Queen’s ‘warmth and affection’ in photos with Irish President posted for St. Patrick’s Day

Edward VIII praises Queen Elizabeth II's reign in 1969

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In the post’s first photo, the Queen is pictured standing beside the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. The other three images show Her Majesty at various engagements during her most recent visit to the Emerald Isle, in 2011.

The photos accompany the words of a letter given by the Queen to the President yesterday.

It read: “On the occasion of your National Day, I would like to convey to Your Excellency my congratulations, together with my best wishes to the people of Ireland.

“This year marks ten years since my visit to Ireland, which I remember fondly, and it marks a significant centenary across these islands.”

The message continued: “We share ties of family, friendship and affection – the foundation of our partnership that remains as important today as ten years ago.

“Lá Fhéile Pádraig sona daoibh go léir.”

In the last sentence of her letter, the Queen tries her hand at Irish, wishing the President a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

The Queen has spoken a little Irish before, most notably during her latest visit to the republic, where she attended a state dinner in Dublin Castle.

She began her address that evening by greeting the room with the words: “A Uachtaráin agus a chairde.”

This means “President and friends”.

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Royal body language expert, Judi James, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk about what the Queen’s body language and facial expressions may reveal about Her Majesty in the photos posted yesterday.

Judi said: “In her St. Patrick’s Day message the Queen writes about sharing ‘ties of family, friendship and affection’ and the body language in these four photographs really does illustrate those sentiments perfectly.

“The warmth and affection is clear in the first pose where she shares a mirrored smile of utter delight as she looks down to study something,” Judi speculated, referring to the photo of the Queen with President Higgins.

“Her smile is wide and the pulling of the skin around the chin plus the wrinkling around the sides of the mouth and the corners of her eyes form a very congruent signal of pleasure during this moment of non-verbal mimicry.”

Giving her analysis on both the second and third photos in the Instagram post, Judi said: “There are signals of active listening as she is taken on a tour of a sports stadium and then a moment of reflection as she gazes at wreaths.

“It’s probably the shared fun and humour of the last photo that illustrates some unexpected ties, though,” Judi continued.

“Standing at a fish market, the Queen is making the fishmonger next to her roar with open-mouthed laughter and her facial expression is priceless as she does so.

“We only really got to hear her sense of humour recently during a video call but here we get to see the signature raised brows, smile and mock-innocent eye expression of someone cracking a really good joke.”

In response to the Queen’s message, President Higgins wrote, both in Irish and English, about the family ties between Ireland and the UK.

His letter read: “We know St Patrick’s Day will be celebrated in the hearts of generations of Irish people who have made their home in Britain, and their British friends and family – as well as by the many British people who have happily made their home here.

“I know that the movement and circulation of our peoples is a source of continuing joy for us both.”

President Higgins’ letter, as well as a photo of the Queen’s message to him, was posted on the Irish leader’s Twitter account.

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