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Prince Harry displayed ‘small desire to self-protect’ despite ‘outward signals of confidence and enthusiasm’ as he arrived at the Invictus Games opening ceremony in Germany, says body language expert

Prince Harry displayed a small desire to self-protect behind the outward signals of confidence and enthusiasm at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games, a body language expert has claimed. 

The Duke of Sussex, who landed in Britain for his first visit to the country in three months last week, was greeted by an excited crowed of royal fans as he arrived at the ceremony at Dusseldorf Town Hall. 


Speaking to FEMAIL about the 38-year-old’s body language as he made his way into the venue, expert Judi James suggested he showed some mixed signals.

Prince Harry was photographed by a tourist as he visited Windsor Chapel on September 8, the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death.

It is not believed he saw his father King Charles or brother Prince William as he paid respects to his late grandmother, before catching a British Airways flight to Dusseldorf.

Prince Harry (pictured arriving at the Invictus Games launch in Dusseldorf) displayed a small desire to self-protect, says a body language expert

Prince Harry (pictured arriving at the Invictus Games launch in Dusseldorf) displayed a small desire to self-protect, says a body language expert


Body language expert Judi James said Harry (pictured) keeping his hand on the button of his blazer 'provides a secondary role though as a barrier gesture'

Body language expert Judi James said Harry (pictured) keeping his hand on the button of his blazer ‘provides a secondary role though as a barrier gesture’

Comparing his appearance at the Games to his appearance in Windsor, Judi told FEMAIL: ‘Following his informal, jacket-less and tie-less appearance at the Windsor chapel the day before, Harry arrives in Germany looking immaculately and formally suited and booted, even adding to the impression of formality by buttoning the top button of his jacket and keeping his hand on the button to emphasise the point.’

She added that the gesture ‘also provides a secondary role though as a barrier gesture’.  

Judi explained that royals ‘aren’t allowed to fold their arms or use pronounced self-protective barrier rituals’.


Explaining what barrier gestures other royals use, she added: ‘Charles will play with his cuffs and the late Queen would touch the handle of her handbag in a bid to provide even a partial barrier under pressure.’

Judi continued: ‘Harry’s truncated barrier gesture is this touching of the jacket buttons, suggesting a small desire to self-protect behind the outward signals of confidence and enthusiasm.’

The body language expert added that Prince Harry showed a desire to be back among service people.

She said: ‘His posture otherwise looks military, with his chest splayed and his arms held away from his torso, showing a longing to be back with the people he has genuine empathy with.’



More than 500 people stood in the blazing sunshine as they stood behind barriers hoping the Prince would go on a walkabout and greet them as he arrived at the event, shouting his name as he walked past.

Prince Harry (pictured, left) walks into the reception with Stephen Keller, Mayor of Dusseldorf (pictured, right)

Prince Harry (pictured, left) walks into the reception with Stephen Keller, Mayor of Dusseldorf (pictured, right)

As Harry (pictured) waved to assembled crowds, he kept his hand on his blazer button, in what Judi James described as a barrier gesture

As Harry (pictured) waved to assembled crowds, he kept his hand on his blazer button, in what Judi James described as a barrier gesture

The body language expert also commented on the royal's (pictured) posture, saying it appeared 'military'

The body language expert also commented on the royal’s (pictured) posture, saying it appeared ‘military’


However, there were some detractors: a small group of demonstrators shouted out anti military slogans. But as soon as Harry’s car pulled into the market square in front of the town hall they were drowned out by cheers from his fans.

More than 500 competitors from 21 countries are taking part in the games which are sponsored by the US based Boeing firm.

Organisers predict up to 100,000 people will attend the games which will close with a speech from Prince Harry and a set of six songs from singer Rita Ora.

Teams from around the globe have all arrived in Dusseldorf and were met at the airport by the mascot of the Games, a brown bear with the name Buddy.


The UK team and friends and family flew from Birmingham on a RAF transport jet. The 59 members of the include 15 who are still serving in the military while the others are retired from service.

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