Duchess Kate’s National Portrait Gallery speech: not bad or still needs work?


Before I wrote up the Duchess Kate story yesterday, I swear that I tried to find video of the speech she made at the National Portrait Gallery. But I didn’t find it at the time, so now we get to enjoy it in a separate post. It’s worth noting that Kate rarely speaks in public situations. I might have my count wrong, but I believe this speech from Tuesday night was only the sixth public speech she’s made as a duchess. Six speeches in nearly three years of marriage, so about two a year.

It’s worth noting as well that I really thought and I still believe that elocution lessons were part of Kate’s “princess training.” People who knew Kate years ago always say that her voice & accent are totally different now, but the duchess still can’t speak a sentence without looking down at her notes at least twice. Princesses don’t memorize! Here’s the video – skip ahead to the 1-minute mark for Kate’s speech, although the first minute of the video has some classic Kate stuff (head-tilting) and there are some necklace close-ups:

“How delighted I am to be here………. This evening….” It’s sort of funny. I mean… I feel bad for laughing? That speech was, what? Less than a minute and at most a dozen sentences long. I’m not saying she needed to memorize the speech or anything, but perhaps she could have been familiar enough with it that we didn’t have to go through this: “[Stares at paper, looks up suddenly]…But!…[stares back down at paper nervously]…it more than simply a [stares at paper]… world renowned… [looks up] visitor’s attraction.”

Also: seeing Kate in motion in this ensemble convinces me even further that she should have pulled her hair back. It’s a crime against fabulous jewelry to have her weave covering half of the diamonds.

Some of Kate’s worst critics (and I am not one of them, despite what some of you think!) say that Kate is only interested in charity work when it involves parties, evening gowns, hair twirling and champagne. There might be something to that, although Kate should rethink this strategy because the more galas she attends, the more often she’ll…[looks nervously at notes]… have to make… [looks up triumphantly, then back down quickly]… speeches! [clutches chest]

PS… Us Weekly got a “confirmation” that William and Jecca Craig were boar hunting in Spain while Kate and Prince George were at home in London. Not only that, but Jecca, William and Harry all flew to Spain together. Huh.




Photos courtesy of WENN.

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261 Responses to “Duchess Kate’s National Portrait Gallery speech: not bad or still needs work?”

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  1. Zbornak Syndrome says:

    Gawd you guys, she is STILL wearing that budget “I’m in high school and just discovering makeup” thick eyeliner! If it were me I’d be wearing my hair up to show off that jewelry. She is clinging to her twenties with both hands. It’s hard, I know.

  2. Peri says:

    Did no one else notice that Princess Beatrice was there as well? I wonder what she thought of the speech..

  3. HappyMom says:

    She’s a nervous wreck. It will get better when she does more public speaking.

    • Zadie says:

      Yeah, I feel for her. She seems very uncomfortable in public occasions. She will get better. The looking down on the paper might just me a safety mechanism.

      • Juliette says:

        The hair is a safety mechanism. Certainly, she spent many hours at the hair salon having that safety mechanism polished, blown, and ready for public consumption.

        Looking and the paper, mumbling and bumbling her words is just bad form due to carelessness. She did not care to take some time out of her day to rehearse and learn the words. Kate is all style over substance.

      • Tanguerita says:

        she is just a lazy dummy whose only goal in life was to marry a prince. Deed done, so now she can just relax and spend her days refreshing her eyeliner.

    • Original N says:

      True…however, it is not just about acquiring more experience, it is about acquiring more consecutive experience public speaking which is NOT going to happen unless she starts increasing her work commitments.

      As an aside: her hair should have been up – no question! There is absolutely no reason why the view of such an amazing piece of jewelry is obscured by fake hair!

    • bluhare says:

      If someone has some experience with performing vs. public speaking, I’d be interested. I have a hard time putting together the girl who had the lead role in her school play being unable to deliver a speech of a minute or less. Is there a huge difference?

      • ArtHistorian says:

        When I first started doing guided tours at art museums, I had a 2-day course with a theatre coach. We did various exercises (both breathing and posture) – and then we we videotaped while delivering a short speech and then watched to evaluate the performance – it was excruciating but very helpful because mannerisms that you don’t really notice become glaringly obvious. After that, it is just practice, practice, practice.

        If your student is very nervous I would recommend starting with some breathing exercises, where you breathe deep into the belly. It relaxes the body, gets the blood pressure down and can help with getting nerves under control. It is good to get a feeling of being grounded or centered in the body – it also helps with voice projection.

      • babyswans says:

        I never took theatre, but I’m a h.s. teacher & I was a professional ballerina, so I’m use to performing on stage . Any time someone asks me to do any form of public speaking (outside of my classroom) I freak out. It doesn’t matter how well prepared I am. I seriously lose it. It makes me want to cry. It’s so weird.

