Not so confident after all! Body language expert reveals how Meghan touches her hair in public to stay calm under pressure - as it's the adult version of 'clutching a mother's skirt'
- Meghan, 36, is frequently be seen touching her hair during public appearances
- Expert Elizabeth Kuhnke said it's gesture former Suits star uses to calm herself
- Although she's used to the spotlight, she's still adjusting to new royal role
- Also feels pressure of being judged on her suitability to join the family
She has years of experience on the red carpet, posing for photshoots and handling media interviews, but it appears that her time in Hollywood hasn't completely prepared Meghan Markle for the pressures of being a royal.
While you'll never spot the poised Duchess of Cambridge fidgeting, the former Suits star, 36, has been spotted frequently touching her hair during her recent public appearances with Harry.
Now body language expert Elizabeth Kuhnke, a bestselling author on the subject of communication and non-verbal behaviours, has revealed it's a sign of Meghan using a gesture to calm herself under pressure.
'It’s a physical and psychological calming gesture when feeling uncomfortable or stressed,' she told Femail. 'It’s the adult version of a child clutching favourite toy, mother’s skirt or father’s hand when feeling anxious and not knowing what to do or say.'
According to body language expert Elizabeth Kuhnke, Meghan can be seen constantly touching her hair in public as it's a calming gesture when she gets nervous
Elizabeth stresses that it's all about circumstance and that it wouldn't have the same relevance if Meghan was making the same gesture while alone with Harry.
'Context is key,' the author of Body Language: Learn How to Read Others and Communicate with Confidence explained.
'When feeling nervous - knowing millions of people are watching and judging - tilting one’s head down and playing with hair is a tell of the psychological state of the need to shield or protect herself.'
While it might seem strange to think of Meghan as being nervous in the spotlight, Elizabeth points out that this is a very different role to what she's used to.
Meghan in Brixton earlier this week. Although she's used to the spotlight, she's bound to be feeling nervous as she adjusts to her new royal role
The former Suits star, pictured at Reprezent 107.3 FM in Brixton, may be fearing judgement over whether she's suitable to fit into the royal family
'Meghan is finding her way in a new public position,' she said. 'While she may be used to being photographed, the public previously identified her with her role in Suits, not the real person behind the character.
'Being in the spotlight as an accomplished actress is a different role than the one she now finds herself in.
Every movement, gesture and clothing choice is being scrutinised. She is no longer representing herself as an actress, she is being judged for her suitability as a member of the royal family.'
On her way to the Queen's Christmas lunch: Despite being a popular actress before meeting Harry, nothing could have prepared Meghan for the scrutiny she now faces
One her first engagement with Harry in Nottingham in December. The former actress is displaying the adult equivalent of clutching a mother's skirt or a favourite toy
She added that the expectation of Meghan to perform perfectly in her new role really piles on the pressure.
'The expectations for an actress are different than for those of a member of the royal family,' she said.
'The former are assumed and expected to seek the limelight while royalty is expected to demonstrate a lower and more subdued profile while staying true to their true character.
In short, before her engagement she was judged by her acting prowess. Now she’s being judged for her suitability to represent the most famous royal family in the world. Two very different roles.
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