Body language

Is there any meaning behind that odd hand gesture Prince Harry made in photo op with Melania Trump?

Prince Harry poses with U.S. first lady Melania Trump for the first time as she leads the USA team delegation ahead of the Invictus Games 2017 on September 23, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images for the Invictus Games Foundation )

Melania Trump made her first solo trip abroad as first lady over the weekend, traveling to Canada to make an appearance at the Invictus Games. Trump met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and addressed the U.S. team, reportedly telling the athletes, “Take that fighting spirit that I know you have, and bring home the gold,” before greeting them and shaking hands.

But it was her meeting with Great Britain’s Prince Harry that has raised some eyebrows and made waves on social media. The two met at a Toronto hotel and a royal aide was reportedly heard saying, “Mrs. Trump, may I introduce His Royal Highness,” as Harry walked into the room. The two then posed for an extended photo op for the news media, and the entire time, as camera shutters snapped away, Harry stood beside Trump while making a curious hand gesture. The Prince’s middle finger, ring finger and thumb remained tucked inside the front of his suit jacket for the entirety of the photo op. Video footage of the photo op shows Harry maintained the hand gesture for about 30 seconds. Watch below.

Some social media observers speculated that the prince was trolling Trump, or using a “hand gesture to ward off evil.” Was there actually any meaning behind the odd gesture? Possibly — if it was intentional.

Glamour magazine enlisted the expertise of body language expert Patti Wood, who deconstructed not only the photo op, but what signals were being sent during the entire meeting between the two. A hand placed in front of the body is known as a “comfort cue,” Wood told Glamour. “You’re protecting vital organs,” she said, indicating that Harry was striking a defensive posture. As for the actual hand gesture Harry made during the photo op, well, Wood’s assessment was rather devastating. “That is actually the devil’s horn,” Wood said. “Whether that’s intentional or not, I don’t know.” She went on to point out that the “devil’s horn” is not a position one’s hand naturally falls into, meaning there could’ve been intent on Harry’s part to make the gesture. Wood elaborated in an interview with HuffPost. “It is not a sign that he’s the devil, but rather a warning off of evil spirits,” she said. “It’s a protective gesture against evil or darkness and illness.”

“He often smiles in photos,” Wood also observed in her interview with Glamour. “He’s a very happy person, and he’s not smiling.”

Meanwhile, others speculated that Harry was signaling his membership in the Illuminati, according to Metro U.K.

Wood also went on to deconstruct Melania Trump’s body language during the exchange and assessed what message the first lady might’ve been trying to send with the look in her eyes. In the end though, she did invite Harry to visit the White House any time he is in the U.S.

Read the full story at Glamour.

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