The Queen and Prince Philip still share a special touch and knowing looks after 70 years of marriage — here’s what the body language experts say about them

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, walk at Broadlands in Romsey, southern England in 2007.

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, walk at Broadlands in Romsey, southern England in 2007.
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Reuters

  • Queen Elizabeth II has been married to Prince Philip for over 70 years.
  • Two experts analysed photographs of the pair over time.
  • They rarely show public affection, yet some small gestures suggest that they are still deeply committed to one another.
  • Her Majesty naturally takes the lead but the Duke is never far behind.
  • They share a special touch.

It’s Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday on Saturday, and Prince Philip’s real birthday on Sunday and despite their old age, the pair appear to still be touchingly committed to one another.

They’re not known for wild public displays of affection, but the little they do show reveals a lot, according to body language experts.

Patti Wood, the author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, and Blanca Cobb, behind Methods of the Masters, analysed photographs of the Queen and her Prince over time – and told Good Housekeeping that little has changed over the years.

While the younger royals are more comfortable with showing their down-to-earth sides to the public, it’s understandable that the older generation is a little more stiff.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh marked their platinum wedding anniversary – an impressive 70 years of marriage – in November 2017. They’ve been through a lifetime of royal duties and, if the rumours are true, even affairs.

Yet the one thing that has never changed is their uncompromising commitment to one another.

Cobb told Good Housekeeping: “When you look beyond the royal formality of Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth’s public appearances, you clearly see Prince Philip’s love and adoration for his Queen.”

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the President of Kenya, 1972.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh during a visit to the President of Kenya, 1972.
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Getty/William Lovelace

And the feeling appears to be mutual.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip share a moment as they attend the Beating the Retreat ceremony on Horseguards Parade, June 1996.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip share a moment as they attend the Beating the Retreat ceremony on Horseguards Parade, June 1996.
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Reuters/Stringer

But according to Wood, being the Monarch and all, the Queen feels the need to assert her independence, and she is “always trying to be seen as her own person.”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip pause during a tour of the Royal London Hospital in east London in February 2013.

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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip pause during a tour of the Royal London Hospital in east London in February 2013.
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Reuters/Ian Gavan

He naturally lets her take the lead, but he’s never far behind.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrive at Tegel airport on the first of their four-day visit to Germany in June 2015.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, arrive at Tegel airport on the first of their four-day visit to Germany in June 2015.
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Getty

They even have a special touch that isn’t all about affection.

Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her husband after the State Opening of Parliament in May 2015.

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Queen Elizabeth II, accompanied by her husband after the State Opening of Parliament in May 2015.
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Getty/Carl Court

“This type of hand hold is seen time and time again,” said Wood. “It’s more formal than interlocking fingers but it’s unique to them. It’s their way of reassurance and comfort.”

Although these days, she pointed out, the touch is also for practical reasons, as at 92 years old Her Majesty is not as strong as she once was. “In her older years, the Queen holds hands with the Prince for assistance as opposed to affection.”

The Queen and Prince Philip hold hands as they leave St Paul's Cathedral in March 2015 in London.

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The Queen and Prince Philip hold hands as they leave St Paul’s Cathedral in March 2015 in London.
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Getty/Chris Jackson

And the Prince is always dutifully ready and waiting. “He’s constantly looking at the Queen to make sure that she’s okay. He’s completely in tune with her needs,” Cobb added.

During public appearances, you’ll often catch them engrossed in a private conversation, a feat for any couple after a lifetime of marriage.

The Queen and Prince Philip attend a concert at Forks Park on July 3, 2010 in Winnipeg, Canada.

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The Queen and Prince Philip attend a concert at Forks Park on July 3, 2010 in Winnipeg, Canada.
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Getty

And they really do seem to still share the look of love…

Queen Elizabeth speaks to her husband Prince Philip as they attend the official re-opening of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London April 25, 2012.

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Queen Elizabeth speaks to her husband Prince Philip as they attend the official re-opening of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, London April 25, 2012.
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Reuters/Paul Hackett

…And make each other smile.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip talk during Derby Day at The Derby Festival on June 1, 2013 in Epsom, UK.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip talk during Derby Day at The Derby Festival on June 1, 2013 in Epsom, UK.
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Getty/Danny E. Martindale