Body Language Expert Says Queen Camilla Couldn't Conceal Her Fears During Coronation - Exclusive

King Charles III's coronation was an occasion to remember, as his crowning and that of Queen Camilla represented a major shift for the British monarchy. King Charles assumed the position after his mother Queen Elizabeth II died in September 2022. And of course, the ceremony wouldn't be complete without the crowning of his wife Camilla, to whom he's been married since 2005.

There were numerous moments that garnered attention, but the actual crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla stood out significantly. Fans got to witness the transformation of both the king and queen as they received their respective head pieces. Body language expert Mark Bowden commented on the importance of this ritual, saying, "The crowning of King Charles III and the Queen Consort is a great example of nonverbal communication, demonstrating how a single object can hold symbolic meaning far beyond its physical form." While neither King Charles nor Queen Camilla wore smiles during the crowning, the queen seemed to be much more tense than her husband.

Queen Camilla displayed nervous hand gestures

Two videos of King Charles and Queen Camilla's crowning surfaced on Twitter, and their wildly different reactions were at full display. The clip of King Charles III showed him looking as serene as ever when the crown was bestowed upon him by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. In the video of Queen Camilla, however, she appeared a little shaky when the crown was placed on her head. As the crown approached, she moved back slightly and nervously adjusted her posture. As it was placed upon her head, she made an uncertain gesture with her hand before sliding her finger under the crown.

Body language expert Mark Bowden examined this tradition, calling attention to the differences between King Charles and Queen Camilla's responses. Bowden described King Charles III's calmness upon receiving the crown, saying, "When Charles receives the crown, his head is already slightly bowed, displaying reverence for the weighty symbol he will bear..." He added, "However, when the crown lands on Charles' head, he supports its weight fully, perhaps displaying his commitment to the duty ahead." On the other hand, Bowden explained that Queen Camilla's wobbly adjustments and hand motions were most likely due to fear "about the crown's steadiness." He said, "It is fair to say Charles shows more control and composure than Camilla around this event."

After all, Bowden concluded, "The weight of any crown is both physical, mental and iconic. Charles looks to be wearing all of these well at this stage."

Inside Queen Camilla's controversies

Because of her history with King Charles III, the crowning of Queen Camilla carries a lot of weight. It wasn't always definite that the queen would ascend the throne, as she sparked a great deal of controversy over the years. In Sally Bedell Smith's biography "Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life," Smith detailed Charles and Camilla's on-again, off-again romance in the '70s and '80s. Charles confessed to being unfaithful to Princess Diana, but noted that it occurred after their marriage had "irretrievably broken down, us both having tried," per Vanity Fair.

A scandal later surfaced when Charles and Camilla's private phone call was leaked to the press. Though it took place in 1989, the transcript was published four years later in its entirety. The then-prince made a host of remarks including that he wished he could "live inside [her] trousers" and be reincarnated as a "Tampax."

Following Diana's death, British residents were not fans of Charles' relationship with Camilla, to say the least. In 1997, a television poll revealed that two-thirds of participants declared that Prince Charles should not assume the title of king if he married Camilla. Needless to say, Camilla was pressured to completely revamp her public image.

Queen Camilla didn't plan on taking the crown

While Queen Camilla hasn't grown on everyone, NBC News Royal Commentator Daisy McAndrew believes that her popularity has increased. In a 2022 article by CTV News, she said, "I think how she's managed to come in from the cold in the public's perception and affection has been remarkable." She added that Camilla's display of her sense of humor, support for her husband, and devotion to issues like domestic abuse has helped change public opinion. She added, "She's wisely never attempted to 'outshine' [Princess] Diana."

Although she became more favorable throughout the years, it wasn't certain that Camilla would take the crown until recently. In 2020, King Charles and Camilla's rep told The Times, "The intention is for the duchess to be known as Princess Consort when the prince accedes to the throne. This was announced at the time of the marriage and there has been absolutely no change at all." However, there was one person who was rooting for Camilla. None other than the late Queen Elizabeth II pushed for Camilla to take the official title of Queen Consort. In a statement she said, "It is my sincere wish that, when that time comes, Camilla will be known as Queen Consort as she continues her own loyal service."