The Duchess of Cambridge and the Duchess of Sussex looked to be getting on famously as they stepped out for their first joint engagement without their husbands on Saturday.
Kate, 36, and Meghan, 36, chatted and giggled as they watched Angelique Kerber defeat Serena Williams in the women’s singles finals at Wimbledon.
Speaking to FEMAIL, author and body language expert Judi James explained the duchesses’ body language signaled a strengthening bond and ‘genuine’ happiness at being in each other’s company.
‘Royal newbie’ Meghan was seen taking protocol cues from Kate, but also helped the Duchess of Cambridge relax with her ‘naughty’ smile and sense of humour.
Ms James said: ‘The amount of spontaneous mirroring plus the very congruent expressions of happiness and excitement on their faces signaled a growing friendship between the two women.’
Here, she identifies four key ways in which this bond was on display…
Picking up protocol
Taking her cues from Kate: Meghan was seen ‘face-watching’ during the appearance yesterday
The Duchess of Cambridge is often praised for her gracious nature and rarely puts a foot wrong at royal engagements, so it is of little surprise Meghan would look to her sister-in-law for tips on how to conduct herself.
This was evident when Meghan ‘face-watched’ Kate to check for signals.
Ms James explained: ‘Royal newbie Meghan is clearly still learning on the job and her lower-key poses with Kate plus some of her face-watching signals suggested she was picking up protocol tips from her new sister-in-law.’
This mirroring was reversed when Kate picked up the small ‘baby wave’ that Meghan used to greet spectators, when one waves with the hand held at head level.
Genuine smile: Kate’s ‘crinkled’ eyes and ‘apple’ cheeks showed she really was having fun
‘Kate is the royal with the pitch-perfect smile and that was very much on display, but the more regal aspect did relax several times with Meghan,’ Ms James noted.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 36, ‘joined in the fun’ with her sister-in-law and was genuinely pleased to be spending the day with her.
Ms James added: ‘The rounded ‘apple’ cheeks plus the crinkling round the corners of the eyes showed the happiness to be the new royal double-act was mutual and genuine.’
Whispering secrets: Meghan’s conspiratorial pose suggests ‘shared fun and close exchanges’
Ms James said: ‘Harry has always been keen to make his sister-in-law relax and giggle more in public and it looked very much as though the confident and slightly more spontaneous Meghan might be taking on that role of her own accord.’
She added: ‘[Meghan’s] rather naughty smile and her hand-to-mouth whispering pose suggested shared fun and close exchanges.’
Two of a kind: Leaning in like this suggests a ‘high levels of rapport and like-minded thinking’
Meghan and Kate were seen leaning in close to each other at several points during the match.
Ms James explained the behaviour suggests ‘high levels of rapport and like-minded thinking’.
Kate and Meghan are doubles! Duchesses bring Hollywood flare and English elegance to Wimbledon but show their contrasting personal styles through their outfits
By Ben Ellery for the Mail On Sunday
When Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family there was speculation that Kate Middleton would resent having to share the limelight with another beautiful woman.
But during their first day out together without their husbands, a new friendship was clearly born – even while Meghan’s pal Serena Williams was losing the Wimbledon ladies’ final.
The glamorous new BFFs – best friends’ for ever – showed very different styles. The Duchess of Sussex displaying effortless Hollywood chic in her eye-catching flares.
She also wore a crisp poplin striped shirt by Ralph Lauren – whose PR director, Violet von Westenholz, is said to have set up a blind date between the actress and Prince Harry.
Chic: Kate and Meghan make their way to the Royal box to watch Serena Williams play
Meghan and Kate take their front-row seats in the royal box (left). The Duchess of Sussex looked chic in a Ralph Lauren shirt and wide-leg trousers
The Duchess of Cambridge preferred the classic Middle England look of a draped silk monochrome dot dress by her friend Jenny Packham.
Before the ladies’ final, the sisters-in-law met the ball-boys and girls and watched the exciting conclusion of the men’s semi-final between Rafa Nadal, of Spain, and Serbian Novak Djokovic, which had over-run from the previous evening.
After world No 1 Nadal won a game, analysis by a lip-reader revealed that the former Suits star said to Kate: ‘The way he moves is fabulous.’
Rumours of a frosty rivalry proved unfounded, with Kate, a patron of the SW19 club, at one point asking Meghan: ‘Are you OK?’ The pair giggled throughout the match and cheered as Djokovic won.
Meghan and Kate were seen applauding Angelique Kerber’s win against Williams, who is a close friend of Meghan’s, earlier today
Celebrities rubbing shoulders with the duchesses in the Royal Box included Harry Potter actress Emma Watson, Line Of Duty’s Thandie Newton, James Norton of McMafia fame and actor Sir Mark Rylance.
New mum Miss Williams could not complete the mother of all victories just ten months after giving birth and was beaten in straight sets by 11th-seeded German Angelique Kerber.
Just reaching the final was an incredible feat for the 36-year-old, who almost died and was left bedridden for six weeks following the difficult birth of daughter Alexis Olympia last year.
Miss Williams, who became friends with Meghan after meeting her at a charity football match in 2014, was a guest at her wedding to Harry in May.
Belly laughs: Meghan and Kate shared a joke on Centre Court after taking their seats to watch Williams and Kerber battle for the Wimbledon title
The glamorous new BFFs – best friends’ for ever – showed very different dress styles
Before the match, she said: ‘We’ve always had a wonderful friendship. Every year for a couple of years she comes out to Wimbledon and supported me. Now she’s supporting me in a different role. But our friendship is still exactly the same.’
She added: ‘If there was a Wimbledon royalty, I would like to believe I would be Wimbledon royalty because I’ve done pretty well here in the past.’
Afterwards, when asked how she would tell the story of playing in front of two duchesses to her daughter, Miss Williams replied: ‘I’ll probably change the ending.’
The tournament has not a been a complete disappointment for British fans, with Alfie Hewitt and Gordon Reid winning the men’s wheelchair doubles final yesterday and 16-year-old Jack Draper reaching today’s boys’ final against top seed Chun Hsin Tseng, of Taiwan.
Meghan and Kate were offered a sweet while sitting in the royal box on Centre Court at Wimbledon
The Duchess of Sussex met junior players Whitney Osuigwe (left) and Caty McNally (right) at the All England club ahead of the women’s Wimbledon final