Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, 73, had a rocky start within the Royal Family as her affair with Prince Charles, 72, during his marriage to Princess Diana did not endear her to the British public. However, since marrying the future king in 2005, the Duchess’s popularity has grown and nowadays she is deemed a key asset to the Firm.
Camilla will be at the head of the monarchy when Charles becomes king and ahead of Royal Ascot 2021, she has given an extensive TV interview about her and the Queen’s passion for the sport.
Clips of the interview are being aired by ITV Racing throughout its coverage of Royal Ascot this week and in them, the Duchess gives fresh insight into the royals’ obsession for racing.
But despite Camilla’s fascinating revelations about her love for the sport, she fails to match the confidence of other senior royals while speaking on camera, a body language expert has claimed.
In a new clip, shared by ITV Racing on Wednesday, Camilla appears awkward as she discusses Charles’s brief stint as a jockey as well as the thrills of owning thoroughbreds.
She told ITV Racing she has two horses in training but said the hopes of a good runner can soon be dashed.
The duchess said: “We all know horses don’t we, we start off thinking this is the one – this is the one that’s going to go on, you know, if it’s the flat it’s going to go on and win the Derby if it’s jumping it’s definitely going to win the Gold Cup.
“So you all start with great hope, as it goes on hope is shattered bit by bit.”
Camilla mentioned one of her previous horses Carntop, who showed initial promise: “I remember the excitement of getting him to Ascot and then I think he finished very nearly last and he went backwards and backwards.”
The Duchess added: “And then I think we sent him jumping and he started off with great aplomb and won his first two races. But if anything got near him, he panicked and didn’t want to know and dug in his toes and gave up.”
Body language expert Judi James analysed the latest ITV Racing clip of Camilla for Express.co.uk and shared her insights.
According to the expert, the Duchess struggles with public speaking and has been “left behind this past year when the rest of the royals often seem to have taken to video chats and TV interviews.”
Judi said: “Even though she’s speaking about what is probably her second love (after husband Charles), Camilla’s interview about horse racing does throw up some very awkward and uncomfortable body language signals.”
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The expert added: “Camilla is not a natural performer and has been rather left behind this past year when the rest of the royals often seem to have taken to video chats and TV interviews like ducks to water.
“There is a studied elegance to her seating position and the cushion propping her back suggests a certain amount of planning has gone into getting it right, and Camilla’s engaged eye expression hints at her passion for all things equine, but the questions about Charles’s experiences as a jockey do seem to throw her a little and as she adds more verbal fillers into her sentences, making her sound unsure and wary about any confidential details that might spill out, her hand gestures begin to reveal a deepening sense of anxiety.”
The Duchess displays a “desire to self-comfort” and has a “tight top lip” when answering questions which makes “her speech less relaxed and animated”, Judi claimed.
Judi said: “Camilla seems to have a signature hand pose that should suggest precise thought and a degree of control, status and leadership.”
“This is the steepling of the fingers, where fingertips are placed together, and this is a gesture she seems to have borrowed from her husband.
“When she breaks from this gesture though we can see thumb-rubbing and twiddling that hint at a desire to self-comfort in the face of pressure.
“Camilla also has a very tight top lip here, which tends to make her speech less relaxed and animated.”
The Duchess’s gestures “look endearing” in moments as she tries to appeal to the audience, Judi claimed.
She said: “It can also look endearing though when she puckers the muscle at the corner of her nose, making the combination look like a desire to share a joke.”