Carrie Symonds has risen to hold ‘real power in No 10’ while her Prime Minister fiancé Boris Johnson has become ‘dishevelled and lacking in any signals of dignity or authority’.
Analysis of pictures and videos of the couple have shown a switch of authority between the pair, according to body language and relationship experts.
One told MailOnline today ‘It’s as if the power balance in their relationship has reversed, which may well be spilling into Boris’s professional decision making as well’.
The stunning role switch was laid bare by a influence struggle in the heart of Downing Street last night as Ms Symonds apparently ‘vetoed’ key aide Lee Cain’s appointment as chief of staff and he resigned.
It was a far cry from the impression given at her earlier appearances with Mr Johnson, where she appeared less confident and deferred to her older partner.
And back on July 2019 when she lined up outside Downing Street with staff to welcome the new PM there was little hint of the power she would grow to wield.
But the couple’s more recent video together for an awards ceremony showed him ‘keeping an eye on him’ and displaying strength as he looked ‘like a naughty child’.
His run-down appearance at the recent Remembrance Day ceremony also sounded alarm bells.
Carrie Symonds has risen to hold ‘real power in No 10’ while her Prime Minister fiancé Boris Johnson has become ‘dishevelled and lacking in any signals of dignity or authority’, body language experts have said. ‘Carrie’s fingers appear to have a strong, determined grip’ which was a gesture of ownership while Boris’s hand was clawed in ‘what looks like tension’
Boris Johnson looked ‘Dishevelled and lacking in any signals of dignity or authority’, experts say
Body language expert Judi James told MailOnline: ‘Dishevelled and lacking in any signals of dignity or authority, Boris sat slumped and looking physically awkward in his seat with one hand placed randomly on the side of the chair and his toes pointed inward like a small schoolboy.
‘His grave demeanor and reflective, downcast gaze was appropriate for the occasion but he appeared physically uncomfortable, with no obvious signals of high status or leadership.
‘Walking together with Carrie a few days earlier we were shown probably the first body language signals of their status as a couple as she confidently grabbed his arm and he reciprocated by bending his own.
‘Carrie’s fingers appear to have a strong, determined grip here is a gesture of ownership while Boris’s hand is clawed in what looks like tension.
‘Boris’s part-smile suggests decreased confidence while Carrie’s almost victorious-looking, closed-lip beam direct to the camera, which she holds with her eyes, registers increased confidence and a far more assured air than usual.’
Behavoural and dating psychologist Jo Hemmings said: ‘What I think is so intriguing in their evolving relationship, is that while Carrie’s influence and confidence seems to have grown during their time together, Boris is much less self-assured.
‘It’s as if the power balance in their relationship has reversed, which may well be spilling into Boris’s professional decision making as well.’
Carrie Symonds was ‘gazing like a slightly doting but firm mother’, ‘the stronger of the two’
The video was said to have shown ‘a strange looking relationship’ with ‘power signals from her’
Ms Symonds was said to have been ‘keeping an eye on him’ like he ‘was the naughty schoolboy’
The new status quo was becoming evident in a video recorded for the Pride of Britain awards two weeks ago.
There Ms Symonds and Mr Johnson praised NHS frontline heroes, who saved his life when he contracted Covid-19.
But it featured a number of scrutinising looks from her to him as he spoke, as well as a number of unusual exclamations of the PM declaring ‘exactly right’ and ‘correct’.
Judi said: ‘She was gazing at him like a slightly doting but firm mother – she looks like the stronger one of the two
‘She was keeping an eye on him, that he was the naughty schoolboy and she was giving a “behave yourself” eye on him.
‘It was a strange looking relationship, but the power signals definitely come from her.
‘I think what we misunderstand with Carrie because she looks younger than him, I think we underestimate her intellect in terms of politics and maybe her own ambitions and maybe her workplace power.
‘I think we are used to seeing PM’s wives smiling innocently, with Carrie I think the body language shows she has got real power in Number 10.’
Ms Hemmings said the video showed Ms Symonds was uncomfortable and the climax of the change in power of the pair.
She said: ‘Carrie looks by far the most confident of the two, discarding her previously demure, slightly boho look for a bold green dress and a couple of elegant necklaces.
