Earlier in this week, Kensington Palace announced the engagement of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. An engagement is always lovely news but as a royalist myself, I was thrilled when the breaking news sign flashed up on TV during an early morning feeding session with the boys! In addition to the photocall, the couple sat down for an interview with the BBC where of course we got to hear all about how the couple met, when the proposal took place and the unique connection they have. From a media training standpoint, Meghan came across as a confident, articulate and intelligent woman – a stark contrast to the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, during her engagement interview which is neither right or wrong. Here are three ways Meghan killed it in her first public meeting with her fiancé, and what you should take note of should you ever face personal questions in the spotlight. For more training like this check out the Nudge Academy and get 20% off my media training program with the code NudgeAcademy20!
- She used strong body language.
When you appear on-camera, you need to be acutely aware of your body language as it needs to be in sync with your tone of voice and the words you choose. Body language experts describe Prince Harry’s movements as showing a “deep affection” and desire to be close to his future wife and that Markle appeared “confident” and “informal” in comparison to her “terribly shy” husband-to-be. Markle comes across as “comfortable” and self-assured in the Prince’s company. The experts claim that the couple seems perfectly suited to one another, “Significantly, throughout the interview, Markle keeps turning her full head towards him to gaze at him.” And when the couple talks about how the Prince proposed, his head tilts toward her to show his desire to connect and be seen as couple answering the question not just have it be his story. “The very next question she jumps in and answers, but again turns to check in with him. I just love how they each have power and how they each check in with each other in a very nice dance.” As she talks about the blind date, she also gestures with her free hand as well, and they both turn their heads and go into a long mutual gaze to recall the moment they met together as if to relive it right in front of us.
- She knows her limits.
A few times the couple collectively use similar words, phrases and answer questions along the same line so it’s obvious they’ve both talked about how they will navigate queries, and it’s more than likely also been carefully scripted from the interviewer’s side so they anticipated what would be asked and coming next. When mentioning the friend who introduced them they both refrain from mentioning her name “to protect her privacy.” They both get their story straight about how they met and their key messages of “focusing on being a couple.” and how they “took that huge leap after only two dates and took that holiday in the middle of nowhere.” They also mention focusing on themselves first and foremost and having Princess Diana be a part of their special union with the ring. “Not being able to meet his mom, it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this,” Meghan said, as she toyed with her new diamonds.
- She was authentic.
As I mentioned in the beginning, Meghan showcased supreme confidence and poise, of a type never before seen in a royal spouse-to-be of either sex. ‘The Queen is an incredible woman,’ she nodded, as if speaking about some little old lady who’s still manages to get to the shops by herself once a week. Neither was she daunted by suddenly having Princess Diana’s diamonds on her finger. She also talked of differences living in the UK straight ‘outta the gate’, of their ‘boots on the ground’ approach to doing good works ‘around the Commonwealth’.
So the takeaways? Don’t ever be afraid to be yourself, prepare and agree on your angles, stances and boundaries when answering questions and have your go-to lines prepared when you want to stop at a particular line and finally, you speak with your whole body it isn’t just the words you use.