Meghan Markle playfully turned-down her husband Prince Harry when he leaned in for a kiss while they watched an NBA match in Los Angeles last night, a body language expert told MailOnline today.
The Duke tried to kiss the Duchess of Sussex when they appeared on the jumbotron at the Crypto.com Arena.
Harry leaned in but Meghan rebuffed him, with Judi James telling MailOnline that her turn-down was ‘so smartly executed’ – and caused the senior royal to ‘perform a comedy grimace of regret at the fans’.
Ms James added her ‘eye-engage with Harry prompted a very flattering ‘look of love’, facial-expression softening response’.
Prince Harry ‘performed a comedy grimace of regret’, said body language expert Judi James
She said that Meghan’s ‘hand that came up to her face in a cut-off ritual that performed the role of a partial barrier touched her chin in a gesture that is normally seen as coy, first-date flirting’.
Body language expert Judi James has analysed a video of Prince Harry and Meghan
Ms James continued: ‘In other words she did turn him down and maybe take grown-up control here, even bringing her right hand up to touch his forearm in a gesture that blended admiration with subtle restraint.
‘But she did it in a way that still showed love for him by blending signals of shyness and playful flirting with some tie-signs that said ”no”.’
The expert also recalled when Michelle Obama was seen swerving the offer of a kiss from her husband Barack at a basketball match in Washington in 2012.
However, she added when the cameras came back the pair ‘buckled to pressure and performed a rather sweet ‘guppy kiss’ for the delight of the crowds’.
Meghan and Harry joined stars at the match last night along with 20,000 other fans including Kim Kardashian, Adam Sandler and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.
In their first public appearance together for a month, the Duke and Duchess took their Archewell staff to watch the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Memphis Grizzlies in game four of the NBA playoffs.
Around 20,000 fans encouraged Harry and Meghan to kiss on the big screen last night
Meghan and Harry were seen clapping and cheering during the NBA playoffs match yesterday
Meghan smiles at her husband as they laugh and enjoy a date night at the Crypto.com Arena
The royal couple, who will not be going to the Coronation together next month, were all smiles in a box at the Crypto.com Arena.
Thousands began clapping and cheering, encouraging them to kiss. Harry then appeared to lean in for a smooch but his wife, wearing a $1,400 pink linen suit and heels, laughed and grabbed his arm instead of bowing to the crowd.
But despite the light-hearted snub, Meghan and Harry did enjoy a snuggle as the Lakers won the game 117 to 111, taking a 3-1 lead in the first round playoffs against the Grizzlies.
Sat next to them was Rick Genow, an LA power lawyer and adviser to the couple since Megxit. Footage of them enjoying the match was also featured on the NBA’s official Twitter feed with the hashtag #NBACelebRow.
Barack Obama kisses Michelle Obama at a basketball match in Washington DC in July 2012
Michelle Obama was initially seen swerving the offer of a kiss from her husband Barack at the match in Washington in 2012, but when the cameras came back they performed a smooch
Meanwhile, across the Atlantic at around the same time this morning, Harry’s brother Prince William joined veterans at dawn to lay a wreath for Anzac Day at the Australia Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London.
Meghan and Harry were animated throughout the tight contest on the court where several members of Archewell staff were there, including Maren Thomas, who works in their communications department.
Business manager Andrew Meyer and Miranda Barbot, former president Barack Obama’s PR wonderwoman who now works for Archewell in communications, were also in the posh seats with their bosses.
It came hours after a beaming Meghan broke cover for the first time since it emerged she will not attend King Charles’ Coronation – as her PR team insisted she has ‘moved on’ and is ‘going about her life in the present’.
Introducing her photographer friend Misan Harriman in a video ahead of his Ted Talk, the Duchess said she was ‘thrilled’ to welcome the Nigerian-born Briton on stage where the audience heard him speak about experience capturing the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.