Why Harry looked 'nervous' at the Invictus Games - but Meghan looked 'confident'

"I think he was holding back slightly."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet with NATO Joint Force Command and families from Italy and Netherlands during day five of the Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023 on September 14, 2023 in Duesseldorf, Germany.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Harry has been in Düsseldorf, Germany since the start of his beloved Invictus Games last Saturday, but his wife Meghan Markle only joined him a few days later.

After she arrived, the Duchess of Sussex took to the stage to make a speech, in which she explained that she had wanted to stay back in California for a bit longer to be with the couple's two children. 

"Meghan appeared very confident as she gave a speech alongside Prince Harry," observed body language expert Darren Stanton (via OK!).

"She gave very positive, confident body language. She displayed a lot of open palm gestures, which is a sign of honesty and trust. She’s clearly very used to being on stage. Just with her eye contact and voice tone, she projects very well and she’s very used to giving public talks. It was very much the Meghan show."

But Darren observed that Harry's body language wasn't quite as open-hearted as Meghan's, perhaps because the Invictus Games are so much his "thing."

"I think he was holding back slightly. The Invictus Games clearly means a lot to him and it’s his baby," Darren said.

"At one point, Harry was seen playing with his ring finger, which is a self-reassurance gesture. This type of gesture is generally used when someone is feeling nervous."

It's worth noting that Harry often looks quite nervous when he's in public, which seems to demonstrate that he's just a bit shy and not a huge fan of the spotlight, which is very understandable. Meghan, however, had a former career as an actress and is therefore a bit more of a natural with that kind of attention.

Meanwhile, Darren also observed a change of dynamic between the royal couple — a type of evolution you might expect from two people in a long-term partnership.

"I did notice that there has been a decrease in power gestures from Meghan towards Harry," he said.

"For example, she would previously put her hand on his back and guide him by his elbow. However, in recent months, there has been a dramatic decrease in the demonstration of these types of gestures, where she is trying to assert her power. This shows that their relationship has evolved."

Additionally, the Sussexes were seen displaying all sorts of affectionate gestures while at the Invictus Games, demonstrating just how close they are after five years of marriage.

Iris Goldsztajn
Iris Goldsztajn is a celebrity and royal news writer for Marie Claire. As a London-based freelance journalist, she writes about wellness, relationships, pop culture, beauty and more for the likes of InStyle, Women's Health, Bustle, Stylist and Red. Aside from her quasi-personal investment in celebs' comings and goings, Iris is especially interested in debunking diet culture and destigmatising mental health struggles. Previously, she was the associate editor for Her Campus, where she oversaw the style and beauty news sections, as well as producing gift guides, personal essays and celebrity interviews. There, she worked remotely from Los Angeles, after returning from a three-month stint as an editorial intern for Cosmopolitan.com in New York. As an undergraduate at the University of California, Los Angeles, she interned at goop and C California Style and served as Her Campus' national style and LGBTQ+ editor. Iris was born and raised in France by a French father and an English mother. Her Spotify Wrapped is riddled with country music and One Direction, and she can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.