KATE MIDDLETON gave the first speech of her royal tour in Jamaica, and comparisons have been made to Meghan Markle’s infamous speech from 2019 in South Africa. How did their body language compare? The Duchess of Cambridge, 40, is in the middle of her tour to the Caribbean with her husband Prince William, 39. On Wednesday, Kate gave a speech at Shortwood Teacher College, where she hailed the “crucial” role of teachers “at the front line” in shaping the early years.
The Duchess said: “We are on the cusp of one of the biggest opportunities for positive change in generations.” On the other hand, when Meghan Markle travelled to South Africa with Prince Harry for their royal tour in 2019, the Duchess of Sussex gave a rather different speech.
She delivered the famous line: “On one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of the Royal Family, I want you to know that for me, I am here as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour, and as your sister.” When she said this, she was met with cheers from the crowd, quite a different reaction to Kate’s speech on Wednesday.
How did their body language differ?
Judi James, a professional body language expert, spoke to Express.co.uk analysing their different speeches. She said: “Two different women, two different styles and two different sets of objectives, but there are still some passing similarities between the way Kate and Meghan delivered their speeches here, as well as several differences that perhaps point more towards the perceived weight of their roles than any in a natural style.
“Both women stand in a diluted version of the classic ‘power pose’ that body language coaches like myself will recommend for both women and men when they are delivering a speech.
“This involves an upright but not too formal or stiff posture and a very important leg splay, with the feet placed slightly apart and the weight of the body balanced evenly on both feet. “This pose not only looks confident, it also creates an interpersonal effect of making the speaker feel stronger and more confident as well,” the expert claimed.
Was Kate’s speech “less openly emotional”?
Judi continued: “Otherwise, Kate’s delivery is more formal, less personalised and less openly emotional, which you might expect from someone acting as an ambassador of the Queen, whose own delivery style is nuanced and formal. “Alone on the stage and behind a lectern, she delivers in a very royal or business style, with the role of future Queen probably ensuring she sticks to the ‘rules’ of delivering a straight down the line speech.
“The passion for the subject is there but it is subtle. She delivers her message straight, with just a slight swaying of the legs to hint at a more energetic and motivational support for her cause. “Her timing, pauses and intonation are all good and she creates her key bullet points with her verbal emphasis, but she doesn’t put a lot of ‘Kate’ into her message.”
How did Meghan Markle’s speech from 2019 compare?
Judi added: “Meghan’s setting is less formal but she also performs the power pose. She also reads from notes but her experience as an actor allows her to personalise this and add motivational emotion by referring to herself frequently to create empathy with her audience. “This is a warm, direct, more celebrity performance with references to her ‘husband and I’ to create instant emotional links that sound personal.
“She uses a script but she appears to come off it to speak very personally in a ‘one to one’ way that Kate’s royal role would probably not encourage,” the expert claimed. Judi went on: “Meghan’s personalising of her message is emphatic. She uses the word ‘I’ at least seven times in this brief clip and the dramatic emphasis of the listing of her roles to create empathy.
“‘Mother, wife, woman, a woman of colour…as your sister…’ would move hearts and minds in a way Kate’s more formal delivery might not.”