You don't need a doctorate in graphology-the study of handwriting-to see that that Meghan Markle's penmanship has morphed over time. Just look at the way she wrote her name before her May 19th wedding to Prince Harry, after wifing up on July 11, and most recently, on October 19:
"Signatures carry more importance than the rest of a person's handwriting, which can be completely different," says certified master graphologist Kathi McKnight, who has nearly 30 years of experience interpreting handwriting. "While you'd never analyze a whole person by their signature alone, it's a personal statement, it's a logo-it's the most personal thing you can write about yourself. It's a power snapshot of the writer, always."
Considering all the changes Meghan has undergone in the past year, it's no wonder her autograph is morphing: "Handwriting can, does, and often will change due to moods, major life changes, and stress," McKnight says, adding that pregnancy can affect your John Hancock, too.
Below, she what the Duchess of Sussex's writing says about her personality:
What Meghan's Old Signature Meant
When a signature is illegible like the one above, it means the writer is private, McKnight says, noting that many celebrity autographs have this characteristic. At the same time, Meghan's far-right slant is a sign of extroversion, she adds.
"There are varying degrees, but a right slant can mean you're sentimental and emotional," she says, although the style can have a downside: The further right your tilt is, the more impulsive you are, since it shows you write with speed and a quick mind.
What Meghan's Married Signature Meant
As a Duchess, Meghan takes more time signing her name, as evidenced by the increased legibility-there is an E, G, H, and A in there!-and a slant that's less extreme, signaling more self-control and poise, according to McKnight. Slowing down, she says, is a way of showing respect to readers.
The symmetry in her signature is also telling, according to graphologist Tracey Trussell, who spoke with Harper's Bazaar UK. "She's a stickler for getting things right," the expert said. "She enjoys formalities; she's classy, elegant and polished-with a flair for being the consummate professional."
Another thing: "She is more willing to be 'seen' for who she is, which takes courage in the public eye," McKnight says.
At the same time, take a look at the way Meghan shapes her M and N: She drags her pen above both letters, a nod to her former life as a part-time calligrapher. "Covering the top of your handwriting is a way to cloak yourself-it's a mode of self-protection," McKnight says. And see the way the right side of the M dips below the line, unlike her old signature? "This can show some deep-seeded emotion about something," she adds. Although that something was unknown at the time, in hindsight, baby making might have been on her mind: Some sources estimate that Meghan and Harry conceived around mid-July.
Both before and after marriage, Meghan has kept the first and last letters of her name intact, a sign she's protective of her emotions, according to McKnight.
What Meghan's Pregnant Signature Means
Typically, Meghan finishes her N by curling the bottom right side of it up with a little flourish-a sign of emotional neediness, according to McKnight. Above, Meghan lets the letter trail off without a loop. "Meghan must be feeling more nurtured," McKnight says of the recent change.
The Duchess's writing also hints at newfound vulnerability: Although in previous signatures, she'd draw a line from the top right side of her M to cover that letter exclusively, above, she practically draws an umbrella over the letters "MEG," starting the line at the top of her H. Expanding what McKnight calls a stroke of self-protection is a way of shielding personal parts of herself, McKnight says.
What Hasn't Changed
While you might think the changes in Meghan's autograph signal a dramatic metamorphosis, McKnight says the core strokes in the Duchess's handwriting have remained consistent-meaning she's staying true to herself in some key ways:
- She consistently writes above the designated line. This suggests she has little regard for rules, according to McKnight.
- Her writing is threaded, as evidenced by the way she consistently fails to clearly define the shape of her letter N. The implication: "[Her] brain works so fast that [her] pen can’t keep up with [her] thoughts," McKnight says.
- She draws her M with sharp points rather than rounded humps, which suggests "she is astute, analytical, and can size up a situation very quickly," according to McKnight.
So: While changes like marriage and pregnancy can show up in penmanship, McKnight says, Megs remains the same old smarty pants intent on doing her thang. Gotta love her!
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