Dance expert reviews the Royal Family's moves

Strictly royals! As footage emerges of Meghan boogying in a bar, experts reveal who the best dancer in The Firm is  (and who could lift the glitterball!)

  • Expert Johanna Hadley, Yorkshire, who runs Dancewear Central, gave her verdict
  • Read more:  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have fun with young spectators

As Meghan Markle busted moves on the dancefloor in a video from one of her suits co-stars which re-emerged last week, she sent royal fans wild.

Dressed in a chic all-black outfit with her hair in a smooth, sleek ponytail, the Duchess of Sussex, 42, looked carefree as she bopped along to Mr. Vegas’s Heads High while sitting at a table with her fellow cast members.

The clip, which was originally filmed in 2012, showed the Duchess before she met Prince Harry and became a member of the Royal Family – however, she was giving her future family members a run for their money without even realising it.

Over the years, members of the British Royal Family have showed off their dance moves in public events, displaying their sharp (in some cases) sense of rhythm as they enjoyed a boogie.

Royals including the Princess of Wales, King Charles and Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh have been caught on film cutting shapes on the dance floor at events including royal tours and even the Coronation – but which of them would claim the glitter ball in a Strictly-style dance-off?

Johanna Hadley, a Yorkshire-based dance teacher who coaches people from the ages of eight to 87 and who runs Dancewear Central, gave her verdict on the moves of royals throughout the years – and she’d even like to see them take to the BBC dancefloor for a Strictly royals’ special!  

Meghan Markle

The video, posted by her Suits co-star Patrick J. Adams, shows the former actress, now 42, pushing her arms out and rolling her shoulder as she sings along to Mr. Vegas’s Heads High

Meghan has been spotted boogying on a few occasions while out and about, particularly on royal engagements when she and Prince Harry were still working members of the Royal Family.

During the couple’s royal tour of South Africa in 2019, both the Duke and Duchess beamed as they danced along with residents at a township called Nyanga in the Cape Flats just outside of Cape Town.

Meghan wore a dress designed by the sustainable Malawi-based fashion brand Mayamiko and the couple sported matching ‘Justice Desk’ beaded bracelets as they shook hands with smiling locals.

However, it’s the resurfaced clip of the Duchess bopping along with her pals in a bar before she even became a royal that has sent royal fans wild this week.

Dance expert Joanna Hadley said of the clip that Meghan is a ‘relaxed and comfortable dancer’. 

‘It comes naturally to her and she is able to dance with confidence,’ she added.

‘Even though she’s sitting down, you can still clearly see the rhythm of the movements rippling through her body and arms with a fluidity. Plus, she’s smiling and having a great time – and isn’t that what dancing is all about?’ 

Kate Middleton, Princess of Wales

Princess Kate joined in with the residents of Hopkins, a small village on the coast of Belize, which is the home of the Garifuna community, during her royal tour of the Caribbean in 2022

During the royal tour of the Caribbean with Prince William in the spring of 2022, the Princess of Wales visited the residents of the village of Hopkins in Belize.

The small town on the coast of the central American nation is home to the Garifuna community – and while they hosted a royal, they couldn’t resist getting her involved in some traditional dancing.

In a clip shared online at the time by a royal fan account, the mother-of-three can be seen playfully shimmying towards her husband, while the Duke watched on with a huge beam on his face. 

As the Princess strutted her stuff on the dancefloor and was watched lovingly by her husband, royal fans were convinced the chemistry between the pair indicated they were ready for another baby. But what does our expert think? 

Describing the Princess of Wales’ moves, Joanna said: ‘Kate always has such poise and elegance – like that of a ballet dancer. This clip is no exception! 

‘She has an excellent relaxed hip action that gives her a very natural-looking dance style. She’s interacting and smiling at the other dancers, and travels across the floor well – even in heels! 

‘This all gives a confident dance performance (and I love the little twirls in her wrists she adds in). A natural mover!’ 

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh

Sophie, Duchess of Edinburgh, showed off her sultry dance moves at the Coronation concert for King Charles in May

As she joined other members of her family for a right royal knees-up at King Charles’s Coronation Concert in May, the Duchess of Edinburgh showed off her sultry moves while waving her Union Jack flag.

Dressed in a bright coral frock with fluted sleeves from Beulah, Sophie demonstrated relaxed moves, allowing her shoulders to sway as she rocked her hips.

The 58-year-old mother-of-two was beaming with joy as she boogied along to Lionel Richie as he sang his hit tunes ‘All Night Long’ and ‘Easy Like Sunday Morning’ in Windsor. 

Royal fans took to Twitter to praise her free-spirited nature with someone claiming she is ‘all of us who couldn’t attend the concert but wanted to.’ 

Joanna also praised the royal’s moves, saying: ‘I think that Sophie has a hidden talent! She would be amazing in a Latin dance or Commercial Heels dance class. 

‘Many people in this situation might just sway from side to side, but with Sophie, there’s real flair there! The little ‘pop’ of her shoulder she does at the end of each movement is just oozing style.’ 

Prince Harry

Prince Harry busted some moves at a Beyoncé concert last week while he and his wife Meghan watched the global star

As Beyoncé continues to wow audiences around the world on her Renaissance Tour, fans have been scrambling to secure their seats at the hottest show in town – and last week, Harry and Meghan proved they were no exception.

