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Princess Kate in a pink blazer outside© Max Mumby/Indigo

Princess Kate looks 'self-soothing' yet 'hopeful' in new photo amid cancer update

 Body language experts analysed the Princess of Wales' new photo

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
June 15, 2024
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The Princess of Wales surprised fans by releasing a new photo taken in Windsor as she shared an update on her cancer treatment.

Matt Porteous captured a picture of Prince William's wife wearing blue jeans, a white T-shirt and a striped cream blazer resting against a tree and gazing up to the sky. The mother-of-three, who announced her cancer diagnosis in a personal video message on 22 March, had her arms crossed around her body in what could be a "cathartic" stance, according to body language experts.

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Darren Stanton exclusively told HELLO!: "The amount of space that we occupy as human beings is proportionate to our feelings internally. So an example on the flip side of this would be red carpet events when people such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Beyonce or Taylor Swift put their hands on the hips or split their legs apart, what it's saying is that the bigger the space I occupy, the more important I am. 

"From a body language point of view, Kate is making herself quite small. A lot of the time, arms across the chest mean people being defensive or negative, but often it's what we call in psychology a pacifying gesture – gestures which seek to soothe ourselves to give ourselves a calmness or reassurance.

Kate Middleton with George, Charlotte and Louis© Getty
Kate spoke of having good days and bad days

"It's very rarely you'll see Kate adopt this posture. So she's making herself smaller in terms of bringing her legs together and bringing her arms in, in what is a self-soothing, self-reassuring gesture."

Noor Hibbert had a similar analysis of the royal's stance, which showed she was "self-soothing" and "anxious" yet also "hopeful."

"Crossed arms can indicate that Kate is uncomfortable or anxious in the situation, which is completely understandable given she says she’s not out of the woods yet," the celebrity mindset coach and body language expert told HELLO!.

"Kate is standing with her legs crossed. This can indicate she’s feeling insecure and vulnerable," Noor continued, adding this position acts as a "barrier to the outside world."

Instead of looking directly at the camera, Princess Kate's focus was upward, which Noor said is "associated with feelings of positivity and hope, symbolising looking towards a brighter future."

Catherine, Princess of Wales attends a service to commemorate the life of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at St Davids Cathedral on September 8, 2023© Getty
The Princess of Wales' upward gaze symbolised hope

When analysing the Princess of Wales' chosen setting, Darren added: "The photo is framed out in nature without anybody else there like her kids. Being out in nature is very cathartic for her."

Noor similarly explained: "Being out in nature can be very healing and Kate may unconsciously be seeking to highlight her connection to the natural world - which conveys a sense of grounding."

Princess Kate visited Alexandra Park Sports Hub in 2021 to meet with Scouts from across the area© Getty
The royal has always loved nature

Darren concluded: "I think this photo was almost like a stepping stone," after the royal spending months out of the public eye.

Cancer update

The photo was released alongside an update about her "making good progress" amid her preventative chemotherapy, which she began in February, adding that she experiences "good days and bad days."

She said: "I am making good progress, but as anyone going through chemotherapy will know, there are good days and bad days. On those bad days you feel weak, tired and you have to give in to your body resting. But on the good days, when you feel stronger, you want to make the most of feeling well.

"My treatment is ongoing and will be for a few more months. On the days I feel well enough, it is a joy to engage with school life, spend personal time on the things that give me energy and positivity, as well as starting to do a little work from home."

Princess Kate walking across a football field© Avril Husband
Kate announced her cancer diagnosis in March following planned abdominal surgery in January

Kate underwent abdominal surgery in January, and her condition was initially believed to be non-cancerous. However, post-operative tests found cancer had been present.

She explained it had been "a huge shock" and "an incredibly tough couple of months" as she and her young children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis came to terms with the news privately.

Princess Kate's public outings

It could be possible for Kate to make an appearance next week© Getty
The royal confirmed she would attend Trooping the Colour this weekend

Princess Kate also announced she would be attending the Trooping the Colour ceremony, King Charles' official birthday celebrations, on 15 June.

It marks her first royal engagement since Christmas 2023, but Kensington Palace was quick to note that her appearance does not signify a return to work for the royal. The Princess of Wales has ruled out attending Royal Ascot and The Order of the Garter.

DON'T MISS: Trooping the Colour: the history, the fashion, the photos and the highlights

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