Prince William, 38, and David Beckham, 45, were among famous faces to take part in a recent video call to promote mental health awareness in football as part of the Duke of Cambridge’s Heads Up campaign. As well as Beckham, William was joined by football stars Steph Houghton, Tyrone Mings, Andros Townsend, and Carlo Ancelotti to spread an important message.
During the call, both Prince William and David Beckham opened up about the importance of speaking out about one’s mental health.
In a short clip of the call shared by Kensington Palace, Prince William said: “I really hope that you guys feel like the tide is turning on mental health and we are making progress.”
David Beckham replied: “It’s okay to not be okay and it’s okay to say that. It’s okay to come out and say ‘I need help.”
Body language analyst and author Judi James told Express.co.uk: “For two leading male role-models to discuss, encourage and inspire people in sport to talk about mental health issues is still ground-breaking in many ways and Prince William and David Beckham use their iconic status here to get the message across.
“William is probably at his peak in terms of message ownership and body language confidence here.”
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Judi added: “His recent documentary on the subject showed him presenting his messages eloquently and passionately and here he looks relaxed, natural and in charge of his subject, wearing casual clothes to lower his own status signals.
“He leans forward into camera to make his words appear personally-directed to the viewer, which is a powerful technique that will create strong feelings of empathy.
“His eyes go to his left as he begins, to suggest he’s working on recalled memories, and his soft but direct eye contact when he talks about mental health makes him look open and lacking in anxiety or embarrassment, more like a professional mentor than a Prince.”
According to Judi, Beckham is dressed to reflect his “sporting hero status.”
The body language expert added: “Beckham is in a jacket and tie, making him look more like a typical world cup sporting hero.
“He sits back from the camera and his smile looks engaging and upbeat but without being directed at the viewer.
“He is being interviewed here, directing his eyes to the invisible interviewer rather than the camera, like William.
“His ‘sporting star’ body language would inspire in an iconic way, while William’s makes him look more like the presenter and owner of the message.”
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Another body language analyst has claimed the clip shows William to be in control, while Beckham falters slightly.
Body language expert and energy reader Debbie Bolton told Express.co.uk: “Prince William is thinking about what he is about to say and is processing information in his own mind.
“He is recalling a memory of a past experience or emotion that he has had with mental health as that is the topic he is speaking about.
“He is anxious right at the end when he says the word ‘fascinating’ as if he wants to acknowledge everyone he is speaking to without offending them.
She added: “Alternatively, David Beckham is thinking about what it would feel like to experience what he is saying.
“When he specifically says, ’It’s okay to come out and say I need help’, he is finding it difficult as he would want to know how it feels like to ask for help.
“It is as if he has not asked for help before with regards to his own mental health.”
The star-studded phone call took place following the announcement that The football family has come together to sign the ‘Mentally Healthy Football’ Declaration, committing to building a mentally healthy culture at all levels of the game as a lasting legacy of Prince William’s HeadsUp campaign.
Kensington Palace tweeted: “The conversation followed the announcement that football has come together to sign a joint Declaration committing to make mental health a key priority at all levels of the game, as a lasting legacy of #HeadsUp.”