Meghan Markle is a natural at the whole royals thing.
The soon-to-be duchess attended her first official engagement alongside Queen Elizabeth on Monday for a Commonwealth Day service at Westminster Abbey. She was joined by Princes Harry and William, the Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
According to royals and body language experts, with just two months to go before her wedding to Harry, the American-born actress fit in seamlessly with the royal family ― and even knew all the words to “God Save the Queen.”
“Her posture showed confidence, her eye contact with the other royals means she’s on their level, and her newly polished look suggests she’s embracing both the British culture and the position,” Meier added.
Though there was little direct interaction with Her Majesty, Markle hit all the right marks during her entrance into the church, said Traci Brown, a body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence.
In one photo, Markle is the only one without her hands guarding her torso area ― a common self-soothing behavior many people default to in high-pressure situations, according to Brown. (Prince Harry went viral the last time he pulled the move at an event with first lady Melania Trump.)
“Kate is protecting the baby, Harry is showing his trademark 1/2 hand in the jacket to soothe himself and William is protecting himself from the chaos around as well,” she said. “Everyone is in step except for William, and that shows that they’re a tight group.”
For Markle, that closeness with Duchess Kate ― the pair were last seen laughing at the inaugural Royal Foundation Forum ― will likely serve her well as she transitions to life as a royal.
“The duchess has already gone through the transformation that Meghan is currently undergoing,” Meier said. “Their relationship is likely not only one of soon-to-be-family, but also one of mentorship and friendship.”
When the queen arrived to the strains of “God Save the Queen,” Markle seemed to have all the words memorized.
“Considering it’s not her national anthem, she did a wonderful job with that,” Harrold said. “After all, how many British people can sing ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’?”
After the service, Markle and the rest of the royal family greeted and received flowers from those gathered outside the church. As usual, Markle had no problem interacting with the public, said Patti Wood, a body language expert and author of Snap: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language & Charisma.
“There was a wonderful moment when she was interacting with a little girl and she truly looks so relaxed and happy,” she said. “I think that part of the role is something she’s very comfortable with. She was a little more nervous during the service, but she gets an A+ for so enthusiastically and effortlessly interacting with people.”
Her ease with the public reminds Harrold of Princess Diana.
“Meghan’s a hugger, just like William and Harry’s mom,” he said. “Last week, she was pictured hugging a schoolgirl which won the hearts of the nation.”
“She has an American approach to things, but there’s nothing wrong with that,” he added. “In fact, it may help make the monarchy appeal to a new and younger audience as we move further into the 21st century.”