William & Kate's Chilly Interaction At Trooping The Colour 2024 Won't Put Troubled Marriage Rumors To Rest

William, Prince of Wales and Catherine, Princess of Wales made their first official public appearance together in months at Trooping the Colour 2024, but it wasn't enough to convince naysayers that a marital abdication isn't forthcoming.

Red flags in Prince William and Kate Middleton's marriage emerged well before Kate's lengthy respite from royal duties got skeptics of the couple's relationship really riled up. The pair could have used a show of affection — even a brief one — to quell concerns that all is not well, but instead, they kept a bit of distance between them while standing with their family on the Buckingham Palace balcony. In footage of the royals watching the Royal Air Force flyover, Kate could be seen positioning herself slightly closer to King Charles III and frequently leaning toward him to talk. When she turned to exchange a brief word with William, her movements were stiffer and less companionable. William also looked a bit irritated when the couple did speak.

Kate occasionally rocked back on her heels as if she were on edge, which could be because she was nervous about participating in a royal engagement after such a long break — or perhaps being civil with William was awkward for her. In response to a video clip of the couple, one user on X, formerly known as Twitter, observed, "Kate & William make no eye contact whatsoever."

However, one body language expert believes the couple's balcony interactions are no cause for concern.

Skeptics think the couple's car ride was a bit chilly

Traci Brown, CSP, Fraud-Busting Body Language Expert, exclusively spoke to Nicki Swift about Prince William and Kate Middleton's balcony demeanor and she believes their performance was simply business as usual. "PDA's aren't what the royals do. William and Kate aren't acknowledging each other but seem happier than I've seen them in one of these balcony situations," she said. Brown further pointed out that King Charles III and Queen Camilla weren't exactly radiating warmth toward each other on the blustery day either.

However, critics who are convinced divorce is imminent for William and Kate have pointed to another potential sign of marital trouble. The couple was also photographed in a car on the way to the Trooping the Colour 2024 ceremony and they didn't look all that excited to finally be attending an event together — even one that's supposed to be all about celebrating a joyous occasion. 

In response to a photo of Kate and William avoiding making eye contact with each other in the car, one X user wrote, "A pic is a thousand words, not exactly the image of a 'Happy Family.'" Another tweeted, "That marriage is so over. ... Everyone looks absolutely downcast. Yeah. Nobody is on the Windsors side, not even the weather."

Kate Middleton's cancer updates may also be telling

Ahead of her Trooping the Colour 2024 appearance, Kate Middleton shared a photo rife with symbolism on social media. She exuded optimism while standing beneath a willow tree, which was possibly meant to be emblematic of the strength and resilience she hopes to sustain as she continues her cancer treatment plan. But why would Kate choose to pose with a plant over her prince?

Kate also went solo when she announced she had been diagnosed with cancer after undergoing abdominal surgery. Instead of showing the world she's facing her health struggles with a supportive husband at her side, it's as if she was sending the message that she's doing so alone.

One X user predicted that Kate just attended her last Trooping the Colour. If true, this would possibly explain why she finally decided to step out in public with her family despite reports saying she would be out of commission for quite some time — sources previously told the Daily Beast Kate likely wouldn't resume making public appearances until next year. But if she knows a divorce is imminent, why not enjoy one last hurrah as princess? It's all only idle speculation right now, but if Kate were to go, it's clear many would consider her a great loss for the royal family. Of her balcony photos with William, one observer tweeted, "He looks awkward and irked. She looks regal thus makes him look A LOT better."