Newlywed Carrie Symonds was buoyed by her ‘status upgrade’ as the wife of a Prime Minister and was ‘determined to not shrink into the background’ when she met the Bidens yesterday, a body language expert has explained.
Boris and Carrie met President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill for a beachfront stroll in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, ahead of the start of the G7 summit today.
After an awkward start where Carrie trailed behind the others as they set off on their walk, the PR guru took control of the situation and ‘set the pace’ and was keen to assert her position by mimicking the Bidens’ confident hand-holding.
British body language expert Judi James told FEMAIL: ‘New bride Carrie did look determined to register a status upgrade at the G7, appearing in an eye-catching flame red dress and matching shoes and even taking the lead to appear to be ushering the group along or setting the pace as they walked in front of the cameras.’
Later Mrs Johnson showcased her ‘sense of spontaneity’ when she kicked off her shoes to paddle in the water with Dr Biden, while one-year-old son Wilfred played on the shore.
BACK OF THE PACK: Boris initially strode ahead of the group and seemed unaware that his wife was trailing at the back, according to Judi, but this brief problem was soon corrected
SETTING THE PACE: When Carrie did catch up, she strode ahead of her husband and the Bidens, leading the way on the beachfront stroll in a show of confidence
Carrie, 33, cut an elegant figure in a scarlet £325 LK Bennett gown as she walked hand-in-hand with the Prime Minister and joined President Joe and his wife Dr Jill for the meeting.
Initially the new Mrs Johnson walked behind the rest of the group.
‘Boris appeared oblivious of any problem at the back of the grid initially, striding ahead and entertaining his other guests,’ Judi explained.
‘But when Carrie did finally catch up alongside we can see her almost appear to get out front like a racing car that has finally managed to lap its opponents and get into the lead.’
Judi also suggested Boris and Carrie mirrored the Bidens hand-holding during their walk.
‘Boris’s PDAs are usually either non-existent or awkward-looking but Carrie’s body language here suggests she has decided to take matters into her own hands, creating the kind of firm clasp that mirrors that of the Bidens,’ she claimed.
MIMICKING THE BIDENS’ PDA: Judi said Carrie looked determined to give a ‘confident’ display with her new husband and held his hand tightly in a way that mimicked the Bidens
BIDENS PUT ON A PRESIDENTIAL DISPLAY: While Carrie and Boris held hands as they walked, it lacked the sense of ease of the Bidens, who looked more ‘presidential’
‘Her raised chin and wide, congruent smile ooze confidence. Her outfits so far also seem to reflect a more visually assertive approach, with strong block colours like the mustard dress on Wednesday and the emphatically confident and eye-catching red dress yesterday.’
Judi noted that Joe and Jill ‘a more Presidential, POTUS and FLOTUS even-handed power-broking here, walking side by side with their hands clasped in between their torsos.’
‘This more assertive and joint-status approach to political leadership might even have inspired Carrie and made her more determined to not shrink into the background,’ added the expert.
After enjoying tea together, Carrie was seen removing her footwear in order to dip her toes in the water alongside her US counterpart, who did the same.
RAISED CHIN, CONFIDENT SMILE: Carrie tilted her head upwards and looked confident and in control, Judi noted, even as she strode onto the sand with Jill Biden
‘FAMILY PORTRAIT’ TO CREATE A SENSE OF INTIMACY: The way Mrs Johnson placed her son on the beach and stood in the shallows with Dr Biden created the impression of familiarity
‘ANTI-FORMAL’ BEHAVIOUR: ‘Barefoot bride’ Carrie was keen to create the impression of a relaxed rapport with Dr Biden during their time playing on the beach, Judi said
Both women were seen laughing and joking around together while Boris and Carrie’s one-year-old son Wilfred sat happily on the sand.
Judi commented: ‘It looked very much as though Carrie had set the agenda in terms of the barefoot beach walk, complete with a paddle in the sea.
‘She created a very strong family vibe here, sitting baby Wilfred down on the sand between herself and Jill, making their poses look almost like a family day out at the sea-side.
‘Carrie was the barefoot bride at her wedding and she looked keen to make a switch to a rather anti-formality, sense of spontaneity here, too,’ added the body language expert.
‘In terms of PR it created the appearance of a very fast-track rapport and getting Jill to remove her shoes and paddle while wearing a smart dress and jacket would have created a perfect, informal-looking moment between the two women with Wilfred handy to break the ice,’ she concluded.
MAKING A STATMENT: ‘Carrie’s outfits so far also seem to reflect a more visually assertive approach, with strong block colours like the mustard dress on Wednesday (pictured) and the emphatically confident and eye-catching red dress yesterday,’ said the expert