Nothing says class and poise like the royal family, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge often get the most attention for how the always appear effortlessly flawless. Not only are they consistently careful about their choice in clothes, facial expressions, and their personal grooming, but they have enviable postures that seem to harken back to another era. In our modern world of hunching over at a desk or on our smartphones, it’s incredibly difficult to maintain proper posture. So how do they do it?
Why do Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton pose the same way in most photos?
In photo after photo, the Duchess of Sussex and the Duchess of Cambridge can be seen sporting similar poses. The women both have go-to stances for public appearances that have become somewhat of a trademark for them. They are in hundreds, if not thousands, of photos each year and are under constant media scrutiny, so it makes sense that they would be well-rehearsed when it comes to stances and poses.
Body-language expert Blanca Cobb explained just that to Cosmopolitan saying: “What happens when you stand a lot? You have a go-to move, something that makes you feel comfortable, and it becomes a habit.”
Cobb goes on the explain why Markle is often seen with her hands clasped in front of her body: “It’s almost like an invisible shield—like a barrier to protect herself. Her hands are clasped to give herself some more comfort and certainty when she’s in the spotlight.”
In a strange way, this analysis just further exemplifies the level of scrutiny these women are under. Even their rehearsed poses are studied and analyzed.
What poses do Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton often appear in?
The duchesses’ poses are each so practiced and predictable that etiquette expert Myka Meier gave them names and broke them down in her book, Modern Etiquette Made Easy.
Meier dubs one of Markle’s poses the “Sussex Stance” and explains that it features shoulders rolled back, arms relaxed at the side, and legs crossed with toes pointed forward. Meier goes on to explain that not everyone looks best facing head-on, and so they may turn slightly to the side to find a better, more flattering angle, but to keep the toes pointed forward.
Middleton’s pose Meier calls the “Cambridge Carry.” Again, the shoulders are rolled back, but for this pose, the hands are held in front, with their legs parallel, toes pointing forward. Meier writes that this pose is made easier by carrying something such as a purse or tablet so that the hands are more relaxed than when they are clasped together.
Markle’s other common pose, the one analyzed by Cobb above, is similar to the Cambridge Carry, but with hands clasped, fingers intertwined. Middleton, by contrast usually has one hand resting over the other, much like the pose the male royals often take on.
How can the rest of us have royal posture?
Good posture always starts with a relaxed spine, and shoulders rolled back. Whether sitting, standing, or walking, staying mindful of the position of the spine is crucial.
Dance instructors and acting coaches often use the visualization of a string pulling through the top of the head to help students gain proper posture. The visualization especially helps with understanding head placement so that the chin is parallel to the floor as opposed to jutting upward.
When it comes to the rest of the body, as we saw with Middleton and Markle, it’s best to keep the toes pointed forward and the arms in a relaxed position. It’s quite popular for some celebrities to rest their hands on their hips (like the Kardashians), but Meier doesn’t advise this placement.
“Keeping your body in a cylindrical shape elongates your body, and notice there is no hand on hip with an oddly angled elbow jutting out,” she explained in her book.