this year, Nobel laureate Malala graduated from Oxford University, having survived being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman at the age of 15 after campaigning for girls to be educated in her native Pakistan.
Speaking on the call, Meghan, 39, thanked Malala for speaking with them, adding: ‘Just thankyou so much for having us on such an important day. For girls all over the world, when young girls have access to education, everyone wins and succeeds. It opens the door for societal success.’
The Duchess revealed they had been having ‘a lot of good family time’ during the pandemic, with Prince Harry saying: ‘We were both there for Archie’s first steps, his first run, his first fall, everything.’
Meghan added: ‘It’s just fantastic and in so many ways we are fortunate to have this time to watch him grow. In the absence of Covid, we would be travelling and working more externally and we’d have missed a lot of those moments.’
Harry added: ‘These are really special moments, but we have been working really, really hard.’
‘We take our amazing education for granted’, says old Etonian Prince Harry
The Duke, 36, and Duchess of Sussex, 39, appeared in a video with the activist, 23, this afternoon to celebrate International Day of the Girl.
The royals discussed the importance of a girl’s right to a fair education with the Nobel laureate and spoke about how the Covid-19 outbreak has had a disproportionate impact on young women’s access to education.
The Prince – who went to Wetherby School, Ludgrove School and Eton College – said: ‘I’m hugely grateful for the education I was lucky enough to have.
‘At the time, I certainly, probably wasn’t as grateful, but looking back on it now, I’m very, very blessed with having such an amazing opportunity.’
Later in the interview, Malala asked Prince Harry how the role of women’s education could benefit climate change.
Prince Harry explained: ‘The importance of girls’ education to help defer climate change is absolutely critical.
‘And again, with an education, it provides money, income, which makes you less susceptible for disaster, less consumption,
‘So all of these things are so deeply connected to one another. Education at a young age opens up so may doors, so many possibilities , opportunities.’
‘And whether it’s within science, whether it’s within government, women are needed more and more. To be able to fill those gaps because the opportunity is vast and, well we know, that the world will benefit exponentially from it.’