One year ago, on October 31, 2016, the Sunday Express reported that Prince Harry had been secretly dating Suits star Meghan Markle. In the days that followed, both halves of this as-yet-confirmed couple were subject to intense, royals-obsessed speculation.
Many noted the suggestive timing of this spooning Instagram:
Others cited a subsequent Q&A in the Vancouver Sun in which Markle is quoted as saying, “My cup runneth over and I’m the luckiest girl in the world!”
More substantial gossip arrived in the form of a People report that stated Harry had already introduced her to Prince Charles.
Then, on November 8, 2016, Prince Harry did something royally huge; not only did he officially “define the relationship,” he did so publicly, knight-in-shining-armor-style, on formal stationery. This level of insight was unprecedented and, understandably, got people excited. It suggested that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s relationship might henceforth be an open book — or as close to open as a royal relationship can get. Right?
WRONG. The love birds crawled back into their privacy cocoon like hermit crabs into their shells. Months passed. Babies were born. Succulents died. Suns set. Time went on. Plebeians waited.
Finally, almost a year later, they were photographed for the first time together in public, and lo, it was like manna from the heavens. Photographic evidence of their relationship has trickled in at an extremely slow pace since then, but I do what I can with the crumbs that have fallen.
Like a self-appointed therapist, I’ve started to try deciphering their body language to glean further understanding of their thoughts and feelings for one another. Why, you might very well be wondering right now, to which I would answer: a) Because this couple is playing hard to get and I love the chase and b) It’s fun! You’ll see.
Below are four important conclusions I’ve (loosely) drawn based on paparazzi photos and the very real ~science~ of body language:
1. They exchange real smiles (i.e. not the fake kind)
According to the Paul Ekman International blog (named after the pioneer in facial expression analysis, Paul Ekman), fake smiles (of the disingenuous, forced variety) are often only communicated with the corners of the mouth. In a real smile, eyebrows, eyelids and sometimes even the whole head turn upwards as well.
As you can see in the photo to the right, mouth corners are upturned, eyebrows are raised slightly and heads are tilted. I’m no wellness guru, but these smiles appear to be 100% organic, with zero manufactured additives.
2. They are happy and excited when spending time together
Per a LifeHacker.com article, former FBI interrogator and body language analysis expert Joe Navarro identifies raised arms as a sign of positive feelings in his book, What Every BODY is Saying: “When excited, we don’t restrict our arm movements; in fact our natural tendency is to defy gravity and raise our arms high above our heads. When people are truly energized and happy, their arm motions defy gravity.”
LOOK AT HARRY’S ARMS HERE.
AND MEGHAN’S ARM HERE.
I rest my case.
3. They agree with each other
When people mirror each other’s body language, it is an indication they are in agreement and the conversation is going well, according to relationship and communication expert Dr. Patty Ann Tublin.
Here is a photo in which both Harry and Meghan are suggestively resting their forearms in an “X marks the spot” formation, thus leading me to believe that they’re very much on the same page regarding whatever it is they have to be on the same page about. Possibilities include: the number of ginger babies they want to produce, appropriate timing for Harry to finally guest star on Suits and what to get the Queen for her birthday.
4. They’ve reached the comfy stage in their relationship
As human beings, we’re conditioned to instinctively protect our torsos because they house all the soft, mushy, important stuff — hearts, guts, lungs, etc. We only turn our torsos toward other people when we’re truly comfortable. “Our ventral (front) side, where our eyes, mouth, chest, breasts, genitals, etc. are located, is very sensitive to things we like and dislike,” Navarro writes in What Every BODY is Saying. “When things are good, we expose our ventral sides toward what we favor, including those people who make us feel good.”
Harry’s torso says it all, huh?
Now please meet me in the comments and tell me I’m onto something.