Queen's birthday: Experts discuss family's royal mourning
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Queen Elizabeth II’s 95th birthday will be a muted affair as it falls 12 days after the death of her beloved husband and “strength and stay” Prince Philip. While official portraits of the royals are traditionally released to the public on their birthdays, no picture of the Queen is expected to be shared this year as she continues to mourn the Duke of Edinburgh.
Over the years, the Queen has shone in a series of stunning birthday pictures that show a softer side to the monarch, a body language expert has claimed.
Body language analyst and author Judi James claimed royal fans will miss out as the relaxed birthday portraits are usually “the antidote to all the more rigid formality of royal life.”
Reacting to reports there will no new picture to mark the Queen’s birthday, Judi told Express.co.uk: “On the Queen’s 95th birthday we will be missing the annual birthday portrait as she is in mourning for her husband, meaning the last glimpse we had of her was sitting in the saddest isolation at Prince Philip’s funeral.
“Royal birthday portraits and photos are often chosen to offer a much more relaxed, rather sweeter side to the monarch, with most of the Queen’s choices involving a wide smile and moments of genuine-looking happiness and delight.”
Judi added: “They are the antidote to all the more rigid formality of royal life and, as a body language intentional gesture or ideal projected image they tend to show a desire to emphasise the positive and the joyful.”
In the absence of a new photo, Express.co.uk asked Judi to analyse a number of the Queen’s most iconic birthday pictures and share her insights
Princess Elizabeth’s 13th birthday
Judi said: “The young princess Elizabeth shows a passion for horses that she shared with millions of girls her age, posing with her pony in classic gymkhana clothing.
The expert added: “It shows the future queen doing what was probably the thing she enjoyed most at the time and with the lapel flowers, hat and jodhpurs, suggesting it was something she was proud to excel at.
“Her eyes are averted from rather than staring straight into the camera, which is something all these birthday shots have in common, and that trait tends to turn a sweet, self-conscious pose into something slightly more natural-looking.”
The Queen’s 50th birthday
Judi said: “The upward angling of this shot suggests a desire to present something a little more different and modern.
“It looks almost as though it has been taken by a friend and the Queen’s wide, fiercely confident grin seems to endorse that idea.
“The eyes are angled away from the camera again, suggesting a sociable rather than a formal birthday pose.
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The Queen’s 80th birthday
Judi said: “This is a wonderfully fun shot, with the Queen posing like anyone’s favourite mother and grandmother at the head of the table on their birthday, surrounded by cards and grinning widely over a particularly huge one.
“There is a gleam of excitement and fun in her eyes here that belies her years and the suggestion is she was being thoroughly spoilt on her 80th birthday.”
The Queen’s 80th birthday with Prince Philip
Judi said: “The Queen’s facial expression here looks exceptionally naughty, with her eyes again going off to the side.”
Judi added: “It’s a much more relaxed look that we normally get to see on tours and royal visits and the way that Philip seems to be roaring with shared laughter behind his wife illustrates the often shared-fun side of their marriage.”
The Queen’s 90th birthday
Judi said: “The Queen and Prince Philip are clearly on a tour or visit here, standing in the back of a car offering the royal wave to the crowds but the impact of this shot comes from the way that the Queen is throwing such a warm, almost loving smile at those crowds.
“With Philip again by her side she seems to be emphasizing the joy that the public gave her, as well as her husband.”
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