‘Shaking’ and ‘nervous’ Charles kept his ‘eyes on the crown’ while standing in for Queen

Prince Charles displayed "nervousness" as he attended the State Opening of Parliament on behalf of his mother, The Queen, a body language expert says.

Buckingham Palace announced on Monday that The Queen would not read her annual speech in parliament due to "mobility problems" and that Prince Charles would address those in attendance instead.

Body language expert Judi James observed Prince Charles, 73, as he delivered The Queen's speech for the first time – alongside his wife, Camilla, and eldest son, Prince William.

She exclusively told OK! online: "While Charles appeared to arrive with a faint air of bravado, William took on the role of the invisible man, arriving alone and following his father several paces back down the aisle with his hands firmly clasped in a respectful and rather status-lowering fig leaf pose.

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"William's facial expression suggested solemnity and even sadness. His smile was a down-turned one to suggest regret that his grandmother wasn’t able to attend, with the lips slightly sucked in and his brows were puckered into a frown of reflection while his eyes tended to remain downcast.

"Charles seemed to take this as a rather solo appearance, with no sign of communication between himself and his wife or son and heir.

"He smiled and chatted on arrival but there was a moment as he went to walk towards the throne room that he appeared to suck air into his mouth and jut his lower jaw as though bracing or steeling himself."

She continued: "He kept his eyes on the crown lying on a cushion in front of him as he sat on his ‘Consort’ throne but when he was reading the Queen’s speech some nervousness seemed more apparent.

"Like the Queen he read it without emotion but the pages did seem to flap throughout and his hands did appear to be shaking."

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Prince Charles was wearing his Admiral of the Fleet uniform as he arrived and made his way through the Royal Gallery, again packed with guests following the pandemic, to the House of Lords.

He sat in the Chair of State he has used a number of times previously when accompanying his mother, with the royal throne being left empty.

The Queen was understood to be watching proceedings from Windsor Castle and will still have her weekly audience with the Prime Minister, over the telephone, on Wednesday.

During the address the Prince of Wales said the government's priority was to “grow and strengthen the economy and help ease the cost of living for families." He said in "challenging times" they would also continue to support the people of Ukraine.

The speech, which is written by the government, said they would "continue to seize the opportunities of the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union, to support economic growth" whilst also promising reforms to England's energy supply, trains, schools and planning laws amongst other issues.

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