Princess Anne and her ex-husband Captain Mark Phillips sat down for a Parkinson TV special in Australia in 1983. The couple, who later divorced in 1992, were probed about their marital issues by Michael Parkinson.
Judi James, a body language expert, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk to explain how the Princess Royal and her then-husband handled the interview questions quite differently.
She claimed: “Anne is at her haughty best in this interview, using some intimidating techniques like her head tilt, raised chin and one arched brow to try to keep regal control during this interview.
“Her powerful presence is illustrated in the way that Michael Parkinson even seems to drop his Yorkshire accent to adopt something sounding deferentially upper class.
“He asks about rumours about their marriage though and some of Anne’s composure and all of Mark’s composure crumbles.
“While Anne looks down in a cut-off ritual we can then see her eyes dart from side to side at the use of the word ‘divorce’, suggesting some very mild inner panic.
“Mark looks down at his hands in an even stronger cut-off ritual and he begins to grin nervously. Both try to maintain their composure but their hands provide tell-tale cues of nervous leakage.
“Mark’s clasped hands begin to squirm and even Anne’s fingers fiddle about in a signal of discomfort.”
The body language expert argued that the Princess Royal made her ex-husband appear more “nervous” due to her “looks” in his direction.
Judi explained: “Anne looks at Mark as though either wanting to read his response or to embarrass him by throwing the question in his direction. The eye contact makes him burst out in explosive laughter, making it look as though he is nervous of her.
“Her comment ‘What are you doing here?’ prompts an awkward joke about leaving by ‘different doors’ but there is no actual denial.
“Anne actually performs a political swerve by talking about ‘gossip going on for years’ but when Mark starts to talk she looks down in another cut-off.”
This action by Mark, Judi suggested, was not appreciated by Princess Anne who looked “scathing”.
The body language expert added: “When she does look up at her husband her expression looks scathing.
“When Parkinson asks how they feel about the rumours the pause that follows is akin to the toe-curling pause after Charles said ‘whatever in love means’ during his engagement interview.
“Mark struggles to speak, squeaking and laughing nervously. Anne even performs a tongue-poke of rejection or dislike as she watches him.”
Judi claimed that Mark was the one who eventually “fell into a verbal ditch”.
She commented: “In the end, Mark falls into a verbal ditch of his own making. ‘I feel I’m dying to get the opportunity to say something to knock it all over’ is his answer.
“This is despite the fact he is having that opportunity right there and then and has done little if anything to ‘knock it over’.
“Anne’s non-verbal tell is classic. Her eyes go to the front as though processing what her husband has just said and then her sardonic grin does little to suggest their marriage is on track.”