Before Prince Harry stepped down as a senior member of the Royal Family, he and sister-in-law Kate, Princess of Wales shared a close bond, often pictured laughing and smiling together. But who are the Princess of Wales’ closest friends now? Express.co.uk spoke exclusively to body language expert Judi James about Kate’s “replacement relationship”.
Judi told Express.co.uk: “William might have lost a brother when Harry went off to the US but Kate lost something of a partner in crime.
“Harry always seemed to bring out the naughty side of Kate, prompting some moments of collusion as they grinned together over some joke of Harry’s.”
According to Judi, Harry brought out a side in his sister-in-law others did not.
She explained: “The fondness and fun they shared seemed to offer much-needed respite for Kate, who has always taken her royal role very seriously.”
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However, while the relationship dynamic between them appears to have changed, Kate has developed another close relationship, according to the expert.
Judi said: “The body language between Kate and the Tindalls suggests she has found a form of relationship replacement from this almost filter-free couple who seem, as Harry once did, to epitomise playful fun.
“Kate’s body language with Zara Tindall is relaxed and tactile and her open-mouthed smiles of delight and shared humour when she meets up with her at royal events suggests strong friendship behind the scenes.”
Speaking on Good Morning Britain last year, Mike Tindall revealed that he and Zara got married just four months after Kate and Will, meaning their “family growth has been quite intertwined with theirs”. Zara Tindall even serves as one of Prince George’s godparents.
Mike continued: “The kids are very close, it’s great for the kids that they’re always going to have some cousins that are the same age and can grow up with them.”
Judi stated: “Their children are clearly good friends, which would always reflect long periods of time spent together by the parents, along with Peter Philip’s girls.”
She also claimed that “Kate’s insistence on her children being allowed to play and have fun whenever possible” suggests an “influence from the Tindalls”.
This is because they “seem to balance fun with the kind of royal decorum that is needed now and again”.
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The expert referenced a sweet moment captured between Prince George and Mike at the late Queen’s Platinum Party at the Palace in June.
“It was Mike acting like the ‘I’ve got my eye on you!’ alpha uncle with Louis at the Jubilee, while Kate looked totally relaxed as he did so.”
What’s more, Judi noted that “some of the body language between Mike and Kate suggests similar bonds of shared humour as Kate and Harry, with Kate’s poses and facial expressions often looking identical to the ones when she was laughing with Harry years before”.
In addition to the laughs they can share, the expert suggested that Kate really appreciates the Tindalls’ loyalty.
She explained: “Mike in particular has looked and spoken in a way to be ‘Team Cambridge’ throughout the Harry saga.
“The couple turned up in the team colours for Kate’s carol concert in December, with Zara wearing the matching shade of burgundy, while Mike’s body language at the end of the Jubilee service that Harry and Meghan attended saw him keeping a wide social distance and looking away as his wife chatted politely to the couple,” Judi alleged.
“We also saw a very tight, openly affectionate and well-timed hug from Mike to William at another recent event as what looked like further proof of where his loyalties lie.”
Perhaps another important reason why the Tindalls have Kate’s “seal of approval” for her friendship is that they were so close to the late Queen.
Judi concluded: “Zara and Mike were just as tactile, relaxed and fun with the Queen as they are with everyone else and the Queen clearly adored them both.”