      • Bucky says:

        I give presentations pretty frequently in my work, sometimes to very large audiences, and I prefer not to use notes. Public speaking in and of itself has never scared me – I love talking in front of a bunch of people! However, that didn’t mean I was good at it. So, when I started my job about two years ago, I practiced like hell. I speak very quickly, which, in the South, is borderline sinful, so I spent my evenings recording myself on my phone and playing it back, not satisfied until I had enunciated pretty much perfectly. With time and work, I got much better, and these day, people frequently compliment me on my presentation style.

        Most people aren’t total naturals at it, but practice is a pretty dang effective method of improvement. I don’t know why she’s not working more at it, because it’s an easy thing to work on.

      • Mel says:

        My favourite trick is to memorise whatever I am going to say (if strict timing is of the essence, I time it to the second, of course), then repeat it aloud, many many many times, until it’s perfect.

        THEN I grab a piece of paper with “notes” (nothing but a prop, really) and deliver the speech as if I were making it up as I went, glancing very occasionally at the paper – as if I were speaking FROM the heart (instead of BY heart). I even include the occasional hesitation, to make it appear more “improvised”, more natural.
        It works every time.
        It makes you appear very clever. :)

        P.S. This is somewhat relevant to the question insofar this sort of “ruse” requires acting. So, if anything acting has served me very well in public speaking.

      • mayamae says:

        I think the difference is in presenting a character vs having to be yourself. I’ve heard many a shy actor claim they lose themselves in the character. I’m sure it becomes more tense when you know everyone’s analyzing your accent and body gestures. When I’m anxious, my bad traits are exaggerated.

    • tessy says:

      I felt sorry for her too. She looked ready to cry when they were introducing her and she was so painfully nervous throughout the speech. I have a feeling she’s upset about more than having to be out on the job as it were.

    • Suze says:

      She needs training, and pronto. This part of her job ain’t going away.

    • Inconceivable! says:

      I’m surprised her public speaking skills are not stronger given her years in higher education. Plenty of presentations need to be made no matter what one studies.

  4. Jules says:

    Her make-up ‘artist’ should be beheaded.

    • FLORC says:

      I think she does her own makeup. Or she has someone do it that does it just how she would do it.
      Apparently she’s VERY peticular on how her makeup is done from having a bad experience once.

      I was shocked to see an untouched photo of her once. The makeup was painted on and photoshopping really improved her image.

  5. bettyrose says:

    Is that what a posh accent sounds like?

    • Original N says:

      That is what a forced posh accent sounds like….

    • ItSetsYou says:

      I second that, is this it? Where can I hear this famous posh accent everyone tells me about?

    • CynicalCeleste aka Dominique says:

      Is “por-trAYt” at 1:15 consistent with a posh accent? To answer kaiser’s question, given the multiple pacing errors, a pronunciation error, a grammatical mistake and the colossally flubbed ending all within the space of 60 seconds, i would say: needs work. Surely she could’ve spared a few minutes in her demanding schedule to give it a couple read throughs, no? It’s not like she even had to write it herself or there was anything in it but the blandest platitudes. 31 years old. 1 minute to speak. Seriously. No sympathy for public speaking fears – she has all the resources in the world for coaching and support if she wants to improve. Go watch The King’s Speech, Kate, and summon up the tiniest bit of effort to be good at your job and the duties that come with those diamonds. Apologies if I’m repeating what others have likely already said below, just too irked to go on without commenting.

      These two. I’m changing my name to reflect my disillusionment.

  6. MonicaQ says:

    I know it’s her job (well “job”) to be able to speak in public but some people just don’t have it. I remember a kid flat out fainting after stammering for 15 seconds and hitting his head on the lectern (requiring 9 stitches) on the way down. And all he had to do is make a speech about Bill Walsh (the coach) in front of 30 ish people.

    So, no shade from me. She should practice more however. Practice makes perfect.

    • Green Girl says:

      I have given public speeches over the years, and believe me, I’d rather read the tax handbook cover-to-cover than give a speech. So, I can empathize with Kate’s nervousness, but only to a point. Because honestly, she signed up for this job. She knew when she was marrying Will that she’d have to give speeches. This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to her.

      • j says:

        I know. She’s had years to prepare for this kind of appearance and her delivery shows no ease and no preparedness. It’s a brief, easily memorized speech with trite, appropriate remarks. My impression is that she’s just too focused on herself and people’s expectations and perceptions of her and IT’S TRIPPING HER UP. That focus – so apparent – just emphasizes the impression that she’s vacuous. It’s ironic that someone who wanted a public position so badly can be so ill at ease when she receives attention.

    • HH says:

      To me, that argument only works to a certain extent in Kate’s case. The public speaking she’s been doing can barely be called a “speech” IMO. They are typically around 1 min and aren’t in-depth. It doesn’t come easily to everyone, but having to look down at your notes to thank your audience and wish them a good evening is awful. Nothing combats public speaking nerves like practice and preparedness and I don’t get the feeling she’s doing either.

