It was the shrug seen around the world.
Kate Middleton and Prince William traded their crown jewels for Queen Victoria sponge cakes in the BBC’s A Berry Royal Christmas special, where they joined namesake and Great British Baking Show legend Mary Berry. The program aired in the U.K. on Monday evening, and some of the reactions hit an uncharacteristically bitter note.
Social media users noticed an awkward moment between the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Prince William reaches out to touch Middleton, and, to the naked eye, it seems she juts her shoulder back to avoid his touch. Middleton then echoes the sharp jerk on the other side of her body, a smile still glued to her face.
Is she really just avoiding her husband’s touch, or is it an optical illusion? Body Language Expert Patti Wood read Middleton’s “cha-cha dance” toward William as a way to mask how she felt for the cameras. “The pull away was a strong significant retreat from his touch and you can see that her hands, held out in a cannon shot formation to calm and protect herself, stayed together the whole dance,” she explained. “She does a slight shrug up and down with her shoulders and body to shrug off his touch and the stress of what just happened.”
Public displays of affection aren’t exactly encouraged in the royal family, so perhaps Middleton was just staving off a potential break of protocol?