Commonwealth Day is observed every year across the world on the second Monday of March – this year it fell on March 12.
There were around 2,000 people at the event, including Theresa May and ex-One Direction singer Liam Payne, who will perform.
According to author and body language expert Judi James, if you took away Kate’s baby bump and Meghan’s signature hair-preen gesture, you’d be looking at two very high-profile royal couples mirroring one another almost perfectly.
Is Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle ‘mirroring’ like-minded thinking or palace training?
According to author and body language expert Judi James, if you took away Kate’s baby bump and Meghan’s signature hair-preen gesture, you’d be looking at two very high-profile royal couples mirroring one another almost perfectly
Judi said: “But is this down to nature or nurture? Is it the kind of subconscious mirroring that would suggest like-minded thinking and high levels of either empathy and/or admiration, or is it more likely to be down to Palace training to ensure Meghan creates the same perfect royal ‘fit’ as Kate did when she married William?
“William and Harry have always been tightly bonded but they have also grown up together using very different body language signals. Harry has always been more spontaneous and relaxed while William has looked more serious and introvert.
“Suddenly thrown into the spotlight in a very new and grown-up role as husband-to-be though, Harry has starter mirroring some of William’s barrier rituals in public, suggesting he wants to get it right as a husband and is looking to his older brother as a template and body language role model.
“This stomach-clasp ritual both brothers are using allows them to use a partial barrier gesture that is all about feelings of security and self-comfort.
Commonwealth Day 2018: Judi James says both couples were mirroring one another almost perfectly
Commonwealth Day 2018: Kate and Meghan’s mirroring could be down to some training
“They use the jacket-clasp as an excuse to bring one arm up but it also handily doubles as an offer of support for the pregnant Kate and a rather tactile Meghan should they need it.”
Kate and Meghan’s mirroring could be down to some training though, according to the body language expert, and she suspects the tips may have come from Kate to her future sister-in-law.
She said: “Kate has always favoured a small clutch bag and used both hands to hold it in front of her torso at royal events.
“Meghan made her first few appearances with a selection of normal, full-size handbags hanging from one straight arm but it looks very much as though Kate has influenced her to take something much smaller and neater.
Commonwealth Day 2018: Kate may have influenced Meghan to carry smaller bags now
“Royals are not expected to use the kind of arm-folding barrier signals the rest of us use when we’re feeling slightly vulnerable and clutching a big bag under one arm would look far too informal.
The Queen favours the traditional handled bag hanging over one crooked arm but the style would be too classic for the younger, more modern royals.
“So it looks very much as though Kate has suggested her own trick of a discreet and partial bag ‘barrier’ to Meghan, which has resulted in these two quite different women in terms of body language behaviour looking like peas in a pod as they walk together.”