    • Suze says:

      She doesn’t have to learn how to give elaborate presentations on difficult subjects. She has to learn to pound out an effective five minute, bland speech. She can do it. She is a college educated woman, and she is no dummy. With training, she can get much, much better than this.

  7. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Well, public speaking needs work. But I thought it was cute at the end when she messed up and laughed at herself. And she definitely should have worn her hair up or back. Lordy, that necklace is gorgeous.

    • Zadie says:

      Am I the only one who dislikes the necklace? It’s so big and flashy.

    • LadyMTL says:

      It is flashy as hell but it is soooo gorgeous! I mean, these are the Queen’s own jewels so they ain’t gonna be understated, lol. I honestly can’t even see Kate’s face because I’m staring at the diamonds.

    • LadySlippers says:

      I agree GoodNames. Yesterday someone (I can’t recall who) stated that the speech was filled with awkward pauses that were placed in weird spots and I see that. Her speaking style really reminds me of the stuff we had to endure in high school before we had to take public speaking!

      I do feel bad for her but, on the other hand, if public speaking ain’t your thang get some help. There’s nothing wrong with getting help and she either doesn’t realise her public speaking is an issue or feels shame asking for assistance.

      An observation — it seems there are some words she really struggles to get out, so much so that it scrunched her face when she pronounces the word. To all the Brits, are these the same words that are very different in RP than in her normal accent? Just curious.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Good point that she has access to help and should probably use it.

      • Green Girl says:

        I think she needs help, too. Why hasn’t she sought assistance? In her shoes, I’d at least run through the speech a few times with my team and ask for pointers.

      • j says:

        I’d expect that, with the caliber of people advising her, that they are assuming full responsibility for making sure she is thoroughly rehearsed and prepared when she addresses an audience. I think her nerves are tripping her up. The pressure she feels must be enormous.

        Regarding her occasional struggle to get words out – She does have a habit of jutting out her jaw even when she smiles. It’s a strange posture. Perhaps it interrupts the clarity of her delivery when she’s nervous.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @ j: Even Diana had to go out and get her own speech coach. The people around them might write up the speech but no one is going to hand hold a person in regards to delivery.

        Hmmmmm… You said she juts her jaw forward? I’ll have to go and rewatch some videos of her. That’s a very interesting observation. Any others by chance? Above and beyond the hunched shoulders.

      • Suze says:

        Diana got help from David Attenborough, if I recall correctly. And probably from lots of other sources, as well.

        Kate can do this. I’m starting to get mad at William, he should help her get the support she needs.

        Sorry, back again. Two minutes of Googling brought up this: Charles contacted Richard Attenborough (David’s brother) to help Diana with public speaking. When she was first married, she was very shy and nervous and not at all a good public speaker. She became quite accomplished.

        Get off you a** William, help your wife. Or let your dad come to the rescue.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Suze and everyone else: Diana contacted a speech coach in the early 90′s to really polish her public speaking skills. If you go on YouTube, NBC’s Dateline ran a series of shows about it. It’s called Diana in Her Own Words or something like that.

      • CynicalCeleste aka Dominique says:

        I’ve noticed the lower jaw jutting forward thing too… like a caricature of an old upper crust mannerism.

      • LadySlippers says:

        The thrusting of the lower jaw could also indicate a few other things as well. It might be an unconscious stress reliever as the jaw has numerous muscles in it. Many people chew on gum, for example, to dissipate stress. (Chewing gum serves other biological purposes as well but not immediately relevant to the discussion)

        She might mimic other people’s behaviors (see discussion down thread) but this isn’t one that immediately comes to mind as a behavior to mimic. My honest guess is it’s a stress induced behavior.

  8. Kali says:

    For the amount of training that she’s apparently had over the years, I think this is probably about as good as it’s going to get speaking-wise with her current workload.

    P.s I’m still pissed off about the hair. She’s finally being allowed to bring out some major carats and she insists on hiding behind The Great Wall Of Hair? Ugh.

  9. Jaded says:

    Wills is becoming a complete twat. He should have been there to support his wife, period.

    • bettyrose says:

      I don’t know. He spent years trying to warn her off this life. Not defending Wills or his hobbies but his wife should be able to handle a fairly basic public appearance on her own after substantial training.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        ” He spent years trying to warn her off this life. ”

        Did he?

      • FLORC says:

        There’s really not much evidence to support him spending years trying to warn her of Royal life. And he did say in the engagement interview that she is the most prepared future royal ever.

        They ran stories all the time about how she is in “princes training” and spent years while dating William to research charities and know how to act. I think he actually used the term “hit the ground running”. Anyways, she’s still struggling and it seems as if he never studied much at all. All her charities were handed to her and not of her own interests.

        William should shoulder much of this blame. He often left her to wander around in a crowd expecting her to know in a minute what he’s had his lifetime to learn.
        Still, you’re right. She needs to learn how to perform her public duties and I doubt she’s getting lessons currently living at her parent’s home.
        It’s all on her. It’s her “Diana moment”. She can rise to the challenge with a child and absent husband or just tread water. IMO anyways.

