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With the Queen sadly unable to attend Sunday's Remembrance service (due to a back sprain that forced her to pull out at the last minute), all eyes at the event were on other members of the Royal Family. Kate Middleton became a particular focus for many watching the service, one reason being the three red poppies she wore, but also her positioning on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, which experts believe is a hint she's moved up the royal ranks.
The annual event sees the Royal Family gather together for the National Service of Remembrance, alongside serving and former members of the armed forces and some British politicians, at the Cenotaph in London. As part of the ceremony, a wreath is laid at the foot of the Cenotaph memorial, with select Senior Royals watching the proceedings from the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Per tradition, the Queen usually stands in the centre of the Royals as they gather on the balcony. But in her absence this year, the Duchess of Cambridge took centre place with Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall and Sophie, Countess of Wessex at either side. It's a move which royal experts have branded a "significant" hint that Kate has been promoted to a high-ranking member of The Firm.
Speaking to the Express, body language expert Judi James said: "With the Queen sadly missing from the royal balcony this year there was a very intriguing and possibly significant reshuffle of the royal wives, with Kate emerging looking very much like the highest-ranking woman in the group, not just by taking the central position between Camilla and Sophie but by her non-verbal signals as she stood in that spot."
James added, "With Camilla next in line to the role of Queen [Consort] it might have been expected for her to take that middle position between the two younger women. Even if there’s no actual protocol the non-verbal message is rather emphatic and by standing to one side like this it gives the impression that Kate is very much the Queen's stand-in at this event."
The expert suggests the reshuffle is a sign of things to come, as the Queen's health in recent weeks has forced her to spend more time resting, it's likely other Senior Royals will be tasked with more of her duties. "Despite often showing her fun, playful side, Kate is recently managing the switch to a more elegant, dominant and even leadership presence with ease," James continued, "There’s a sense of firmness and confident, natural authority growing in her body language as she moves quietly to the matriarchal role that the Queen has always held."
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