Meghan Markle's first official speech: Here's what a body language expert has to say

By Sharnaz Shahid

Meghan Markle was the centre of attention as she gave her first official speech as a royal-to-be on Thursday (Feb. 1). Joining her fiance Prince Harry at the Endeavour Fund Awards, the former Suits actress presented the second honour of the night at Goldsmiths' Hall. Although it didn't go entirely to plan, body language expert Judi James has revealed that the American star was able to handle the situation like a pro thanks to her Hollywood training. Judi told HELLO! Online: "Meghan's acting helped [the situation], she's used to going on stage."

TAP TO VIEW IN GALLERYMeghan Markle on stage with giggles for her first speechMeghan Markle delivered her first speech at the Endeavour Fund Awards

Referencing Meghan's future sister-in-law Kate, Judi added: "I don't know if you saw Kate Middleton's first speech that she made, but she was painfully shy. I think it was to children, you could see that she'd had training, she'd been told to pause. She hadn't taken control of the situation, she hadn't decided to be herself." But thanks to Meghan's Hollywood career, her moment on stage did not have a profound effect on her - despite having to wait an awkward 40 seconds for her co-presenter to find the list of nominees.

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"I think with Meghan she's clearly comfortable on stage," explained Judi. "She's used to things going slightly wrong. She dealt with it in a self-effacing way, she scrunched up and laughed which also made the guy she was with feel more comfortable." And it seems the limelight on Meghan will have a good lasting effect on Prince Harry. "I think with events like that [Prince Harry] can take a backseat, as the royals do, they vanish after a few outings. Once [newcomers] have taken to it like a duck to water, the royal tends to vanish and I think we'll see a lot of her doing those things by herself."

Meghan Markle up close as she's on stage for her first speechThe former Suits actress was a "natural"

Since Meghan and Harry announced their engagement at the end of November, the happy couple - who will marry at Windsor Castle on May 19 - have embarked on a number of royal engagements designed to introduce Los Angeles-born Meghan, 36, to royal life. She has managed to win over the crowds with her charm all over the UK, having made visits to Nottingham and Cardiff in the past few months.

READ: Meghan Markle to break royal protocol by giving speech at wedding

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