      • bettyrose says:

        I truly thought he had in his efforts to push her away. In any case, she should be able to manage an appearance with only the help of her team of handlers.

      • FLORC says:

        To my knowledge William only treated her poorly because he was a brat. Not to tell her royal life wasn’t for her. He nd his friends making fun of her as a type of clingy stalker, and her mother’s humble beginnings as the “Doors to Manual” joke. It wasn’t to help her. It would have been done nicer if it was.

        Kate doesn’t have a lot of handlers. She likes to dress herself and do her make up herself. She may have helpers for shopping and an on call hair stylist, but the rest is happening because she wants it that way.

      • hmmm says:


        “And he did say in the engagement interview that she is the most prepared future royal ever. ”

        Absolutely. She is the most prepared to put up with the faithless twit. Other than that, he is such a liar.

      • bettyrose says:

        Thanks Florc & all for clarifying, but even if she wasn’t warned, and even if she doesn’t have many handlers, she’s a well educated woman in her thirties with a job to do. She shouldn’t need her husband there as a support to do it. Again, not defending Wills, just saying his behavior is not an excuse for her to not be able to deliver a 30 second speech professionally. I meet people all the time who are terrified of giving presentations at work, so they take classes or go to toastmasters, but they get it done.

      • FLORC says:

        Very right!
        She’s a grown woman with a child and a very good education. She knows her husbands behavior and knows there are things expected of her. There really is no excuse for her lack of preparation.

  10. Penny says:

    That was truly awful, almost painful to watch. I think she’s actually getting worse.

    It’s not like she’s ever being asked to speak for for a long period or say anything that requires deep background knowledge, so I have no idea what the problem is. I’ve seen other women married into Royal family’s give much better speeches in regional dialects they don’t actually speak, without notes, but Waity can’t even say a full sentence in English without at least one looooooooong pause to look at her notes. I mean, seriously? This is the future Queen?

    I say all that as someone who loathes public speaking. I regularly have full-blown nightmares that are simply about standing up in front of people and giving a speech that goes perfectly smoothly. If I have to give a speech or presentation I’ll have a panic attack before and a panic attack after, but even on my very worst day I do significantly better than this, and unlike Kate it’s not actually a vital part of my job. Wasn’t she meant to be ‘training’ for years for this role? What exactly was she capable of before she had all that help?

    • My2Pence says:

      (Bringing this over from the other thread because it ties in nicely.)

      Again, contrast Kate Middleton’s pathetic, giggly attempt at public speaking with the engagement interview of W-Alexander and Maxima. You can see the number of people in the room, so it was an intimidating audience. Maxima starts speaking at around the 5 minute mark.


      Maxima was 30 at the time, giving a speech in her fourth or fifth language.

      Once again, The Netherlands for the win.

    • Ice Maiden says:

      I agree. It was terrible. She paused in all the wrong places, and, especially with that phoney ‘posh’ accent, sounded completely insincere.

      If it was someone else I’d probably give her the benefit of the doubt, and say she was overcome with nerves. But with Kate, it just seems like she is so shallow, and her lack of interest in anything but herself and her hair just comes shining through.

      • j says:

        ^ yes. I understand that she is in a position where there is a tremendous amount of critical attention directed toward all aspects of her image. Ok. Nervousness is expected. If just seems that Kate, as a grown woman, should be able to see beyond and through that focus on trivialities a bit more than she does. It isn’t actually all that important. she’ll never find her own traction as a public person if she continues to be so self-conscious that she sounds insincere when greeting an audience.

    • Zbornak Syndrome says:

      I think she’d rather spend more time preening, than practicing public speaking.

    • fairy godmother says:

      Thank you Penny for writing what I was about to. Two days ago as I listened to her “speech” it was the most painful thing I had seen in a long time. I lost count after a while with her long pauses during a 40 second speech she had to look down @ 27 times! Very pathetic effort at this point and considering this is the one ‘charity’ she actually has gone to several times as opposed to the real charities in need. She should be by now familiar with this particular venue and familiar people who work there and those who attend such functions.

    • pru says:

      What’s weird to me is that you could tell that she has no real connection to what she was trying to say. She was just reading words. With such a short, simple speech you’d think it would feel a bit more personal.

  11. Tsarina says:

    When I look at royalty wearing there porn pieces of jewelry I salivate, but not on Kate. She looks so unkempt. That hair is all over the beautiful necklace. And my sound wasn’t working, so I was able to focus on just visual. She is very awkward when getting out of the car and her posture is very bad. Then the speech…..I was dizzy watching her head go up and down. Good grief. No wonder Wills went to Spain to hunt.

  12. Maum says:

    That is NOT what a posh accent sounds like. I went to the same school as her and no-one spoke like that.
    It sounds like she’s practised elocution while watching old clips of Princess Diana. She sounds so last generation posh.

