• Kate Middleton lets her guard down with Sophie, Countess of Wessex
  • Kate Middleton and Prince William are feeling the weight and pressure after Prince Harry and Meghan's exit
  • Queen Elizabeth II's favorite royal is Sophie, Countess of Wessex

Kate Middleton was relaxed with Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

On Monday, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge stepped out to attend a special reception at the Buckingham Palace. They were photographed with Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

According to an expert, Middleton was so composed. The strain following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s exit was evident in the duchess especially when she met Sophie because the duchess let her guard down with the countess.

“The strain of recent events is evident to see in some of last night’s pictures from the state reception,” energy reader Allison Ward told Express.

“Kate warmly greets officials and is clearly still very much in love with William but when she meets Sophie, Duchess of Wessex that’s when the strain shows. Kate’s eyes are not showing as much warmth and her hands are defensively across her stomach.”

Ward added that the duchess put on her “state face” when she welcomed the guests. It was very apparent at the event because Middleton was normally good in hiding it. However, she relaxed when Sophie arrived and that’s when her true feelings became more obvious.

“Kate let her guard down with her known relatives as seen in this picture with Sophie,” the expert added.

Body language expert Blanca Cobb also revealed earlier that the Cambridges was feeling the pressure and weight following the Sussexes’ departure. It was reportedly evident when Prince William and Middleton visited Bradford last week.

The Queen is fond of both Middleton and Sophie. In fact, Her Majesty has been photographed sharing a ride with Sophie and Middleton when she attended mass in Sandringham. However, many were convinced that Sophie is the Queen’s favorite royal because the Queen is often seen with her.

According to previous reports, the monarch loved the way Sophie managed her husband. Among the Queen’s four children, only Prince Edward’s first marriage is successful. Prince Charles divorced Princess Diana. The same thing happened to Princess Anne and Mark Phillips’ marriage, and Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson’s union.

The Queen “knows that is in no small way down to Sophie’s dedication - she is aware, as his Edward’s mother, what a tricky creature he can be,” a source said of the Wessexes’ successful marriage. 

Kate Middleton, Sophie Countess of Wessex Kate Middleton and Sophie, Countess of Wessex attend the annual Remembrance Day Services in London on Nov. 12, 2017. Photo: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images