US First Lady Melania Trump wore large sunglasses which hid emotions well [Photo: AFP via Getty]

Melania Trump's signature 'lightning smile' appeared to give away her emotions on her final day at the White House. On Wednesday (January 20), President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump saw the end of their tenure at the White House.

Speaking to The Mirror, body language expert Judi James gave her verdict on the Trumps' body language as they bid farewell to their home and offices of the last four years. The pair said farewell to the White House in Marine One before speaking at an event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, with the plan to fly on to Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club residence in Palm Beach, Florida.

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The couple will not attend the inauguration ceremony of incoming President Joe Biden. Judi revealed: "Nobody should have been fooled by their rigid, performed smiles that appeared to need to be dragged from their boots today, Donald Trump looked and sounded like a broken man while his wife Melania wore the black suit and the demeanour of a principal mourner at a funeral."

The body language expert also revealed what signature move of Melania's showed how she was really feeling. "Melania, in particular, was performing her signature ‘Lightning smile’ that appears and disappears quickly, suggesting no genuine sense of positive emotions. "As Trump seemed to battle to hold his head up at times her smiles were sandwiched between a dour-looking mouth clamp and some clenched-teeth expressions."

However, if we were hoping to see signs of where her and Donald's marriage will go next are to be disappointed. Judi continued: "Anyone expecting Melania to talk in non-verbal code to suggest her next steps in terms of her marriage would have been disappointed though. "Clad in huge, ‘Jackie O’ shades to hide her eye expression she walked alongside her husband, allowing him to hold her hand tightly as she did."

In fact, it seems the Trumps were truly putting on a united front as they bid farewell to the White House. "Melania’s elegant and Sphinx-like body language can be one-dimensional but over the four years in the White House she has famously suffered moments of body language leakage when that Lightning Smile has appeared directed at her step-daughter or when she has been seen to swat Trump’s hand away," Judi continued. "Today though, Trump reached for his wife’s gloved hand with a firm grab and there were no arguments from her. He did appear to need both her and the handclasp in a way that he didn't come into office."

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She added: "Using some small taps and some firm clasps of her hand, even keeping hold of it as he did his last salutes, as well as touching her back and waist as she walked ahead of him, Trump probably used some of the most tactile rituals with his wife to date. He gazed at her fondly during her speech but apart from that, there were no moments of ‘added warmth’ from her though, i.e. eye-contact or reassuring strokes or touches that you could expect on an occasion like this. With his voice appearing to be close to breaking at time though, this could have been a deliberate avoid for an alpha male trying to put in one last performance of arrogance and bravado before he left office."

Judi notes that this is all a change from the usual dynamic displayed between Donald and both wife Melania and daughter Ivanka Trump. "Then it was all about Ivanka while Melania often stood discreetly aside," noted Judi. "Today though it was Ivanka relegated to the ‘Friends and Family’ enclosure while Melania stood on the stage beside her husband for his final speech in office and it was Melania who he was describing as ‘So popular’ and inviting to say some words of her own."

In fact, in Judi's eyes, Ivanka was displaying the most unusual body language of all the family present, including with her husband Jared Kushner. "Ivanka looked awkward throughout, gazing up at her husband’s face, clutching his arm and even apparently talking to him while her father took the stage," detailed Judi. When Jared applauded she turned to face him and we saw no sign of her joining in the applause as he clapped."

The most insightful detail seemed to be how Melania behaved towards both step-daughters Ivanka and Tiffany Trump. "Trump stepped towards his family after his speech, moving to greet and kiss Ivanka but Melania held back as he did, despite moving forward to kiss and chat with Tiffany when it was her turn."

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Elsewhere, Ivanka was noted to shed tears as her father left Joint Base Andrews, Maryland as his presidency came to an end. Later on Wednesday, President-Elect Joe Biden is to be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States of America, with Kamala Harris as his Vice-President. Dr Jill Biden will replace Melania as the First Lady of the United States of America.