The French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May met in the UK capital last night for a talk about the French-UK relationship.
But all eyes were on the power-pat Macron appeared to give Theresa May at a press conference.
The 40-year-old made eye contact with the cameras as he patted PM May’s back whilst walking away from the microphones.
Judi James, body language expert, told Express.co.uk this was “unlikely to have occurred by accident”.
She said: “He might have crossed the Channel offering tapestries as a sweetener but do Macron’s body language signals suggests a real entente cordial or something a bit more strategic?
“Macron is a serial body language power-player. This is the man who out-Trumped Trump while he was still in his first flush of the earliest days of his French presidency by clamping the US president’s hand in a vice-like grip during their handshake and winning the ‘who blinked first’ eye-stare to prove his tough-guy alpha credentials.
“Which means that his emphatic back-pat of May as she walked off stage (PIC !) is unlikely to have occurred by accident.”
Judi – who has analysed the body language of thousands of politicians and celebrities – compared last night’s pat to when Clegg and Cameron walked into No 10 after their coalition announcement.
Clegg turned his eyes to the camera and got the power-pat in for the money shot of superiority but Cameron swiftly patted him back just before the doors closed behind them.
She said: “Patting like Macron does here while staring direct at the cameras signals that you see yourself in charge or at least very dominant in the partnership and you want everyone to know it.
“May is the host here but it looks as though Macron is steering her off the stage. It was a school kid error by May to be caught like this and she might need to learn the Tony Blair ‘body swerve’ if she’s not going to look like the weaker leader during her other meetings with the French president.”
Judi said: “As they stand behind their lecterns though it looks like Macron is the one reaching across the divide in a gesture of reconciliation.
“While May stands solidly behind her lectern with her body facing front and only her head turned Macron’s outstretched hand is turned palm-up with the fingers slightly curled in what looks like a beckoning gesture.”
Judi explained: “This is the full force of the Macron charm in action.
“He flashes his widest, most confident Hollywood grin to the cameras with his hands in what looks like partial-steeple mode.
“Steepling is another power gesture, suggesting the French president really enjoyed the limelight during his long speech.”
Judi said: “As Macron was in full verbal flight though he mist have felt a cold chill on his left cheek. Nobody does a baleful stare better than May and if Macron had glanced to his left that smile might have frozen on his face.
“I don’t think this cold stare is intentional by May, it seems to be her ‘resting’ expression in between smiles. At this moment it’s not having any effect on Macron, though.
“Those erect thumbs are a classic male signal of enjoyment and confidence.”