Harry and Meghan’s Time photoshoot was ‘very forced’ and ‘looked like a PR campaign’, a body language expert has revealed.
Speaking to FEMAIL, Robin Kermode, a leading communication coach working with senior political and business leaders, said the Duchess of Sussex’s ‘wide-eyed’ look was ‘self conscious’ while Harry is forced to stand behind his wife and lean into her.
Meanwhile, body language expert Darren Stanton said that Meghan is posing with her legs apart to show she is ‘powerful’.
The couple are the cover stars of Time magazine’s 2021 list of the 100 most influential people on the planet in a feature. But the photos have been branded ‘awkward’ and ‘heavily airbrushed’.
‘All the pictures have the rehearsed quality you’d expect from a full on PR campaign presenting them as the ‘Power Couple” Robin explained discussing the cover.
Harry and Meghan have agreed to be the cover stars of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people – with this new image released accompanied by a gushing profile
‘I can see why Time chose the cover shot with Meghan in front with Harry leaning on the wall behind her, but it was probably one of hundreds of shots and doesn’t necessarily represent the actual relationship balance of the couple.
‘There is an almost deliberately wide-eyed look, showing openness, but the pose feels almost self-consciously so’.
Speaking about a second image released by the magazine, showing the couple walking hand-in-hand through a forest, Robin explained: ‘This feels much more natural and Harry’s smile, particularly, is very genuine. It might almost be an engagement shot.
‘But in both pictured Meghan holds her ground forcing Harry to lean in to her on the cover she can stretch his left arm towards he in second, which is interesting.
Harry and Meghan smile as their walk through their Californian estate in a photoshoot branded ‘awkward’ and ‘photoshopped’
‘Meghan’s right hand in the pocket feels very staged. This is not a natural position for a hand, and there is tension in the thumb to maintain this position without ruining the line of the trousers’.
In a third shot Harry is seen standing behind Meghan with her hands on her hips and face.
‘I would say Meghan looks as if she is enjoying this shoot. Harry looks as if he is trying to ‘”do the right thing”‘ Robin explained.
‘Again, Megan’s arms are very consciously ‘posed’ as if deliberately creating the image she wants.
In another image they are in matching grey office-style clothes next to a window in outfits chosen by celebrity stylists Clare and Nina Hallwroth, who have recently dressed Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston
‘A little tension in Harry’s lip corners and chin area suggests he has been asked to stand in a particular way for the shot.
‘This feels like the slightly tired ‘end of shoot’ look. Megan seems to be still firing on all cylinders. ‘.
Meanwhile, body language expert Darren Stanton said the photos were reminiscent of those seen of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
‘Harry is standing straight to arrive his hands his pockets Megan is adopting a classic power pose noticed at a distance,’ he explained.
‘She has placed her feet widely apart this is a classic power gesture used by major world politicians seen in recent times including Trump, Putin, Macron and Trudo.
Meghan and Harry appeared on Oprah to drop ‘truth bombs’ on the Royal Family
‘This gesture is saying “hey look at me I am the most powerful person in the room” the idea is the more space we occupy the more important we are opposite of assholes to be.
‘The image of the pair walking woods also is quite revealing although they are looking at each other holding hands we can see from Meghan’s left hand position it is off and off out of her pocket thumb is showing again this is a power gesture to say “I am the more powerful person”
‘I remember an image of Tony Blair and George W Bush walking but they say hands in pockets showing their sons on one level it says we are in rapport and think of the same but the subtleties also show us who is more powerful are in the relationship
Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is praised by Harry and Meghan for ‘the groundbreaking nature of her appointment to the role’ as Director-General of the World Trade Organisation
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have praised Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala for ‘the groundbreaking nature’ of her appointment to the role of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation in March.
In a post to the couple’s website Archewell, Dr Okonjo-Iweala was celebrated for ‘her ability to see the COVID-19 pandemic as a crisis with significant implications for both health and economic security’.
In February last year Dr Okonjo-Iweala demanded that rich countries donate Covid vaccines to poorer nations immediately rather than waiting until all their citizens are inoculated.
In a post to the couple’s website Archewell, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (pictured) was celebrated for ‘her ability to see the COVID-19 pandemic as a crisis with significant implications for both health and economic security’
Harry and Meghan’s tribute continued: ‘Okonjo-Iweala is acting swiftly, working to improve coordination, supply chains, and the flexibility of trade rules in order to get COVID-19 vaccines to as many people as possible — and to every nation.’
‘The cover is very posed and photoshopped.
‘We see this image of Prince Harry standing behind Megan‘s right hand on her shoulder this is to say “I’m with you I am supporting you”
‘This is very reminiscent of some of the shots that we have seen from Hollywood power couples in the past and most similarly with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
‘Overall I think this demonstrates that Prince Harry and Megan are looking to continue to build their brand especially in America as a power couple but it is also clear from the body language that Megan as I always maintained, holds the power in the relationship’.
