PDA-free zone: Queens love of protocol evident despite personal turmoil

Edward VIII praises Queen Elizabeth II's reign in 1969

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Judi James spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the Queen’s body language evolution, and how she has continued to command respect whilst showing glimpses of her personal life.

Judi stated: “The Queen needed to project power, status and authority at a time when women rarely held high-rank or leadership roles.”

The previous four British monarchs had been men, so the young Elizabeth II had to set herself apart, “surrounded by alpha males who might have seen her as weak and passive”.

Judi explained: “She adopted her own, stand-out charisma by using body language that was distinctly different from the people around her.

“Her balcony appearance at her coronation illustrates her determination perfectly.”

Despite being surrounded by people, the new queen appeared to stand “alone in a crowd”.

“She faces her nation square-on, displaying a sense of focus and regal difference by looking straight ahead as the others around her looked more distracted.

“There were no signals of sharing the role here, or a need of support, she looks utterly independent and her children and her husband stand to one side while she shows the world her mettle in one poised appearance.”

She established an independent persona and reputation from the very start of her rule, and it has carried her through to the present day, where she remains ever self-supporting.

On occasion, she has allowed the British public “glimpses” into her life as a wife and mother, although her “love of protocol” has been “obvious” throughout.

Judi stated: “Charles often tried some verbal and non-verbal PDAs with his mother, like this hand kiss and his references to her as ‘mummy’, but he was often rewarded with a glance of exasperation.”

In one instance when Prince Charles kissed his mother’s hand at a polo match, the Queen allowed herself a “more delighted-looking smile”, although this was perhaps for her son’s benefit as she preferred a “PDA-free zone”.

The Queen often met with influential people and other world leaders, always projecting “the charismatic traits of power, status and dignity” as well as being a “good host”.

She cultivated a “formidable” energy, Judi suggested, referencing a photograph in which the Queen “flatters” US President Ronald Reagan with her eyes whilst discussing world events.

But she always knew when to step back and let others have the spotlight, particularly at royal weddings.

“Despite her usual formal traits the Queen will tend to adopt a similar attitude of any mother or grandmother smiling proudly from the sidelines.”

It is clear that family is truly important to the Queen, which she further exemplified at the funeral of her late husband Philip.

Judi said: “2021 saw some enforced modifications to the Queen’s body language, as it did for everyone else in the world. At her husband’s funeral we saw her masked and, not just apart from others in the normal spatial distance that is kept for royalty, but sitting totally isolated and alone in the pews.”

But even on this dark day the Queen maintained composure; the “iconic” photograph of her “sitting looking bowed and vulnerable” was not actually the monarch “hunched and huddled in tears” but instead looking at the order of service.

Indeed, she was seen using “impressive levels of self-control and dignity” throughout the day.

And despite this personal turmoil, her body language has been “phenomenal” since that day.

“In what has looked like an attempt to keep her personal grief behind closed doors and to return to her role as a figurehead of strength and stability she has been displaying even more upbeat traits than ever before as though still determined to help lead her country through the current crisis.

“At the age of ninety-plus she has created an almost wartime presence, sitting groomed and stoic as she voices messages of optimism like ‘We will meet again.'”

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