    Oh and I forgot to add she is embarrassingly terrible. She is a patron of half a dozen charities and gets to make two speeches a year and she can’t even say ONE sentence without pausing and looking at her notes? It’s her job FFS.
    Someone should get her The King’s Speech on video. She has no excuse.

  13. Merritt says:

    Some people are just not comfortable with public speaking. I personally detest giving presentations., because they make me incredibly nervous.

    • Original N says:

      It really is anxiety-producing for quite a lot of people and that shouldn’t be a point that is glossed over. However, if your job required public speaking, wouldn’t you exert effort in an attempt to improve your ability to successfully deliver a speech? This is what irritates me; the purported princess lessons, the vast amount of time Waity spends on either on holiday, shopping, etc. where she could be attending smaller events and practicing the delivery of speeches to target audiences in an attempt to improve … but she does not, and as a result, this is what she sounds like.

    • Deedee says:

      Here she is, with her art history degree, all extensioned, veneered, dressed and bejeweled with help from the Queen, and she can’t manage a sincere “thank you” to the people that work there without awkward pauses and head down in the notes. She’s not willing to work at it. How does she go from the lead in her school play (Dolittle there as well) to this? It’ll only be better if we just all lower our expectations for this one. Diana gave her first speech in Welsh! Even watching it decades later on YouTube, though she was nervous and speaking in another language, you can still feel the warmth and the sincerity in what she was saying.

    • Deedee says:

      This isn’t even a speech really (under a minute) and it’s obvious someone wrote it for her. She would do better to chuck the written out speech. At most you should need a few phrases written on a notecard–an important name or something you can’t forget to include. Make eye contact, thank whoever introduced you, thank everyone for coming, tell them they are doing important work, tell them that you are proud of being their patron, smile, and get off the stage. It has to be better than what she’s doing now. Sometimes I wonder if she’s doing it so badly so that people don’t ask her to do it in the future.

  14. Alina says:

    She even stares at the paper just for some words of thanks at the end…. that´s sad

  15. daisydoodle says:

    She does need to practice in public speaking…She is making a concerted effort to keep her hands off her face. Hair should be shorter and up for the amazing jewelry.

  16. Arti says:

    For some reason her speech reminded me of this Friends clip where Ross was practicing his speech. COuldn’t help but giggle after! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAvAJVfD3WI

    • Hazel says:

      Ha! Perfect analogy! And Ross reminds me of us seventh-graders in Mr. Hoffman’s history class, where we had to present a report each quarter, with the third one from note cards (look up from time to time at your audience!), and the final one memorized. Minimum five minutes, maximum 15 minutes, and open it to questions at the end. At twelve years old! Terrifying!

  17. Anna says:

    You know what’s interesting: I remember it being a big deal before they got engaged that the only time anyone had heard her speak publicly was 1 or 2 sentences at a marketing convention. So, honestly, I don’t see how anyone could gather from that that her entire manner of speaking had changed.

  18. coconut says:

    Most people don’t like public speaking, though most people can learn to work through the fear with some good public speaking training. I took a great course that helped me so much, and I don’t understand why Prince Charles’ people don’t provide her with such a teacher/coach or the ones that incorporate public speaking along with your *look* (i.e. the hair).

    My speaking teacher would’ve told her to stop holding her hands in front with or without a purse (she looks like she’s protecting herself which is not what you want to convey)…the hands should be at your sides when not gesturing or shaking hands (showing that you’re open to everyone)…and to pull her shoulders back (hunching also shows fear/discomfort).

    My teacher helped us to dispense with notes or at least reading our notes by getting us to embody excitement to be in front of the audience…as if we were speaking with good friends about something we were very passionate about…then, the words flow. In other words, it’s ok to write notes so that you ensure you cover what you wanted to, but don’t *read* them, like she is.

    For someone who seems so otherwise charming, relatively comfortable with chitchat, and all the resources at her disposal, she should be able to speak to an audience much better and of course comport herself much more elegantly (hair, posture, hands).

    • FLORC says:

      You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

      Charles or his people can provide the best of the best to help Kate with her public speaking. It’s up to Kate to attend the sessions, absorb the information, and practice on her own time.

      She needs to want to better herself. She needs to want to be a respected working royal.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Diana had to go and get the help herself.

        So it might be that Kate has to do the same. But I find it hard to believe that if Kate actually asked Charles — he wouldn’t get her the help she asked for. Ya know?

      • Ice Maiden says:

        But Diana belongs to a different age. The royals are much more PR savvy now, and determined not to make the same mistakes. Kate was essentially ‘in training’ for several years, and even Wills said she’s the best prepared royal consort ever. I doubt any effort would be spared in getting Kate the best public speaking tutors and making sure she had every possible support in preparing for her role. But as florc says, you can lead a horse to water…

      • LadySlippers says:

        Ice Maiden, I personally think William was blowing smoke up our donkeys with that comment. Clearly they did little to nothing to help her.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        Why is that clear? I don’t think it’s clear at all.

