Throughout the courtship and in the weeks just prior to this big day- the one observation noted over and over again by everyone watching was the apparent cool that the future groom and bride were displaying. Given the circumstances, their calm presence and the way they carried themselves stood out and added fuel to the belief that these two have a good chance of making it through better or worse, sickness and health till death… Contrast their relationship with those of William’s parents and aunts and uncles- and what seems apparent is how well they seem to fit together and how down to earth their relationship and handling of all the fuss seem to be.
In observing their non-verbal communication throughout the courtship, I often noted that what they said matched up well with everything they didn’t say. No red flags were apparent and their relationship seemed to be a match between two good friends who are the same age, share similar world views and who appear to have moved towards marriage for the right reasons- love, respect, and a true desire to live out their lives together. Again, we now know in hindsight that other royal marriages did not share these important elements.
While watching them take their vows, I saw a crack in their smooth veneer. In those moments, both William and Kate displayed raw emotion that had been carefully masked in prior public moments. This display did not signal that they had been faking feelings all along or that what they were thinking and feeling did not line up with what they were presenting to the world. Instead, it was just an intense and non-verbal peek at just how strong their feelings for one another are.
Breaking it down to specific gestures, this is what I saw being communicated:
• Eyes looking down, then back up at the other
Both William and Kate repeatedly shifted their eyes from each other to downward glances throughout the saying of their vows. This connotes a feeling of intensity that they need to take a rest from or get some distance from.
• Excessive eye blinking
This was something both William and Kate displayed quite a bit as they said their vows to one another. Rapid eye blinking is a universal signal of strong romantic and sexual interest. It is also a signal for stress. Blinking is used to hide nervousness.
• Licking lips
Kate did this a little more than William, but I noted it in both. For him, this could connote that he “was hungry for her.” What probably applies to both of them is that the arousal and excitement of the moment led to their mouths getting dry- and the response was to lick them.
• Flared nostrils
William’s nostrils flared several times after they faced each other to begin their vows and while Kate was saying hers. This is a universal sign of sexual arousal.
Lastly, there were several times when the couple exchanged microexpressions- which are quick subtle signals that shift between more dominant signals. The ones I noted were small, close lipped smiles and quick looks in which their eyes were smiling at one another. These passed from William to Kate after she said her vows and seemed to be saying, it’s OK, you did well. Kate also used them as William was finished his vows- and both displayed them again as the ceremony wrapped up. At the finish there was clear relief and both showed this with open smiles, relaxed postures and relaxed facial muscles.
Taking all their non-verbal signals together, the message I got was- “I love you and can’t wait to get all this over with and just be with you and married to you.” If ALL couples felt this way on their wedding day the divorce rate would plummet.