Paul Little at large
Paul Little is a Herald on Sunday columnist

Paul Little: What Prince George really said in Canada . . .

Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, fixes Prince George's hair as he waves to the crowd. Photo / AP
Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, fixes Prince George's hair as he waves to the crowd. Photo / AP

Whenever a royal tour is announced, a frantic round of preparations is triggered.

Ocelots are force-fed truffles and left to marinate in ambergris, slums are bulldozed to create highways that will allow the royal party to make its progress unimpeded and the body language experts sharpen their microscopes ready to pore over every tic and twitch and interpret their meaning in a way that, fortunately for their careers, is impossible to prove or disprove.

The Cambridges, parents William and Catherine and children George and Charlotte, are an average family of four who will one day have their very own Commonwealth and, in the case of the husband, get to head their own religion - pretty good going when you consider he comes from a broken home.

On a recent holiday in Canada, William and Catherine's habit of occasionally flicking a glance in each other's direction meant theirs was "a genuine love story".

The likelier explanation - that they were silently asking each other, as many couples do, "How soon can we get the hell out of here?" - was not canvassed.

But there was another figure on that tour, one on whom much attention was focused.

I refer of course to the third in line to the throne and Stewie "Family Guy" Griffin lookalike, Prince George Alexander Louis, aged 3.

George had a full repertoire of revealing gestures at his disposal. Here for the first time we analyse a few of them, for an insight into what the little prince is really thinking when he is dragged from the security of his gold-plated nursery and forced into close proximity with his vassals.

Stepping from the plane on first arriving, George, dressed like the other three members of his family in varying shades of blue, had one hand firmly held in his father's, but the other was raised in a gesture indicating uncertainty about where he was stepping.

Or so many analysts claimed. In fact, the hand-out, palm-down gesture signalled irritation because he knew colour-blocking was so 2013.

Introduced to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, George was possibly the only human on the planet to have spurned the Canadian heartthrob's advances and not shake his hand.

Although many interpreted this as natural shyness on the part of a toddler confronted with an adult-sized charisma machine, some body language experts noticed a certain snake-eyed glint in George's eyes.

It was possible, they surmised, that George thought he was being introduced to irritating actor and Jennifer Aniston accessory Justin Theroux.

When the PM offered a high-five instead of a handshake George's expression was unambiguous. It said: "Oh puh-leaze, homie, give me a break."

On many occasions George was seen with a quizzical expression on his face.

Many took this to mean he was finding the stress of the tour overwhelming.

But George is a doughty Windsor as well as a high-strung Spencer and the demands of a royal tour are part of his DNA.

What his expression really conveyed, according to a small but convincing number of analysts, was "Jeez, I hope they can't see my bald spot."

George was frequently caught in photographs with one knee raised in the air as though at the high point of a march step.

But this is also a subconscious defence mechanism, the leg being raised in order to shield oneself.

And what did George - surrounded by a platoon of security - have to worry about?

Most analysts agree that the body-hiding gesture arose because George had finally worked out that someone had dressed him in a mortifying combination of black knee socks and red shorts.

Another group of analysts disputes this, arguing that George was jumping up and down because it had been a long trip and he really really needed to go to the toilet.

George was also photographed with his little face pressed hopefully against a window pane.

The more loyal analysts saw this as his desire to get closer to his future subjects. Most saw it as the familiar signal for wanting to escape.

This interpretation was bolstered by an account of George's response when the plane in which he was travelling landed and he was able to sit in the co-pilot's seat and play with the controls.

"Kate said, 'Where are you going to fly us? Are you going to fly us to Canada?'

"And George said, 'No, I'm going to fly us to England'."

And who could blame him for trying?

- NZ Herald

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