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Every once in a while, we see Her Majesty the Queen warmly welcome hugs and kisses from her nearest and dearest.
She reacts to cuddles from others, too – and these PDAs (public displays of affection) provide a glimpse into her true nature.
Body language expert Jon Briggs believes that reading the Queen’s smile, along with the look in her eyes, is key.
He tells OK!: “There’s a distinct difference in the way the Queen looks at those she’s interested in, compared to those she’s just being polite to.
“It’s evident in her animated facial expressions and how she leans in to listen more closely.”
Her apparently delighted reaction to an affectionate gesture from family members conveys a softer, more maternal side to the monarch.
Here, Jon takes a closer look at the rare glimpses into those sweet moments of royal PDAs – and reveals what they tell us about the Queen and her family…
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Polo match, Windsor, 1985
“The smile on both their faces as Charles kisses his mother’s hand after she presented him with a prize is akin to them sharing a family joke, as if to say, ‘This will get them talking!'
“The royal family are in no doubt about the public messages they send out, and can toy with the press and public on such occasions.”
Millennium Dome, London, New Year’s Eve 1999
“A kiss on the cheek was simply not expected between the Queen and Prince Philip – but the Queen’s half smile and the light in her eyes make it clear she was happy to be there with her husband for the New Year’s celebrations.”
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Buckingham Palace, 2006
“The bond that the Queen has with other horse lovers is always made clear.
“The reassuring hands on each other’s shoulders make the closeness of her relationship with her granddaughter Zara Tindall evident. Personal space is invaded without worry.”
Wedding of Peter Phillips and Autumn Kelly, Windsor, 2008
“This is an awkward interaction. Prince Harry makes it quite difficult for his grandmother, who’s not the tallest of people, to reciprocate his hiss, by standing on the step above her and approaching from behind.
“You can tell she’s caught by surprise and ends up kissing the air in return!”
“A rare glimpse of affection between the Queen and an individual who has arrived from outside the royal family – in this case, the Duchess of Cambridge – and adapted to all its stringent requirements.
“The royals know how difficult this is and have seen how often others have failed. There’s a genuine warmth in the Queen’s eyes and subtle smile – she’s pleased to see Kate.”
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