        It’s very much in The Firm’s interests to have Kate properly coached. Especially following the Diana debacle. And it’s not like they can’t afford a public speaking expert to spend a few hours with Kate every now and then. In the highly unlikely event that they refused to do so, the Middletons are more than rich enough to be able to pay for such coaching. Kate, unlike Diana, who was a decade younger at the time of marriage, has also had an extremely light schedule since her marriage. We were told she was being given a ‘gentle’ start to her royal life, even though she’d been waiting in the wings for a decade.

        So I doubt the Royals have been reluctant to help Kate. I just think she can’t be bothered. Sometimes, it really is that simple.

      • LadySlippers says:

        To me it’s clear because what William has said it not what we see Kate displaying. And while I agree that it seems logical for the BRF to prepare the people that marry in but I’ve seen little evidence they actually do. Both Diana and Sarah stumbled a lot until both took their lives in their own hands and tried to make up for their lack of education and experience (and still made mistakes). Sophie had her own career to use as a strength and it was lucky she did.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        But how much ‘coaching’ do you really need to give a one minute ‘speech’ in front of a fawning, hand-picked audience? Didn’t her posh school do some public speaking training? Most schools do. And it’s not like giving a speech is a rare occurrence: I’ve spoken in public several times, as, I’m guessing, have many people on this forum. Sure, we didn’t have to deal with such a large audience or such public scrutiny, but the principle is the same.

        And other than giving the (very) occasional speech, what else does Kate really need ‘training’ for? Does a grown woman really need to be told not to twirl her hair and look bored at war commemorations? Or not to wear short, flimsy skirts on a windy day when there’s a thousand cameras ready and willing to get the knicker shot? As the saying goes, it ain’t rocket science.

      • Green Girl says:

        I’d love to know what she was doing when she was supposedly “in training” for this role. She doesn’t come across as polished and confident.

      • FLORC says:

        Green Girl
        You, me, and most everyone here has asked that before. She just doesn’t seem to have absorbed anything, if she was taught anything in the first place.

      • LadySlippers says:

        What I mean is Kate looks to be au natural here — no evidence of training or anything of the kind. William (IIRC) has and was the only person stating (I’m paraphrasing here) that she’d be well prepared and fully capable of doing her job. Especially after the two year ‘easing in process’.

        And I agree, I’m not sure why *anyone* in their 30′s *needs* to be told not to fidget or how to act and dress professionally. However, I do understand that not everyone is a Rania or a Maxima but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

  19. vava says:

    She looked at her notes TWENTY EIGHT TIMES. Count ‘em!

    I think she’s getting worse, and it’s because she refuses to practice. There is no excuse for this. I don’t care who she is – she looks like an idiot up there.

  20. Andy says:

    Just when I think this site is way too hard on her, she talks. Wow! That is really, really bad. The only possible conclusion is that she is really dumb. I know that’s mean, but it’s true. She can’t memorize a few sentences! She walks kind of awkwardly too. She is really pretty in pictures but not when she’s moving.

  21. Hope says:

    Anyone else think she was such a particular wreck this time because she knew her husband was off boning his old love? Not that she has a good track record for this sort of thing, but I really feel like we should give the girl a break. I’d be yanking out my weave and an anxious wreck if I were expected to be all pretty and perfect and act like all is well when my husband is publicly dogging around. Look at her. The stooped posture, the wide eyes, the nervous and petrified look in her eyes. I give it another 3-5 years between she and William until they’re living g completely separate lives and she has a man on the side too. Just enough time for her to pop out a spare and George to start school…

    • Zimmer says:

      You may be right. Even if i had married my husband for all the wrong reasons and I didn’t care who he slept with, I would still demand and appreciate public respect. This could also be her passive aggressive way of getting back at him. She may not even know she’s doing it herself.

    • PoliteTeaSipper says:

      I have to agree with this. I really am thinking that maybe she just has a crippling anxiety disorder. You can prepare and prepare and then go out and still fall flat on your face–just enforcing this negative loop. Girl needs some help stat, and shame on William.

      • Tsarina says:

        IF and I do mean IF the girl had a crippling anxiety disorder then she should have never taken on the job of marrying into this family. As Wills said, she had more than enough time to prepare. BUT the perks may have dazzled her to thinking she could handle it. It’s not for the weak of heart. She gets no sympathy from me, even if Wills was off with his old flame. I once heard that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior, Wills does what he wants and cares little about anyone else. She knew this IT TOOK 10 YEARS to get him to the alter. She can thank her mother for her misery and her own naivety.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        And even IF she has a genuine anxiety disorder (I’ve seen no evidence whatsoever for this) then there are ways of managing it, especially for someone like Kate with no lack of time or money. There are professional therapists who specialise in this type of thing. I’ve no doubt Kate could avail of their services if she wanted to – but I suppose this would involve some level of commitment and hard work on her part. Therefore, it’s a non-starter.

