When the Duke of Cambridge, 38, leaned in toward his brother, 36, following their grandfather’s service, it was “very hopeful [sign] for these two young men,” body language expert Elaine Swann exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, April 19.
The royal siblings made headlines on Saturday after they were seen chatting alongside William’s wife, Duchess Kate. The two men started the funeral by walking behind the Duke of Edinburgh’s casket during the procession. The late royal died on April 9 at the age of 99.
The duo — whose rocky relationship became even more strained after Harry and wife Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview in March — were later spotted walking beside each other leaving St George’s Chapel. The Duchess of Cambridge, 39, was also photographed with her husband and brother-in-law, but she stayed to the side of them.
“William did his best to open his body language toward his brother,” Swann explained of the siblings’ post-funeral walk. “You have to look at the fact that he turned it toward him. And so, in that opening, that’s saying, ‘Come on in. Let’s talk, let’s chat.’ He didn’t walk side by side, but he actually turned toward his brother.”
“When you know that you have offended or maybe upset your older sibling, then you’re going to do what you can to kind of make it right,” she said. “You recognize two siblings trying to pull it together. I think Harry was doing his best to say, ‘Hey, you know, bro, we’re, we’re still here. I’m still here. I still love you.’”
Saturday’s reunion marked the first time William and Harry had seen each other since the former military pilot relocated to California with Meghan, 39, and their 23-month-old son, Archie, in early 2020. Buckingham Palace announced in February that the couple would not be returning to their senior royal duties.
“I believe it is a step in the right direction because whenever we lose a loved one, the other thing we begin to do is inventory,” Swann said, noting Philip’s death could be the push the royal siblings need to mend fences permanently. “The death of the prince really has fast tracked everyone in this family to think about how life is, in the fact that when someone’s gone, then they’re gone.”
The etiquette expert explained that royal watchers are “seeing in this particular moment” the royal family doing an “inventory” on what matters after dealing with the March sit-down fallout. “This family is looking at the whole scope of things and recognizing that life is precious,” Swann said. “And so, what a way for [Philip] to really, in my opinion, kind of pull this family back together again.”
She added that William and Harry’s joint grief and past loss of their mother, Princess Diana, could be what fixes their relationship.
“That’s the one thing that’s going to tie these two brothers [and] keep these two brothers together is what they have experienced as siblings in terms of their own tragedy,” Swann concluded.
A source previously told Us that Harry knew he was “walking into the lion’s den so to speak” after coming back to the U.K. on April 12 ahead of his grandfather’s funeral. The Duke of Sussex hadn’t seen his family since he and Meghan claimed that racism and lack of support were part of the reason for their departure during the CBS interview last month.
Harry “loved [Philip] very much and will always remember [him] fondly,” the insider said earlier this month, noting Harry wanted to “keep his head held high and show respect towards his grandfather.”
The source explained that the rest of his family was “hoping” the brothers could “grit their teeth” and make it through the reunion “without stress of animosity.” The source added that Queen Elizabeth II and her loved ones were hoping they “can bond in person and put the past behind them.”
With reporting by Christina GaribaldiListen to the Royally Us podcast for everything you want to know about our favorite family across the pond.
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