For any bride and groom, the wedding day is a mixture of nerve-wracking, exciting, overwhelming and just a little bit scary.
Now imagine being the couple of the most talked about wedding in years. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married at St George's Chapel in Windsor. In front of atendees including Serena Williams, Victoria and David Beckham, George and Amal Clooney and pretty much the entire cast of Suits, the bride wore custom Givenchy and the happy couple beamed from ear to ear before kissing in front of the crowds when the ceremony was over.
While we can make assumptions as to how the couple will have felt ahead of, before and after the service, body language expert Judi James told Harper's Bazaar just what their movements, expressions and tactility reveal about how they were feeling.
Prince Harry was 'overwhelmed by his emotions' before the ceremony
Prince Harry had to wait at least half an hour for his to blushing bride to be and during those moments he was understandably nervous and emotional.
"Like many extrovert guys who are normally the life and soul of any party, Harry's body language on his own big day suggested a man shocked and overwhelmed by the strength of his own emotions," James says. "He attempted some minor fight-backs with the odd grin and face-pulling at his family in the pews but the smiles were lighting smiles, appearing and disappearing far too quickly to be congruent, and his more frequent and lasting expressions ranged from high levels of anxiety to deep, besotted love plus a wide-eyed look of loss when his mother's sister did a reading.
"When Harry first emerged from their car his short walk was peppered with over a dozen self-touch, checking hand rituals like hand-wringing, glove-fiddling and coat-tugging that will normally suggest anxiety or nerves, while his lip-licking would normally suggest a dry mouth caused by the same."
Meghan Markle was calm and confident
As we've seen before in their engagement photocall and interview, it often seems to be the former Suits actress who is the most calm and relaxed one of the couple during these intensely public moments, James says her confidence and poise were "formidable" today.
"Her solo arrival and her mother's tears behind her could both have been cues for some signs of nerves or sadness but she did the whole ceremony with confidence and a sense of loving determination," she says. "Like the vows that had been tailored to register equality her confident body language suggested she was not only a perfect match for the royals but also seemed to signal that she'd put the problems of the past weeks behind her.
"Her back was completely upright throughout and her hands showed no 'leakage' signals that could have suggested suppressed anxiety. When she and Harry held hands her free hand hung down at her side like a ballerinas, with the fingers curled slightly but no picking or fiddling at all."
During the ceremony, the couple 'reassured' each other
"When Meghan arrived, Harry's eyes had an expression of love, with a deeper intense gaze and slight narrowing of the eyes, that was sustained by the way that she employed strong, enduring eye contact on him. Royal brides have a tendency to do the coy glance-and-look-away ritual but Meghan managed to sustain nearly 100 per cent eye contact as Harry said his vows which created a visible intimacy between the two that was congruent."
For a couple who have the eyes of the world on them, their could have very easily been some shaky and nervy moments, James says this combatted this by leaning on each other through reassuring touches.
"The pair held hands while they stood through the service and when they sat to listen to parts of it Meghan placed a reassuring hand on Harry's leg and he placed his own hand on top in a reciprocal gesture."
The couple relaxed during the carriage ride but Meghan was still the most confident
"When they took the carriage ride to the wedding breakfast there was obviously an air of relaxation between the two of them but again it was Meghan's hand on top in the hand clasp, suggesting she was still sending out small signals of confidence and reassurance to her new husband," James says.