      • FLORC says:

        Say the anxiety is real. It’s never shown up before. Even in her 1st 1 1/2 of marriage. She’s put effort into her weight lose and accent. She has the ability to commit. And the last thing BP wants to deal with is another Diana-esque Pushing poor Kate too hard and she snaps.

        For some to step up now and claim she was upset finding out about Wiliam with Jecca and her sudden anxiety are 2 arguments that are full of holes.

        And she looks giddy in many of these shots. Not nervous. Maybe a bit vacant in the eyes, but not sad. Just not paying attention to her surroundings.
        I think people of projecting here to help empathize with this grown woman.

    • tessy says:

      That’s exactly what I am thinking too. If your heart is badly hurting it would be pretty tough to go out in public with all eyes and cameras on you and act like nothing is wrong. I feel sorry for the poor girl.

  22. HoustonGrl says:

    Aw, ok…I think she was actually kind of cute here. Initially I found her lack of preparation embarrassing, but now I think it’s more nerves than anything else. Nerves and that fake accent they’re making her use. Also, I think I’d be a nervous wreck if my boyfriend (in this case husband) went on “holiday” with an ex, no matter how “friendly” they might be. In a way, I actually feel kind of sorry for Kate.

  23. aquarius64 says:

    I understand being afraid of speaking publicly, but you’re the future queen. As duchess she had two and a half years to get it together. I remember when Prince George was born and she and Prince William presented the baby to the world. When she spoke to reporters she was more relaxed. Perhaps if she captured that vibe for her public speaking at more official venues, she’ll do just fine.

  24. Ice Maiden says:

    Another thing: Isn’t Kate a History of Art graduate?

    If so, the NPG should be a subject on which she has some degree of knowledge and interest, and she should feel reasonably comfortable speaking about it. Yet she shows not an iota of interest in the subject. Her words are so generic and spoken without a scintilla of feeling. You really do have to conclude that there isn’t much going on upstairs chez Duchess Kate.

    • LadySlippers says:

      In all fairness, there could be a number of reasons Kate didn’t perform well other than she lacks brains. BTW, I’m not saying anyone’s right OR wrong, just trying to throw out ideas. Feel free to add your own.

      1) She has no self esteem. This has been pointed out a number of times and may or may not be a good one. But the fact that she’s stuck with William, who by all accounts (and I’m being nice here) has been a less than ideal boyfriend/ husband does not bode well for her. AND she’s tried to adopt an accent not her own (according to Kate Fox, author of Watching the English, this is actually fairly common when the lower classes marry up) which also point to a less than ideal sense of self worth on Kate’s end. I’m sure there are other examples of low self worth.

      2) She’s super sheltered. Kinda a duh but who’s to say she even knows how bad she is if everyone tells her how fab she is.

      3) She might have gotten her undergrad to get her Mrs degree. And art history might have not really been an interest that she herself had other than getting an Mrs…. (btw not suggesting she went after William — just any ole boy would do. Any ole RICH boy.. The going after William debate needs to be in another post lol)

      4) She suffers from a phobia of public speaking. I’m fairly decent with public speaking but that doesn’t mean I don’t suffer from anxiety. Add to any nervousness or anxiety is the fact people will analyse the heck out of anything she does. Here I am in Nebraska, USA talking about a speech half way across the world. Yikes! Not a good recipe for public speaking!

      5) She has little to no work skills to pull from. Now, I don’t want to get into a huge debate whether she did or did not work. The fact of the matter is that the vast majority of Royal women had solid careers before they entered Royal life. Even IF Kate worked for her parents — that’s nothing compared to the jobs that Maxima, Mary, Masako, or Mathilde had before marrying their princes. (Maybe Kate should change her name to one starting with an M lol). That kind of gravitas would have benefited her immensely as she has a bigger stage than most Royals.

      I’m sure others can come up with some more options than I did. But bottom line is almost every issue I listed here is fixable assuming there is a desire to fix it. Even ‘lowly & stupid’ Diana turned her image around (for the record I don’t think Diana was lowly or stupid). Same can be said of Mette-Marit. A little preparation and determination can do wonders for Kate.

      • Ice Maiden says:

        I don’t disagree with anything you’ve said, but I don’t think it contradicts my own post. Kate didn’t have to marry Will. She didn’t have to be idle for 10 years. She could have used the last decade to further her education, to travel, or even….. to get a job. But she did none of this. All she was interested in was hanging around waiting for the ring. And even now, when she’s got the ring, she hasn’t used the past 3 years to carve out a role for herself as a royal, but instead seems happy to shop and go on holidays every few months.

        So, I think whatever way you cut it, it all leads back to the probability that Kate is just a very shallow person. I’ve seen nothing to contradict this, and a lot to confirm it.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @Ice Maiden: While I don’t share your opinion I can see where you’re coming from. I think she traded herself in for something less valuable and we are poorer (as is she) for the trade.

