It’s no secret that body language can reveal a lot: leaning into someone can indicate interest and attention while avoiding eye contact can mean a person is hiding something. Couples in the public eye are often scrutinized when it comes to their body language, and Meghan Markle and Prince Harry certainly aren’t exempt from the attention. Their new Netflix documentary, aptly titled Harry & Meghan, focuses on their lives before and after controversially breaking from the royal family in 2020. Bustle spoke to body language expert Blanca Cobb about how to interpret their physicality, and she unequivocally determined that their love for each other is genuine.
“They are crazy about each other. They're looking at each other as they're retelling the story [about traveling to Botswana]. They're so connected — it's a moment between them — and this is the type of behavior that you see with couples who are really into each other,” she says.
In the first three episodes that dropped on Dec. 8, their interpersonal dynamic as a couple became the talk of the show as they recount how they met and the early days of their courtship. When discussing their love story, the couple often looks at each other — as though telling the story to themselves — and punctuate the high points with eye contact, laughing, and smiling.
Body language can not only convey someone’s emotional connection, but also the degree to which we can believe the words they are saying. When Harry and Meghan tell the story of their first date, Harry recounts how embarrassed he was about showing up late and how nervous he was to meet her. Harry relives those feelings, which manifest in his lowered head and the way he holds his nose. “When he is saying that he was red and sweating, his body language supports that,” Cobb interprets. “So we know that he's not fibbing there, he's not exaggerating. What he said matches his body language and that gives us confidence that what he's saying is factual.”
That detail can even be applied to the minimal time spent talking about the royal family and specifically Harry’s brother, Prince William. The documentary opens with the couple watching a 2015 interview where Meghan was asked to choose between the two heartthrob princes. Meghan doesn’t concede to either one within the clip but consoles her husband in the present. “Honey, I'm sorry. Of course, I choose you,” she says.
Cobb noted that the mention of William, whom Harry has a strained relationship with, subtly manifested in contempt on his face. “Contempt is the only facial expression that we give that's unilateral,” she explains, meaning it shows up the same on all of us. “You can see a little bit of contempt on the left side of his mouth when the corner goes up a little. It shows up when you really don't like something.” Cobb also adds that both Harry and Meghan don’t show much emotion when talking about the royal family, which indicates “tolerance” and distance.
On the other hand, Meghan’s relationship with her mom Doria Ragland gives off a sense of closeness according to Cobb. “[Ragland] is very demonstrative. She uses her hands. She uses her face to express her emotion. Her body language and her tone of voice are snippets of what actually happened that she's explaining to the interviewer to actually put you in the scene...What it tells me is that Meghan has a level of comfort with her mother and trust to tell her something top secret,” Cobb says.
Above all, the couple’s body language in the first three episodes conveys a loving partnership between Harry and Meghan. Talking about their engagement in the third episode made them “giddy and excited” and “their body language is consistent with how much they rely on each other for emotional support and how they have each other's back,” Cobb concludes. “It's as if no one else mattered, but the two of them. They are one for the other. Exactly what you'd expect of a couple in love.”