Theresa wasn’t sad – these were tears of anger, but devastated Phil was like a mourner at a funeral: MailOnline’s body language expert Judi James on May’s emotional end
- May’s tears ‘prompted by lingering defiance rather than self-pity or broken will’
- Movements suggest she does not think anyone else will do better with Brexit
- Philip ‘adopted the pose of a mourner at a funeral waiting for the hearse to arrive’
Theresa May cut an emotional figure as she addressed the nation in Downing Street today.
At the end of the speech announcing she would step down on June 7 she broke down in tears as she talked about her pride at having been Prime Minister.
Here body language expert Judi James analyses what she and her watching husband Philip were really feeling as she told the world of her momentous decision to quit.
May cracked with emotion – but these were tears of anger, not sadness ‘
Although May’s tears provided some moments of genuine drama during her resignation speech, as the cruelly-labeled Maybot broke down she showed her emotional side at last.
It is important to note that her body language signals suggested these were tears prompted by anger and some lingering defiance rather than self-pity or broken will.
Tears always have a physiological effect on our bodies and with May it was the voice that refused to obey her, cracking with emotion at several points during her speech and forcing her to pause and suck in her lips before continuing.
By the end though, her adrenalin looked depleted to the point where she had no choice but allow them to take over.
Her mouth slewed downwards at one corner, her brows puckered and as she looked up from her notes her eyes expression was distraught.
As she has been over the entire run of Brexit, she was keen to keep to her core messages and so at the end she displayed anger mingling with the tears rather than pity, almost shouting out the words ‘serve the country I love’.
She paused in between each one and applied individual emphasis to hammer home the message that this sense of duty is what she has always seen as her sole motivation.
She even applied a head-baton gesture to each word, hinting that she would fight any suggestion to the opposite.
Apart from the tears the other key body language ‘tell’ came when May spoke about getting consensus over the future of Brexit.
She said she had done ‘my best’ and her small hand and shoulder-shrug at this point suggested she doubted anyone else will be able to do better.
It was an emotional end to her job as PM but her flashes of anger that shone through the tears suggested she still felt as though she had more to give.
Philip was like a mourner at a funeral – bowing his head out of respect and sadness
Waiting for his wife to appear to make her resignation speech, Philip May adopted the pose of a mourner at a funeral waiting for the hearse to arrive.
His hands were clasped behind his back and at times her rocked gently up onto his toes and down again as though quietly impatient for it all to be done.
His legs were splayed in a gesture of authority that could give a clue that – like his wife – he actually feels she had more to give in the role of PM, but his head bowed down at one point in a gesture of respect, regret and mourning.
When he did look up he was performing a mouth clamp that reflected the theme of anger that May threw into the end of her speech and – with the corners of his mouth pulled down – he appeared to share her tragic-looking sadness.