And while Meghan, who appears to be a huge Beyoncé fan, got into the spirit early on in the show, shaking her hips as she danced along to her favourite tracks, it took Harry a little longer to warm up.

Photos showed him standing stationary and checking his phone while Meghan dazzled with her dance moves in her shimmering silver skirt – but a clip filmed elsewhere in the night showed the duke was well in the spirit of Beyoncé mania.

A clip filmed from someone sitting behind Harry showed him wiggling his hips and raising his arms in the air before he gave his wife a loving embrace.

‘Harry has good relaxed use of the knees, shows good rhythm and certainly some very smooth moves!’ said Joanna.  

‘I think he really wanted to go for it but then held back a little, which is a shame as he could be a star on the dance floor!’ 

King (then Prince) Charles

King Charles was known for busting moves in his younger years – demonstrating his breakdancing skills in a dance-off in 1985

In a royal visit which has gone down in history as one of the greatest (or most toe-curling, as some people consider) appearances of all time, King Charles strutted his stuff on the dancefloor as he attempted to breakdance in 1985.

A video of the dance-off, which took place at Middleton-on-Sea in 1985 when the King was 37 years old, shows him popping and locking while dressed in his crisp suit, while professional break dancers showed him a few moves.

Whether they were flawed by or in shock at his moves, crowds of people gathered to watch the then Prince of Wales bust a move on the dancefloor – and the moment has now become so infamous, it was even immortalised in Netflix’s The Crown.

A striking moment in episode five of the most recent series comes as the credits roll However the most striking moment comes as the credits roll – when the royal (played by Dominic West) is shown on a dancefloor at the event, where he is beckoned forward and begins to dance with one of the young people. 

Sharing her thoughts on the dance, Joanna said: ‘My first thought is “Go, King Charles!” for getting up and giving this difficult dance style a go! I know many people who would just outright refuse to even step on a dance floor like this. 

‘If you watch this video carefully, you can really see how he is following the professional dancer carefully which is a good quality for a dancer. 

‘Breakdancing is often performed as a battle and so you need to be observant to be responsive to the movements of the other dancer. You can see King Charles is apprehensive at first when trying breakdancing, but he really starts to get into it!’

According to expert, near the start of the dance, just after his floor-based sequence, Charles ‘shows some good fluid body movements’. 

She continues: ‘These actually show some good potential! I would suggest that he tries a specific genre called Liquid dance or Waving which requires fluid movements of the body and arms, which he shows quite well at this moment in the video!

‘With Breaking making its first appearance in Olympics Paris 2024, will we be seeing King Charles representing Team GB? Although, maybe not in a formal suit next time!’

Queen Camilla

A reluctant-looking Queen Camilla joined in with a very enthusiastic King Charles for a line dancing lesson in Tipperary, Ireland in 2022

While visiting County Tipperary in March 2022, both King Charles and Queen Camilla were truly immersed in Irish culture when they learnt some traditional Irish ceilidh steps.

The couple were seen grinning and grimacing simultaneously as they were shown the basic ‘123’ steps of a traditional Irish dance at the Bru Boru Cultural Centre in County Tipperary on the second day of their visit to the Republic. 

Charles, was a good sport as he was shown some moves by professional Irish dancers, and while not quite at Riverdance standards, he gamely graced the floor with some toe tapping himself. 

And after watching her husband, an initially reluctant-looking Queen Camilla found her confidence and got into the spirit as well.

After watching the Queen’s moves, Joanna said she is ‘honestly so impressed’ with them.

She added: ‘Camilla is able to keep time with some very rhythmical music. She has a good leg action and use of knee. She also demonstrates good transfer of weight placement from foot to foot. 

‘Like her husband, you can see how she is carefully following the teacher. Top marks for also having in a lovely smile at the end, adding some performance value to her Irish Jig. 

‘I also like how she is confident enough to not look at her feet when she is dancing. It is well documented that Queen Camilla takes Silver Swans ballet classes, so she is used to following a dance teacher and picking up choreography. Her dance experience is apparent in the video.’

Prince William 

Reliving his youth! Prince William was spotted at Koko club in London last month with a few friends enjoying a boogie

While the Royal Family enjoyed some time off from official duties this Summer, Prince William was spotted reliving his youth as he visited one of his favourite London clubs, Koko in Camden.

As he enjoyed a drink on the balcony with a few friends, the Prince of Wales, dressed in a light shirt, very subtly bopped along to the dance music.

According to Joanna: ‘You can tell that Prince William wants to dance as, although he’s not on the dance floor, he’s still moving to the music. 

‘I think he just needs to work on is his confidence! In this short clip, I can see that he has good natural musicality, which could really be developed, as he is moving perfectly in time with the beat of the music. 

‘I think some more formal dance classes would probably help his confidence on the dance floor. He does have potential in dance as it’s in his genes – after all, his mum took ballet and tap lessons.’

Speaking generally about the Royal Family’s dancing skills, Joanna said overall she is ‘impressed’.

‘They all show a natural sense of movement, rhythm and musicality, which are the important foundations of making a great dancer,’ she explained.

‘I’m a firm believer that dance can be enjoyed by anyone, and these videos really show that even the Royal family love having a dance. 

‘I’m thinking that a ‘Strictly Come Dancing – Royals Special’ would make some great TV watching!’

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