The US publication released a glossy cover on Harry’s 37th birthday showing the Duke of Sussex stood behind his wife with his arms on her right shoulder in the ‘icons’ section of the annual line-up alongside Naomi Osaka, Dolly Parton, Britney Spears and Alexei Navalny.
One critic claimed the cover photo reflected the power dynamic in the relationship, because Meghan is in front of her husband, tweeting: ‘Wow, this photo speaks volumes. There is no hiding who’s in control’. But Time’s picture editor, Dilys Ng, who made the final decision on the cover image, said today that the portrait captures the Sussexes’ ‘powerful dynamic as equal partners’.
The glossy photos of the Sussexes are accompanied by a profile, branded sycophantic by critics, written by their friend and chef José Andrés, whose charity World Central Kitchen is loved by the Sussexes and supported financially by their Archewell foundation in India and the Caribbean.
He wrote: ‘In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the duke and duchess have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don’t just opine. They run toward the struggle.’ Mr Andres said the couple are ‘blessed through birth and talent, and burned by fame’, adding: ‘It would be much safer to enjoy their good fortune and stay silent. That’s not what Harry and Meghan do, or who they are’.
On the cover Harry is dressed in all black and Meghan in all white on a terrace at their $14.65million mansion and then in green smiling at eachother and holding hands while walking through their estate in Montecito, California.
In another image they are in matching grey office-style clothes next to a window in outfits chosen by celebrity stylists Clare and Nina Hallwroth, who have recently dressed Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, in pictures taken by Serbian Pari Dukovic. But one critic, a fellow photographer, tweeted: ‘Terrible retouching job. They look CGI’.
Others wrote: ‘This photo looks photoshopped. Also, the way they are positioned is very revealing: it’s the Meghan show and Harry is just the supporting actor’. One critic said: ‘Harry looks completely awkward peering behind his wife like this’.
Mr Andres describes the famous incident when Harry was serving in Afghanistan for the British Army, when he was forced to run to his Apache helicopter when his airbase came under fire.
He wrote: ‘That same sense of urgency drives Meghan, now the Duchess of Sussex, who has long been an active humanitarian and a powerful advocate for women and girls around the world. Springing into action is not the easy choice for a young duke and duchess who have been blessed through birth and talent, and burned by fame. That’s not what Harry and Meghan do, or who they are.
Prince William and Kate Middleton kept their message simple, posting a solo portrait of the Duke with the caption: ‘Happy birthday Prince Harry,’ and a red balloon emoji
The Queen has led birthday wishes to Prince Harry on his 37th birthday, sharing a selection of photos highlighting her grandson’s charity efforts while he was a working royal
‘They turn compassion into boots on the ground through their Archewell Foundation. They give voice to the voiceless through media production. Hand in hand with nonprofit partners, they take risks to help communities in need—offering mental-health support to Black women and girls in the U.S., and feeding those affected by natural disasters in India and the Caribbean.
‘In a world where everyone has an opinion about people they don’t know, the duke and duchess have compassion for the people they don’t know. They don’t just opine. They run toward the struggle’.
There is no mention of Harry and Meghan’s rift with the Royal Family or the series of bombshell interviews including the one with Oprah where they accused a mystery royal of racism towards Archie and said aides ignored Meghan when she was pregnant and suicidal.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrated their third wedding anniversary in May by revealing plans to build a disaster relief centre in India to help battle Covid-19 and ‘heal’ the virus-ravaged nation in their tie up with José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen.
The building in Mumbai will be based on the blueprint of one the couple’s Archewell foundation has already built on the Caribbean island of Dominica, where locals can get free food and medical care including a coronavirus vaccination.
Harry’s family put their problems aside as the Queen sent best wishes to Prince Harry on his 37th birthday, sharing a selection of photos highlighting her grandson’s charity efforts while he was a working royal.
The Duke of Sussex, who has quit royal duties and is currently living in an £11m mansion in California also received birthday greetings from the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Poignantly, Prince Charles shared throwback photos with his younger son, amid a rift that Harry made public during his bombshell interview with Oprah.
Richard Fitzwilliams believes Harry could launch a charitable initiative on his upcoming 37th birthday – and has warned the royal to ‘watch what he says’ on his birthday
Meanwhile, Prince William and Kate Middleton kept their message simple, posting a solo portrait of the Duke with the caption: ‘Happy birthday Prince Harry,’ and a red balloon emoji.
It’s not known how the Duke will celebrate his birthday, but Meghan recently marked her 40th with her own endeavor – the 40×40 project – in which she asked high profile people to commit to giving 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work.
The birthday wishes come after Finding Freedom author Omid Scobie – who penned the biography with Carolyn Durand and released an updated version last month – said Duke and Duchess of Sussex are ‘making very little progress’ in reconciling with the royal family.
He said Prince Harry and Meghan were ‘desperate to get their story out there’ when they gave their explosive Oprah Winfrey interview earlier this year.
Appearing on Good Morning America today, Omid claimed the couple and the royal family both want all involved to take ‘accountability and ownership’ for their role in the rift.