Prince William, 38, has launched a prize to help come up with solutions to tackle climate change. The Duke has spoken out about £50 million Earthshot Prize in a series of new interviews in which he calls for positivity over defeatism. According to a body language expert, William’s “paternal” starkly contrasts with his brother Prince Harry‘s assertive “preaching.”
Speaking to ITV News in a new clip, William says: “I think with all things in life if you are willing to make a difference you have to put yourself out there and you have to commit yourself and be determined and maybe go places you might find uncomfortable, or other people might find uncomfortable.
“But really for me, the prize is about bringing people together.
“You know it’s a team prize and if we can really harness everyone’s ability to come together and tackle the earth’s biggest environmental problems then I think the prize is the right way to do it because you’re rewarding, you’re incentivising and you’re encouraging.”
Body language expert and author Judi James analysed the clip for Express.co.uk and shared her findings.
Judi said: “Looking genuinely sad and troubled about the environment here, William speaks passionately but also modestly about his efforts to help tackle climate change.
“This message is not styled as a speech or a lecture and there seems to be no signs of any ego-leaking or brand-boosting here as he allows both David Attenborough and his son George to take top billing, suggesting that he leaned from their reactions rather than stamping his own personal authority over his messages and plans.
“In many ways, William comes across as a dad troubled for his children’s future rather than a future king using his status to lead from the front.”
According to Judi, William’s paternal approach starkly contrasts with his brother Harry’s “preaching.”
The expert said: “With his brother Harry busy preaching his causes as an expert or guru in the US and speaking in the kind of authoritative ‘tell’ mode that is expected from global stage speakers, William appears to have adopted a much more earnest but also collusive and thoughtful approach that suggests he is working through potential solutions rather than pitching them fully-formed.”
According to Judi, William asks people to ‘join in the fight’, rather than telling them what to do.
She said: “This rather modest, low-key delivery with personal, story-telling insights is more reminiscent of the styles of Attenborough and even William’s father Prince Charles and the effect on the viewer is that you are being asked to join in the fight by a status equal rather than being dazzled by the rhetoric of campaign superstar.”
Judi claimed William’s “lack of ego” sees him employ “the carrot rather than the stick.”
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She added: “The lack of ego or self-pitching is visible in the eye cut-offs.
“William’s eyes are often looking down and to his left here, suggesting he’s speaking from recalled memory and still-being-thought-through plans rather than using eye contact with the camera to stamp his own profile on them.
“His use of the term ‘I think…’ sounds cautionary and reflective rather than preachy and while his frown suggests concern, although his double-bounce on his toes shows he’s quietly keen to get everyone motivated and moving.
“He uses the carrot rather than the stick here and explains how he based the prize on ‘encouragement and reward’ rather than pushing and urging.”
Judi added: “When he talks about ‘making a difference’ and committing yourself and being determined he describes it as going to places that can make you ‘uncomfortable’ and this sounds like a share, as though he has been and will be experiencing the same emotions as his audience during their efforts.”
Judi claimed William’s body language and encouraging rhetoric coveys his desire to bring people together.
She said: “William also emphasises the team aspect of the benefits of this prize.
“Using clutching, catching gestures with both hands he speaks in the style of an appeal here, rather than a tub-thumping speech complete with ‘oven-ready’ soundbites.
“He also explains how the prize will bring people together, stressing the words ‘everyone’ and ‘come together’ to show how this new reward would work and have strong emotional benefits during this time of global crisis and unrest.”