In the United States, we won’t be celebrating Mother’s Day until May, but today the Brits are celebrating the moms and mother-figures in their lives, and that includes the royal family.
The Prince and Princess of Wales marked the occasion with two new, never-before-seen photos of their family matriarch, Kate Middleton, in her element with her three children, Prince George, 9, Princess Charlotte, 7, and Prince Louis, 4, at their family home in Norfolk.
In the first picture, Kate poses with all three of her royal kiddos in a tree and in the second, she’s seen carrying little Louis playfully in her arms and doing her best impression of the heart-eye emoji while gazing at his adorable little self. The caption for the post was simple , just, “Happy Mother’s Day from our family to yours ❤️,” along with a photo credit shout out to photographer Matt Porteous, who took over Kate’s usual role as family paparazzi for the Mother’s Day shoot.
If you look at the Wales family Mother’s Day Instagram post and think, “Very adorable. Love it. Not much to analyze, though,” then take a seat and allow the professionals to take over. And by professionals, yes, we very much mean “professional royal family over-analyzers”—in this case, a team-up between the editorial team over at the Daily Mail and body language expert/frequent royal family body language commentator Judi James.
While many casual scrollers might see these photos and think, “aww, so cute,” while instinctively double-tapping, a body language expert like Judi sees so, so much more—including protective tendencies, family dynamics, and even the wispy specter of the bittersweet pangs of motherhood (to be fair and not Rita Skeeter this situation, “wispy specter” is not Judi’s phrase).
Judi says the first picture reveals a lot about the dynamics between Kate and her children—and reveals which of the Wales kids are most protective of their mom.
“Charlotte’s mimicry of her mother’s pose suggests she sees Kate very much as her role-model,” Judi explained to the Daily Mail. “George leans in with his torso, which is slightly in front of Kate’s, and the way he puts his leg out in front of her hints at a desire to protect. Even little Louis seems to want to show how much he cherishes and protects his mum. Sitting with a proud smile, he has stretched one arm out across Kate’s torso, with his hand on her knee.”
As for Kate, Judi says her “body language is all about integration and joining in the play as one of them, rather than a parent invading their private space,” which makes me A.) wonder if something about the position of the tree’s branches revealed that it’s the Wales’ kids private play tree, as opposed to more general use family trees that might exist on the royal fam’s Sandringham estate 🤔 and then B.) feel guilty for being so cynical .
*In the totally normal and calm voice of any forced segue* BUT ANYWAY BACK TO ROYAL BODY LANGUAGE.
If you thought the tree picture said a lot, the Louis and Kate action shot just metaphorically will not shut up, apparently. According to Judi, it reveals a lot about Kate’s feelings about motherhood, which are complex and nuanced and all shouted in those complex and nuanced details via the body language captured in the picture.
“This pose shows Kate fully back in ‘mum’ role again, cradling Louis in her arms and looking down with a warm, loving and caring smile that seems to encapsulate the emotional side of being a mother,” Judi explained, before adding that there are also hints of sadness in the picture. “Louis was always the child she tended to carry around the most when he was a baby. Although she clearly cherishes the way he is growing up to be confident, spontaneous and playful, this pose suggests there is also some bittersweet emotions about losing that constant mother/baby contact. If he is going to be her last child, these feelings of sadness mixed with love could be magnified for her, too.”
^^ Which definitely seems like a more complete and realistic analysis than my crackerjack initial take on the picture, which, as you may remember, was pretty much, “Aww, look at Kate practicing her impression of the heart-eyes emoji.”
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