Body language experts decode Prince Harry's cryptic hand gesture with Melania Trump

Marah Alindogan

Prince Harry's meeting with Melania Trump went viral over the weekend after people noticed his bizarre hand gesture in nearly all the photographs he took with the first lady.

A number of theories emerged on the internet, with many noting that it looked like Harry was giving a symbol of the devil.


However, body language expert Patti Wood revealed to Huffington Post that people are totally misunderstanding Harry's gesture.

"This is called the horn or the devil's horn, and what people are saying in the media about it is not correct," she said. "It is not a sign that he's the devil, but rather a warning off of evil spirits. It's a protective gesture against evil or darkness and illness."

She added that putting one's hand one's stomach is an act of self-comfort. In fact, Wood has noticed several leaders exhibiting that same gesture in photo ops with President Trump.

"I've seen world leaders in photo shoots with Trump and I see a lot of what are called self-comfort cues. This would be considered one of those. It looks like the devil's horn but it is also hand to belly," she said. "At the very least it would be a comfort cue, and show a lot of tension and a need to protect his central core."

Another body language expert, Joe Navarro, also decoded Harry's photographs, concluding that there could be a number of factors for Harry's bizarre hand placement. And no, none of them have anything to do with the devil.

"Had the photographers loitered too long? Is there something else going on?" he asked, adding, "I have to wonder, was he going to unbutton his jacket and then changed his mind? Was he in prep for sitting and then they asked him to stand again to do more photos? To me, you can't draw too many inferences from the photo. I wouldn't personally read too much into that."

The two experts concluded that both Harry and Melania exhibited signs of stress and tension.

"There was some psychological discomfort," Navarro said. "The look of his face, the look of his hand is very unusual, except for the fact that he and his brother have a tendency to cover their belly which is a self-soothing behavior to deal with a bit of tension."

Wood added: "If you look at their smiles, hers has enormous amount of tension. Her look is slitted eyes, closed eyes, which we do in tension. We also close our eyes when we want to attack."

Harry and Melania met at the Sheraton Hotel in Toronto for about 30 minutes, with most of the discussion centered around the Invictus Games. The first lady even invited Prince Harry to the White House!

For Melania's first solo international trip, she donned a houndstooth-patterned Dior suit, while Harry looked dapper in a navy suit. For more on her Invictus Games appearance, watch the video above.