From public enemy number one to Queen Consort: How Camilla won over the nation
Camilla 'was the UK's most hated woman' says Malone
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Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, has completely turned around public perception of her. From the ‘other woman’ to an integral member of the UK Royal Family, she has become an extremely popular British figure. Body language expert Judi James spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about the royal’s transformation.
Judi described this transformation as an “action plan of stealth and submission”.
She suggested that a great deal of thought went in to reversing public perception of Prince Charles’ now wife, after a less than smooth sailing start.
Judi told Express.co.uk: “Her behaviour might not look like a forensic campaign of ingratiation but Camilla has put patience and stealth above more active PR campaigning to win over a public that viewed her as public enemy number one in the days after Diana’s death.”
She is now the eighth most popular royal, according to YouGov, but how did she get there?
Despite being referred to as the third person in Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s marriage by the Princess herself, “her look is the opposite to that of a scarlet woman”.
Instead, she exudes “glamour” and is a “sensual-free zone”.
Her role is that of a supporting nature, there to boost Prince Charles, suggested the body language expert.
Judi continued: “She very carefully shows no signs of wanting or enjoying the limelight or the attention.
“Her appearances with Charles place her firmly in the role of support, with little if any stepping up and upstaging her husband, who has a tendency to jealously when and if that occurs.”
According to Judi, Camilla has made her way up the ranks of popularity with “five key traits of ingratiation” – the first being her status-lowering rituals such as bowing her head.
The expert explained: “Head-lowering is an animal response to threat or danger, telling other animals that they submit and have no desire to fight.
“This gesture boosts the feelings of power and strength in other animals, meaning it makes us feel in control, rather than being in the company of a high-status royal.”
It is also important to note that Camilla “has never looked confident or totally comfortable in the public eye”, claimed Judi.
“This air of vulnerability and inner anxiety can have the effect of making people want to offer reassurance rather than to attack.
“She tends to look wary and her choreography often includes some dithering, especially when she is circling around Charles and trying to get it right.”
Some of this anxiety may be due to the negative press she used to receive – with Carole Malone revealing: “When I was reporting on the royals, Camilla was literally the most hated woman in Britain.”
However, the term “choreography” implies that some of the anxiousness is orchestrated.
Her anxiety is also obvious when making speeches or promotional videos, said Judi, which can “deepen fan’s affection when they see her lack of desire to be centre of attention”.
Camilla’s “kindly-looking” smile is another key way she ingratiated herself to the public.
“Her eyes wrinkle up and her muscles constrict it from becoming a full-blown royal smile, which makes her appear friendly and modest.
“The corners of her mouth often pull down slightly, too, which again suggests anxiety.”
Finally, Camilla’s tendency to smile all the while has done wonders for the Duchess’ popularity, according to Judi.
She concluded: “This is a trait she shares with the Queen and it has paid off, especially in the wake of the emotional and self-pitying outpourings from some of the other royals.
“Can life with ‘difficult’ Charles really be a bed of roses? We can only guess it isn’t but Camilla never makes it seem anything other than delightful.”
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