‘She seems to be looking at Boris, with a frown that is willing him to get through this informal chat without saying anything inappropriate or stumbling. Her rather defensive gesture of holding her arm nearest to Boris with her other hand, also reveals that she is not totally happy with this scenario.
‘Boris looks much more uncomfortable here and also gives over a sense that this piece of filming just feels awkward for him. He seems more deferential to a rather glowing Carrie, rather than the other way around. Seemingly quite the reverse of the power dynamics between them only a year or so ago.’
The appearance to clap for carers showed a more confident Ms Symonds than her earlier days
There was little eye contact between the two, who instead looked around the street
At one point Ms Symond’s gaze was completely focused outside the Downing Street gates
In May they appeared again for a similar theme, applauding key workers on the weekly public outpouring of gratitude.
This was the first time they had been seen together since the birth of their son Wilfred and after the PM had been treated for coronavirus.
They enthusiastically clapped their hands but both were looking in different directions for most of the short appearance.
Judi said of the moment: ‘Our first sightings of Boris and Carrie together after Boris went into No 10 suggested the kind of “High status alpha male and submissive female” double act body language signals that we normally see when a royal male first appears with his bride-to-be or even from Donald and Melania when he first took over as President.
‘Boris often looked almost oblivious of Carrie, who would been seen walking in his wake and the only real rituals of togetherness came from Carrie, with little or no reciprocation of any touch or attempt to hold hands.’
Ms Hemmings said it had looked like two completely unconnected people standing outside.
She added: ‘When they first clapped for carers, they stood some distance apart and she barely looked at her fiancée.
Of course, she was not applauding him, but staff NHS, nevertheless, I would have perhaps expected her to behave as if they were a more united couple, clapping together, whereas it looked more like two individuals clapping in front of that famous black door.’
In their earlier appearances Ms Symonds was said to ‘dress in the style of a royal wife like Kate’
A body language expert said ‘Boris often looked almost oblivious of Carrie’ early on this year
In the partnership, the expert said Ms Symonds ‘would be the one to try and make contact’
Another earlier appearance saw the pair on March 9 at a Commonwealth Service in Westminster.
Judi said: ‘Carrie even dressed in the style of a royal wife like Kate, with demure, long floral-print dresses.
‘Initially it looked a bit like she was eclipsed by him with him the alpha male at the front.
‘He used to ignore her basically and she would be the one that used to try and make contact. She looked very submissive to start with.’
Ms Hemmings said the couple looked more like Mr Johnson was the focus in this earlier outing.
She added: ‘Carrie is looking a little happier and supportive of Boris, yet still keeping a rather nervous and deferential distance from her partner.
‘She is giving him a caring glance, but letting him still clearly be in the main spotlight of events.’
One expert said Ms Symonds had looked like a ‘member of staff’ when the PM first arrived
The body language professional said she had now risen to power, adding ‘How better to get away with it and stay under the radar, wear a lot of floral dresses and smile sweetly?’
Both experts agree Ms Symonds current position of apparent kingmaker in the wake of Mr Cain’s sudden resignation is a world away from July last year.
There as her partner achieved his life dream of becoming Prime Minister, she appeared downbeat by his new role.
Ms Hemmings said: ‘Carrie was still wearing her demure flowery frocks, looking a little overwhelmed, almost distressed with her downward glance, by the Downing Street move.’
Judi said she thought the emphasis was firmly on him at the start of their relationship as captured on camera.
She added: ‘When Boris made his first triumphant return to Downing St as PM after his meeting with the Queen, the spotlight was kept fully on him while Carrie was positioned more as part of the Downing St backstairs staff, waiting in a line with other members of the Downing street team rather than greeting Boris on the steps or posing together like most PM’s partners.
‘Watching these submissive-looking behaviour rituals it would be easy to have assumed that Carrie was very much the younger, less confident partner with no real role in the power hierarchy.
‘Clearly anyone in No 10 at the moment they will be aware of where the bodies are buried.
‘I think there has been a big power boost for her. How better to get away with it and stay under the radar, wear a lot of floral dresses and smile sweetly?’