Princess Kate's New "Signature" Gesture? The Stealthy "Bum Pat" to Prince William

Love this for her.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, known as the Duchess of Rothesay while in Scotland and Prince William, Prince of Wales, know as the Duke of Rothesay while in Scotland depart a national service of thanksgiving and dedication to the coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla at St Giles' Cathedral on July 05, 2023 in Edinburgh, Scotland. During the service of thanksgiving and dedication for the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla, the Honours of Scotland (the Scottish crown jewels) are presented to the new King. The service is based on a similar service held at St Giles' 70 years ago to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II but unlike the 1953 service, the Stone of Destiny, on which ancient Scottish kings were crowned, will be present in the cathedral.
(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein / Getty)

Prince William and Princess Kate are certainly discreet during their public appearances, but that doesn't stop them from engaging in some PDA on the down-low.

While this usually comes in the form of a hand on the back or the arm of their spouse, or just a loving look, 2023 has been a year full of surprises for the royal couple.

Indeed, on the occasion of the King's Scottish Coronation this week, the Princess of Wales was spotted giving her husband a stealthy "bum pat"—the second one caught on camera this year. If you recall, she had also made the cheeky gesture at the BAFTAs back in February.

Anyway, off the *back* of that and the rest of their demeanor throughout the day, body language expert Judi James compared the Waleses' public displays to those of the King and Queen—and she had some valuable insights to share.

"The King and Queen are more like a ventriloquist act, both muttering asides to the other in a way that doesn't look like real conversation but the ability to mutter may feel comforting for them both at events like this," James explained to the Mirror.

"They often overlap in their speech, which again suggests it's a mutual support and comfort tool rather than a way of conversing verbally. There is no eye contact."

While this is a really sweet habit, James feels that the Waleses are a bit more direct in their shows of affection towards each other while in public.

"William and Kate always show signals of attentive listening to each other and here they did their signature ritual of adding either touch or truncated touch to communicate with both words and non-verbal gestures that show emotion," she said.

"Kate even did her now signature bum-pat gesture, and the couple tend to use eye contact and exchange smiles as they speak."

OK, I don't know if doing something twice actually does qualify as a "signature," but all I know is that it's a very fun move from Kate, and I enjoy the sense of humor it shows in her.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.