Prince William masked his ‘nerves’ at COP26 with ‘repeat rituals’ and ‘choreographed’ gestures, body language expert says – as the spotlight left him looking flushed on stage
- William’s nerves were said to be ‘higher than normal’ when addressing COP26
- Body language expert said the royal father-of-three used ‘several repeat rituals’
- As well as ‘choreographed’ hand gestures to mask his anxiety, said Judi James
Prince William’s nerves ‘were higher than normal’ when addressing COP26 and he used ‘several repeat rituals’ and ‘choreographed’ hand gestures to mask his anxiety, claims a body language expert.
The Duke of Cambridge, 39, delivered a speech during the World Leaders’ Summit ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ session of the summit in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday.
Cutting a stylish figure in a smart black suit adorned with a poppy, the father-of-three urged world leaders to ‘think differently’ and make the ‘impossible, possible’ in his impassioned address.
Body language expert Judi James told FEMAIL that the royal appeared more nervous than usual and was ‘still suffering from butterflies’ – so used dramatic-looking gestures to hide this.
Prince William’s (pictured) nerves ‘were higher than normal’ when addressing COP26 and he used ‘several repeat rituals’ and ‘choreographed’ hand gestures to mask his anxiety, claims a body language expert
The Duke of Cambridge (pictured), 39, delivered a speech during the World Leaders’ Summit ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ session of the summit in Glasgow, Scotland, yesterday
Cutting a stylish figure in a smart black suit adorned with a poppy, the father-of-three (pictured) urged world leaders to ‘think differently’ and make the ‘impossible, possible’ in his impassioned address
She said: ‘William’s verbal and non-verbal style as he delivered his powerful speech yesterday were unarguably different from his normal delivery. His gesticulation was more pronounced and he seemed to speak with a new sense of purpose and even bounce.
‘Looking at William’s body language on the build-up to his speech it appears that his levels of nerves and anxiety were higher than normal.’
She suggested he showed his nerves by performing ‘several repeat rituals of clothing checking and self-touch that are more extreme than usual’.
‘These types of “performer nerves” are common with professional speakers and performers and rarely prevent a cracking speech on stage, but they do suggest that William is still suffering from “butterflies” rather than raised levels of confidence,’ said Judi.
She added: ‘William’s gestures were congruent and rather modest in terms of their message and tone, with no apparent attempt to big himself up in front of a global audience or act like a guru.
‘If anything he was keen to direct praise and attention onto his 15 Earthshot Prize finalists. William wasn’t doing any global status-raising then, but there were several hints to suggest he had been doing some serious training for this important speech.
The royal (pictured) put on a very animated display during his impassioned speech at the COP26 summit
Prince William (pictured) spoke just a day after the Queen’s impassioned video message whch highlighted the need for world leaders to put aside division and act now for the sake of ‘our children’
‘He spoke more quickly than usual but without losing any accuracy. His diction and enunciation were incredibly better than usual but without sounding over-careful.
‘His hand gestures looked well-timed to the point of being choreographed, with a couple of raised digits for emphasis and then a series of precision gestures, first with the left hand and then the right.
‘Precisions are less about showmanship and more about proving your points are based on fact and detail. The one hand laid flat on his chest for an extended amount of time was probably to show heartfelt honesty.’
In his speech, the royal noted the urgency for people to ‘think differently’ if the battle against global warming is to be on its way to success within a decade.
It came just a day after the Queen’s powerful video message which highlighted the need for world leaders to put aside division and act now for the sake of ‘our children’.
The royal, donning headphones and a protective face mask, could be seen preparing before he took to the stage
A general view as Prince William took to the stage at the World Leaders’ Summit ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ session
Prince William spoke with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission at the World Leaders’ Summit ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ session
Taking to the stage, Prince William challenged world leaders to push even harder in a bid to stop devastating floods, fires and heatwaves and said: ‘If we are to achieve our goal to repair our planet in what is now less than a decade, it is our shared responsibility to continue thinking differently, acting boldly, and making the impossible, possible.’
During the ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ session in one of the plenary rooms, Prince William addressed the assembled world leaders and introduced the winners and finalists of the inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards, which took place on 17 October.
The royal was joined on stage by 15-year-old India-based Vinisha Umashankar, the youngest Earthshot Prize Finalist.
Vinisha’s solar-powered ironing cart is a clean alternative to the charcoal-powered street irons that press clothes for millions of Indians each day.
Concerned by the burning of charcoal on the health of her local ironing vendors and the impact on air quality across India, her solar-powered invention means five hours of sunshine can power the iron for six hours.
Extra mobility means vendors can sell on doorsteps as well as the roadside and built-in phone top up and charging points bring extra income too.
Vinisha’s example shows that by innovating today, the next generation can create a cleaner tomorrow.
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