A body language expert claims the Queen demonstrated one of the most “controversial body language gestures of her entire reign” at Prince Philip’s memorial service.
The monarch only made the official decision to attend the ceremony at Westminster Abbey this morning and a range of special arrangements were put in place for her.
The service was limited to 40 minutes and the Queen sat in one of the Canada chairs with an additional cushion.
Body language expert Judi James told the Mirror it was notable to see her accepting help for the first time – especially from her son Andrew.
Judi told the Mirror: “The Queen performed one of the most controversial body language gestures of her entire reign today when, after walking up the aisle with her hand linked into his arm, she paused in front of the eyes of the world to smile and nod in thanks to her second son Andrew before taking her seat at her husband’s memorial service.
The Queen had four children to choose from for this emotional role.
“It was the first time she has been seen requiring and accepting help to walk and, after the service, it was a role of escort that would once have been her husband Philip’s.
“This ‘statement’ smile at her son showed a very different Queen from the isolated woman we saw at the funeral service.
“Sitting upright and alert in her throne seat today, gazing round at the proceedings and standing for the hymns wearing a firm mouth-clamp expression, the Queen looked resolute and determined, despite her physical frailty.
“Andrew looked equally firm, standing upright and with a military foot-splay during the hymns, even turning to speak to his brother Edward and his wife Sophie and making them smile while the congregation sang.
He was the man who stepped out from the pews to stand to attention in the aisle at the end of the service, waiting for his mother to take his arm again and to escort her to bid farewell to her hosts.
“As she stood talking to them it was also Andrew standing behind her, joining in the smiles and laughter in a role that would once have been taken by his father, Prince Philip.”
Judi said the sight of Andrew helping his mother the Queen proved too much to bear for Princess Beatrice.
She added: “After seeing her father back in the public eye and the Queen seated in front of her, Andrew’s daughter Beatrice appeared to fall into floods of tears.
“Visibly distressed and with her husband Edo smiling at her in concern, Beatrice tried dropping her head but also had to raise the large order of service right up over her face as she presumably tried to control herself.”
Among the other royals attending today’s service were the Duke and Duchess of. Cambridge, recently returned from their Caribbean tour, with eldest children Prince George and Princess Charlotte.
The Earl and Countess of Wessex were also in attendance, and their children Lady Louise Windsor and Viscount Severn.
Others attending were the Princess Royal and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, Peter Phillips and his daughters Savannah and Isla and Zara and Mike Tindall and their eldest daughter Mia.
Prince and Princess Michael of Kent, the Duke of Kent and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester made up the rest of the royal attendees.
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