Prince Charles took the reins on Tuesday, May 10, when all eyes were on him at the State Opening of Parliament. However, he seemed uncomfortable with the spotlight, body language expert Judi James noted.
"Of course, the most powerful presence at this State Opening of Parliament was always going to be the missing one," James told The Mirror. "Even with the Queen’s throne removed the gap left looked poignant and as Charles lowered himself onto what is called the Consort Throne and William squashed himself onto the smaller throne a few steps down, Charles appeared preoccupied with the crown that sat in front of him, gazing at it for several moments before he was given the speech to read."
"Charles arrived using body language signals to suggest a desire to imply control and even leadership," she continued. "There were some directional steering gestures to his wife and Black Rod on the way into the building and even some smiles of greeting, but he became more sombre and there were some undeniable signs of nerves as he took the walk to the throne room. He took a deep breath on the way in and performed a jaw-jut and sideways wobble as though bracing himself. As he arrived at the archway to the throne rooms his head suddenly jerked up to either look at the arch or the throne."
James noted that over time, Charles got more and more anxious.
"With Camilla’s left hand showing anxiety signals, tapping at the arm of her throne, and her feet making jittery movements on the floor, Charles’s levels of nervousness became more obvious as his hands shook while he held and read the notes of the Queen’s speech, making the pages flap as he held and turned them," she noted.
Earlier this week, the palace announced Queen Elizabeth would not be attending the event. “The Queen continues to experience episodic mobility problems, and in consultation with her doctors has reluctantly decided that she will not attend the State Opening of Parliament tomorrow,” a statement from Buckingham Palace read. “At Her Majesty’s request, and with the agreement of the relevant authorities, The Prince of Wales will read The Queen’s speech on Her Majesty’s behalf, with The Duke of Cambridge also in attendance.”