Kate Middleton ‘now high ranking royal’ after stepping in for Queen at Cenotaph

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Kate Middleton has taken on the Queen's 'matriarchal role' after replacing the Queen at yesterday's Remembrance Sunday service, according to a body language guru.

The Duchess of of Cambridge stood in the middle of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Sophie, Countess of Wessex on the balcony at the Cenotaph on Sunday.

Her Majesty did not attend the engagement in London yesterday after Buckingham Palace revealed on the morning of the event that she had sprained her back.

She was said to be "disappointed" to miss the memorial for the first time in 20 years, after being widely expected to make her first public appearance since a health scare in October.

Discussing Kate's conduct at the ceremony, body language and behaviour expert Judi James told Express.co.uk:

“With the Queen sadly missing from the royal balcony this year there was a very intriguing and possibly significant re-shuffle of the royal wives, with Kate emerging looking very much like the highest-ranking woman in the group, not just by taking the central position between Camilla and Sophie but by her non-verbal signals as she stood in that spot”

"With Camilla next in line to the role of Queen [consort] it might have been expected for her to take that middle position between the two younger women."

“Even if there’s no actual protocol the non-verbal message is rather emphatic and by standing to one side like this it gives the impression that Kate is very much the Queen’s stand-in at this event.

Ms James added that Kate's height and posture gave a "natural look" of royal high status, and that the manner she turned to speak to Sophie and Camilla gave the impression of her being the "female alpha" in the group.

However, this does not appear to have created tension with the other women, as she observes Camilla to be "satisfied" with her position in the group.

Royal expert Camilla Tominey said last week that the Duchess of Cambridge was becoming "the most powerful person in the royal family", thanks to her popularity with the public, and her husband and son both being potential future kings

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