Wonderfully regal: Russian royal wedding body language showed intimacy and affection

Russia: George Romanov is joined at the altar by Bettarini

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Since the Russian Revolution in 1917, there has been no official Russian Royal Family, nor any royal weddings. However, Grand Duke George Romanov is the third great-grandson of Emperor Alexander II of Russia, and his wedding to Rebecca Bettarini marks the first Russian royal wedding to take place in 104 years. Rebecca Bettarini is the daughter of Ambassador Roberto Bettarini, an Italian diplomat, and is the Director of the Russian Imperial Foundation.

She is now styled as Victoria Romanova and recently converted to Russian Orthodox.

The wedding took place in St Isaac’s Cathedral in St Petersburg in front of a congregation of stoic facial expressions.

Although the bride looked overcome with emotion, the crowds of people in attendance were certainly less cheery than you would usually expect to see at a royal wedding.

Judi James, a body language expert, spoke to Express.co.uk about the Russian royal wedding and analysed the body language of the bride and groom, as well as those in the congregation.

Judi said: “The first Russian royal wedding in 104 years produced what to UK eyes might have looked like formal and stoic-looking body language from nearly everyone apart from the bride and groom themselves who looked not only touchingly and very mutually in love but also keen to share their fun side, too.

“The culture of Russian smiles can be rather different to our own trait of teeth-baring and grinning as a general signal of politeness and friendliness.

“Our smiles are most frequently fake and performed as a social ritual.

“For many Russians though the smile is seen as something that should be more genuine, less toothy and less appropriate for use with strangers, meaning it might be easy to misread some of the facial expressions of guests around the couple.

“The Grand Duke and his bride were exchanging some beaming smiles and some signs of shared humour as they exchanged rings.

“He performed an air-punch of delight and even threw a wink at the congregation as he led his bride down the aisle.

“The couple leaned in together in a gesture of shared intimacy and affection as soon as the bride’s veil had been removed and Victoria’s eye-contact as she stood next to George threw out strong signals of shared delight as well as shared fun.

“George’s mother performed what looked like the most regal body language of the event, if not the entire Century.

“Standing upright and formal in her fur-trimmed hat and coat, she helped produce one of the best ‘mother-in-law-at-a-wedding’ poses in the line-up photo, standing looking wonderfully regal with one hand linked into her son’s arm as her new daughter-in-law peeked around her husband from the other side.

“The Grand Duke’s torso is turned towards his mother in a gesture of respect but Victoria has used their handclasp to pull his arm towards her own torso and has placed her other hand over the clasp in a gesture of bonding and loving ownership here.”

Twitter user CashSmart wrote: “I am watching the first Russian royal wedding in 100 years.

“The only person at the wedding who is smiling and happy is the bride.

“Everyone else looks like they are at a funeral.

“The groom looks like he is about to be put in front of a firing squad.”

George’s great-grandfather, Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich, was amongst the Romanov family members who escaped the Russian Revolution, resulting in Tsar Nicholas II being assassinated in 1917.

Queen Sofia of Spain attended the wedding, as did Princess Leia of Belgium, and Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.

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