Expert claims Princess Anne shows ‘inner tension’ in new interview

Princess Anne: Charles won't change as King

Princess Anne opened up about how she thinks her brother King Charles will reign as the monarch and her opinions about a “slimmed-down monarchy”. The Princess Royal gave a “masterclass in royal PR” according to Judi James, a body language expert who spoke exclusively to, but at some points showed “inner tension”.

Judi claimed: “This interview is a masterclass in royal PR that should be required viewing and study for the rest of the Royal Family.

“Anne is not a regular in terms of being interviewed on camera but she handles it so well that she proves her ability to have made a good Queen, had the circumstances of her birth been different.

“Princess Anne is able to wrestle all of these questions while appearing calmly regal but also open and extremely honest. Her comments are sometimes intimate and some are controversial, but she delivers them all with the kind of body language that suggests good humour, intelligence and authority.”

According to the body language expert, Anne lost control at “some points” with “signs of inner tension”.

Judi claimed: “There are signs of inner tension or emotion that belie her words at some points. When she is asked about the relevance of the monarchy she speaks fairly and frankly but her hands form fists that bang in together in front of her torso, suggesting inner tension.

“When she is asked about ties to slavery she closes the subject down with some grace and the words ‘Not a subject I would go down’. Her authority signals intensify here but she offers an ‘out’ by mentioning a ‘historic perspective’. There is also a ‘come on’ and a frown and pursed lips to suggest the subject is closed after a while.

“Anne manages overall to speak openly but without any sense of drama. Her words and her body language are calming in terms of the royal PR perspective because she looks and sounds experienced and as though nothing would really faze her, which could well have been a stance her equally stoic mother might have taken behind the scenes.”

Judi argued that Anne took a different route in this interview than other royals because she never referenced herself or her own issues.

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She opined: “There are no signs of the kind of ego or vanity posturing that other royals tend to display. She is there to flesh things out and even to provide some glimpses behind the scenes, but not to raise her own profile or to vie for our sympathy.

“When she is invited to show her more vulnerable side, being questioned about the very tragic figure she cut at the death of her beloved mother, she stoically switches to the plural to avoid any focus on herself, moving from the use of ‘I’ to ‘we’ to deflect a question about the intensity of her own, personal mourning.”

According to the body language expert, Princess Anne “leads this interview”. She explained: “Anne very subtly leads this interview but without appearing oppressively dominant.

“Her use of body language cues to show when she wants to say more or when she wants to shut a subject down helps her avoid that tetchiness or even sense of evasion and guilt that can appear when royals are asked the ‘wrong’ questions.

“Her eye-smile and closed-lip smile rarely fade, implying, as her father’s body language signals used to, a sense of amusement and good humour that she is happy to share with the interviewer.

“It’s a colluding expression that keeps the interview in the role of more of an intellectual equal.”

Judi explained how Princess Anne suppresses any anxiety during interviews with key techniques.

She suggested: “Anne keeps control by a variety of techniques. She will praise a question ‘Good question!’ to encourage a subject and she will part-close one eye when she’s thinking of an answer, to appear honest and make her answers sound fresh and unfiltered.

“There are two points where she annihilates an idea with a snorting, mocking laugh that speaks more than words ever can.

“The ‘slimmed down monarchy’ is one moment, when she adds it ‘doesn’t sound like a good idea from where I’m standing!’ in a good-humoured put-down.

“She also guides the sense of how much she is happy to open up on more intimate and emotional subjects, like the Queen at Philip’s funeral.

“She jumps in ahead of the interviewer to show she is happy to go down a certain path, then ‘announces’ when it might have gone too far by speaking in short sentences and clasping her hands at upper chest height.”

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