Living in the public eye, it can’t be easy for Kate Middleton or Meghan Markle to cultivate or cherish friendships. Judi James, social behaviour and body language expert, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about how these royals conduct their close relationships.
Judi began: “Both women are popular, loving and charismatic, but each seems to have a distinct relationship style that has some similarities but many contrasts.”With regard to Kate, who started dating the Prince in 2003 when she was still a university student, it is rare that we see her as separate from this relationship.
“She was relatively young when she met William and what must have been the engulfing life that was dating a royal might have left her with little time to foster a group of close or best friends.”Clearly William is not just her husband but also her full-time friend and work colleague when it comes to their day job as top-tier royals.
“Their relationship signals like mirroring suggest a very finely-tuned double-act as partners and parents and this, again, might leave little time for any friendship rituals outside that confined space.”
Outside of her marriage, one close bond that the Duchess does have is with her sister, Pippa, who is “the one constant sibling ‘friend’ we get to see on a regular basis”.However, perhaps Kate’s royal role has impacted her relationships even with her own family, Judi suggested.
“There always appears to be an awareness of Kate’s royal profile when we see them together.”They appear close but without any hugely spontaneous body language rituals to suggest Kate changes behaviour when she is with her.”
Judi stated: “If she does prefer or feel safer within her family unit, she would signal a love of being surrounded by deep and unconditional love and trust rather than focusing on social fun and letting her hair down.
“She appears to bring empathy to her relationships and an ability to listen and understand rather than to perform and entertain.”Kate is a source of great strength to other members of the Royal Family, and her willingness to uplift others whilst relinquishing the spotlight speaks to her kind nature.
Judi explained: “Her role in her family and within the royal firm seems to be profoundly hub-like as though she is central and influential to all their lives while allowing them all to perform as the stronger, more high-performing characters.”
She reasoned that the Duchess of Cambridge is a “keeper” when it comes to relationships.As for the Duchess of Sussex, “like Kate, Meghan appears to be driven by kindness in her closest relationships”.
However, one key difference is that “unlike Kate, she will clearly speak up when she feels something has gone wrong and will also speak up for others and risk being confrontational when she is campaigning”.
“Her sense of ‘right’ seems to also point up what she sees to be ‘wrong’ so she seems to be someone who would fight for her friends, too.”Similarly to the Duchess of Cambridge, royal fans are not privy to Meghan’s closest relationships, but while we do not see her in a friendship role very often, “her group of friends are often referred to”.
Many of her pals, such as Serena Williams and Amal Clooney, are equally high profile, which suggests a “team vibe”, according to Judi.And why does the Duchess of Sussex place great importance on these friendships?
“Apart from her mother her family appear to be in her life less and she seems to have cherished her friendships as a result.”In a battle of the Duchesses, while Kate and Meghan both display characteristics such as warmth and affection, their romantic relationship styles are totally different.
Judi concluded: “If Kate entered William’s world on their marriage, Harry has now entered Meghan’s, showing her to be a strong and passionate influencer in her relationships. Harry is often quite open about the things he has learnt from Meghan and how she has changed him for the better.
“Although Kate has clearly changed William too it seems to have been a slower, subtler, steadier and much more calming influence that he might not be totally aware of himself.”