The secret signs Prince William has stepped up since Prince Philip died – and how he’s paving the way to be king


THE death of Prince Philip in April this year left the Royal Family in pieces, following a turbulent month in the wake of the Sussex’s allegations during their explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.

However, it seems that one member of the family has stepped up to carry the monarchy into the future.

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Since the death of his grandfather Prince Philip, Prince William has stepped up to be at the helm of the royal family

Rather than be trampled down Prince William, who turns 39 today, has risen to the challenge according to body language expert Judi James.

Speaking to Fabulous Digital, Judi explains: “When the powerful alpha male of any family group dies there are always some of that group who will step up and others who will be knocked back. 

“The shift in hierarchy and group dynamics will often have little to do with accepted pecking order and more to do with strength of personality, and in the royal Firm it has been William who has been emerging as a front-runner leader, showing signs of fast-track maturity as he eases into a more actively dominant role.

“On his thirty-ninth birthday we can now see a man who has shaken off some of those non-verbal signals of wariness and belligerence with the press and sometimes the public. 

Body language expert Judi James says that William has “stepped out in front”

“A lack of control is linked with pressure, anxiety and stress so as William has gained control of his role and his lifestyle he looks calmer, more confident and less protective of his privacy despite all the dramas and trauma in his family recently. 

“Alongside his father and his grandmother, William appears to be a very strong part of the three-way decision-making processes when it comes to royal reactions and responses to things like his brother’s behaviour and criticisms in the US. 

“When William famously snapped back with that impromptu ‘No we are not a racist family’ when the question was thrown at him by a member of the press, the spontaneity and speed of his decision to fight back suggested he now has the confidence, trust and maybe even admiration of the Queen to enable him to speak for the Firm without needing to check or consult first.”

Here Judi analyses the moments that William has demonstrated he’s ready for the crown…


William’s leadership displays were probably never more visible than when he made his brief but powerful speech to camera about the Panorama interview with his mother Diana. 

Once he would have been displaying signals of a more furious anger that was aimed at all the press, and taking these terrible accusations as a sign he should take Kate and his children and retreat into obscurity. 

William demonstrated his leadership displays when he made a speech to camera about his mother’s interview with Martin Bashir

Instead we can see a man who is in charge of his emotions and projecting his anger in a controlled, mature way. He also shows empathy and unity with the press and the public here, standing up for a free press and telling the public that they have been let down, too.

His pose is upright and his shoulders squared to suggest dominance. His eye contact is strong but his puckered brows signal a sense of disappointment.

His anger emerges in the tension of the muscles around his lips as he speaks, and the way that he bounces up and down on his toes is a metronomic gesture to signal emphasis and firmness.

There are no leakage signals to suggest he is bitter or taking things personally, rather a ‘stern parent’ approach that makes his message even more powerful. The verbal ‘embracing’ of the press and the public is a nod to his future role as king. 

From the young man who had learned to distrust both after seeing the experiences of his mother, William now seems to have taken on a role of protector and defender.


Kate and William’s anniversary pictures display his “relaxed and trusting” approach to the public according to Judi

William’s wedding anniversary photos with Kate epitomized the new relaxed and trusting approach he now has to openness and sharing with the public. 

He looks openly adoring and happy here and also hugely comfortable to sit back and admire his wife with no sense of concern or competitiveness. 

It has taken William many years to forge a profile for himself and his family where they are hugely popular and high-profile but without the obsessive, frenzied harassment that his mother suffered from. 

Kate’s confidence signals have grown through lockdown and she has shown herself to be a near professional-level performer and speaker.

Judi says that William has no concern for competitiveness in these photos

William looks less wary about his PDAs with his wife in public and the couple look the happiest we have seen them as a result. 

Since Philip’s death they appear to have moved into the role of ‘power-couple’ in the family, with William taking more top level decisions and Kate showing her talent as a fixer (bringing the two brothers together at the funeral with some very deft choreography) and supporter (placing an arm around Charles’s shoulder when he was overcome with grief).


The Duke of Cambridge has been showcasing more assertive body language on royal engagements

William’s body language on royal visits recently seems more assertive, active and inquisitive recently.

When an influential family member dies it is common for the one filling their shoes to mimic some of their behaviours or traits and William appears to be mirroring what Princess Anne described as her father Philip’s curiosity and interest as someone who ‘asked more questions than gave opinions’.

As Kate watches her husband here William uses five gestures of active interest, confidence and engagement: The raised brows; the wide-eyed eye contact; the head-tilt; the chopping hand and the cocked thumb.

William shows off enthusiasm with his hand gestures here

Speaking to the group of police he adopts a very friendly but dominant pose, with his legs splayed to signal confidence and his hands clasped at waist-level to suggest engagement and enthusiasm, rather than being clasped at crotch-level in his signature ‘fig leaf’ hand barrier that has always suggested shyness and a desire to hide or self-protect.

William communicates warmth even while wearing a mask

Greeting rituals have become hesitant and clumsy since the pandemic made the handshake extinct.

William takes active control in an assertive way here though, leaning out towards his host in the kind of decisive intentional gesture that would make smoother choreography possible.

He also raises his chin and uses an eye-smile to help communicate warmth as his mouth smile is covered by his mask.

In other royal news, we told you how Prince William “threw Prince Harry out” after Meghan Markle “bullying” allegations.

We also revealed the true story behind Princess Diana’s ‘revenge dress‘.

And the hidden meaning behind the Queen’s brooches.