Prince Harry was wracked with ‘tension and anxiety’ during UN speech, body language expert claims

A body language expert claims Prince Harry was 'anxious' and performing 'barrier rituals' throughout his UN appearance

Prince Harry's ‘tension and anxiety’ - Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex delivers remarks to the General Assembly during the Nelson Mandela International Day at the United Nations Headquarters on July 18, 2022 in New York City.
(Image credit: Getty Images / John Lamparski / TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP)

A body language expert claims Harry was 'tense and somber’ during his UN address despite his confident delivery.


During his special appearance at the United Nations General Assembly to mark Nelson Mandela International Day, Prince Harry gave a poignant keynote address. During his speech, he made a rare, romantic declaration to his wife, Meghan calling her his ‘soulmate’ (opens in new tab). However, while he delivered it in a ‘presidential style’, body language expert Judi James claims he was showing tell-tale signs of ‘anixety’ and ‘tension'.

The couple made the trip to New York City for the meeting, sparking fans to comment on how much Meghan looked like her mother, Doria Ragland (opens in new tab). Meghan supported her husband, as he took to the stage to speak to the audience.

During his speech, Harry spoke of Nelson Mandela’s legacy, as well as issues like climate change and poverty. 

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive at the United Nations Headquarters on July 18, 2022 in New York City.

(Image credit: Getty Images / Michael M. Santiago)

He also treated royal fans to an insight into his and Meghan’s 2019 Africa tour, which he claimed was where he felt closest to his mother Princess Diana, with the couple previously relieving that they felt her ‘magic’ with them.

Despite his poignant words, Judi claims the Prince was clearly feeling anxious and ‘tense’ throughout his appearance.

Prince Harry leaves the podium after addressing the United Nations (UN) general assembly during the UN's annual celebration of Nelson Mandela International Day on July 18, 2022 in New York City.

(Image credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt)

She explained to the Mirror (opens in new tab), "His style of delivery was more presidential than princely at the UN. His keynote was delivered in a somber, slow, authoritative style that pitched him as the expert. He didn’t back away from taking a ‘tell’ approach, even when it came to Mandela himself.

"Harry’s underlying body language rituals suggested high levels of tension and anxiety underlying the confident and hard-hitting delivery."

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, delivers the keynote address during the 2020 UN Nelson Mandela Prize award ceremony at the United Nations in New York on July 18, 2022.

(Image credit: Getty Images / TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP )

Judi then detailed Harry's "barrier rituals" that she says actually mirror some of his father, Prince Charles’, own movements.

She said Harry often buttons his suit jacket or touches his stomach, both of which she says are an "unfulfilled gesture" and are "all about the feelings of self-comfort rather than the action itself", before adding that Prince Charles too pats his pockets and plays with his cuffs.

Judi explained "This allows both to raise their hands and arms in front of their torsos in a protective barrier, suggesting some nerves."

Naomi Jamieson
Naomi Jamieson

Naomi is a Lifestyle News Writer with the Lifestyle team and has recently earned her Gold Standard Diploma in Journalism from the NCTJ. She has a background in design, having studied Illustration at Plymouth University but has taken a leap into the world of journalism after always having a passion for writing. She currently writes pieces on beauty, fashion, and entertainment for Goodto.com and My Imperfect Life.