Harry and Meghan attend Empowerment Reception in 2018
A couple of weeks before their wedding in 2018, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attended a reception for Women’s Empowerment. The couple met with representatives from relevant charities and organisations that promote global gender equality through girls’ education. Express.co.uk spoke to body language expert Judi James about the couple’s interactions with one another, and the shift in power dynamics as the event went on.
Footage of the event shows Meghan waiting for Harry to take the lead and introduce both of them to the guests.
They then circled the room, meeting groups of individuals, and in the first couple of groups, Harry introduced himself and then Meghan.
But one group, Harry launched into conversation with one of the guests and Meghan was seen staring at her husband-to-be wondering if he was going to introduce her.
Eventually, Meghan seemingly interrupted Harry to ask if she should introduce herself to everyone, and then stepped in front of him and shook hands with everyone in the circle.
Meghan was then pulled into conversation with someone and everyone – including Harry – just stood around and listened.
Judi watched this moment and said: “There’s an interesting dynamic here as Harry and Meghan attend a Women’s Empowerment forum.
“Meghan is clearly taking her lead from Harry initially as a royal and even asks if she should shake hands as well as pausing to allow him to walk into the room first.
“But once she is launched we can see the very confident version of Meghan emerge, while Harry adopts a more tentative and submissive pose beside her.
“Meghan seems to be keen to learn the royal ropes here but it is clearly her event, as a champion of women’s empowerment.
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“A few checks with Harry is all it takes before she can move in and engage in some confident and focused-looking conversations about a cause that is close to her heart.
“While Harry moves back and lowers his signals of power and status, adopting some body language rituals that look more submissive than dominant, wiping his moustache with one finger and clasping his hands in front of his torso to signal that Meghan is the expert on women’s issues,” the expert claimed.
Royal fans who watched the moment had mixed views. One said: “Meghan is a natural with the way she conducts herself.”
Another commented: “Harry’s so genuine he’s really interested and engaging, they make a lovely couple.”
Someone else said “all eyes [were] on Meghan” and described her as “elegant”, with another adding: “She holds her own, and owns it!”
Some, however, felt Meghan’s interruption “was rude”. They explained: “Harry was speaking to a person and Meghan just couldn’t wait for them to finish so she barged in between them so she could talk to someone else, leaving Harry basically talking to air.”
Another comment read: “She cannot bear anyone getting attention but her. Poor Harry, she just elbowed him out of the way and he stands there looking helpless. She completely put him off his stride.”
“So rude of her, cutting off Prince Harry’s conversation with the group of gentlemen. Putting herself in the centre seeking all the attention.
“They know who she is, she is the wife of the royal. I could see his face thinking. ‘what the heck Meghan’. No good manners,” a royal fan remarked.
Earlier that year, Meghan spoke about why she believes so strongly in giving a spotlight to female empowerment organisations.
She said: “I hear a lot of people speaking about girls’ empowerment and women’s empowerment, you’ll often hear people say well, you’re helping women find their voices.
“And I fundamentally disagree with that because women don’t need to find their voices, they have a voice. They need to be empowered to use it, and people need to be encouraged to listen.”
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