        I hope it was worth it.

      • Tsarina says:

        In full agreement Ice Maiden.

      • Juliette says:

        I 100% cosign Ice Maiden.

        If Kate is not interested in art, or history, and she studied art history for her MRS degree, that makes her all the more pitiful and dumb.

        Seriously, she couldn’t find any degree at St. Andrew’s that interested her? A world class education completely wasted. She’s not just dumb, she’s careless.

      • FLORC says:

        Ice Maiden/LadySlippers

        Kate was a different person when she started dating William. Then there were fights, clinging behavior, being mistreated and cheated on. It was a bad relationship from any angle.
        I don’t think Kate stayed because she had low self esteem. We’re forgetting about Carole here.

        Carole gave Kate the advice to date William’s friends, lose weight, make him jealous, etc… And Carole (allegedly) had not Kate or Pppas, or james’s photo on her cell phone screen. It was Williams. So Kate with her mother’s guidance changed who she was to better fit Wiliam’s life. Her interests were replaced by his interests. Her friends were replaced by his friends. Really, Carole araised her daughter to go for gold no matter the costs.

        Kate is a follower. Blame should fall on Carole.

      • Anne says:

        @FLORC: So many people have made that point about Carole’s influence over Kate. I missed those articles. Was that claimed by people close to them?

      • LadySlippers says:

        @Florc: I tried to keep my focus on Kate for my examples but I don’t doubt Carole has impacted her daughter.

        However, I think the fact Kate allows her mother that much influence points to either a low self esteem on Kate’s part or a low sense of self. And this is assuming the reports are true on Kate & Carole’s relationship.

        @Anne: If you haven’t noticed yet, I try and take a healthy skepticism into a lot of things we can only observe from the outside. But I have to concede that Carole appears not very favorably in most reports.

        So, up until 2007ish most of the press and William’s family and friends thought Kate was nothing more than a college sweetheart as William was NOT sure how he felt about her or getting married. As a result, they broke up and reconciled a number of times. And to make matters worse, William often acted like they had more of an open relationship than a very committed one when they were together. So Kate appeared to be significantly more committed than he was. In 2007 Kate put her foot down and told William to shape up or ship out. He shipped out and Kate was, understandably, heartbroken.

        This is where Carole started really showing up. Up till then both the Middleton’s and Kate were treated fairly well by the British press. After a breakup, most mothers would tell their daughters ‘there are tons of fish in the sea’ and/or ‘dude was a schmuck and let him walk’. From all reports, Carole didn’t. She told her daughter to start dressing sexy (Kate had a more conservative bohemian style before this) to catch her ex’s eye and make him jealous. Again, that’s not too unusual but William had quite a reputation for stepping out on Kate and/or treating their relationship significantly more casual than Kate did. It’s not the trying to catch William’s eye that made Carole a target for many people. It was telling Kate to accept his lack of commitment in their relationship that made people question Carole’s motivation. Most mothers (myself included) would not tolerate having their daughters treated that way. Yet Carole did.

        After that, the press turned on the entire Middleton family — including Kate. Even before the big break up, Kate was coming under attack for not really working and in 2007 all bets were off.

        So a lot of people think Carole encouraged her daughter to put up with William’s crap because he’s titled and monied. Even if he weren’t a Prince, the entire British aristocracy allows men, especially heirs, to act like spoilt children and to do as they please with no repercussions. And many do just that.

        And I know Florc and other Royal Watchers have commented on this but they see in 2007 a marked change in Kate’s personality. How much of that is due to the concessions of the breakup — who knows. Also, how much did and does Carole really have to do with her daughter’s life is open for debate but even from me, it doesn’t look good.

        Kate now seems to spend (and has even before marriage) a lot of time with the Middleton’s. I’m not knocking that at all but it leads some people to question how close she is to her family (in an unhealthy aspect) OR ask if it could be that’s the only way she and William can function. There are obviously more theories but those are the two main ones.

        Not saying anyone is right or wrong but this is the working story that most long time Royal Watchers are familiar with (I tried to keep my editorial comments to a minimum. I sincerely apologise if there are a lot).

        I’d encourage you and everyone else to go and look up stuff yourself. Just be forewarned, they ‘scrub’ negative articles concerning William off the internet, so it can be tough to get unbiased info out there.

        Hope this helps.

      • FLORC says:

        True enough. I only put much stock in “How Carole helped Kate win William back” bit because I think KN wrote the article.
        LS said it. They scrub/whitewash artices contrary to the image they want to put forth of William and his wife. I’ve had to look on some truly hateful blogs to find the link or screencap articles.

      • Anne says:

        @LadySlippers: What a generous reply. You’ve filled in a lot of gaps for me and it’s very helpful, thank you. While I’d noticed the strong consensus about Carole’s influence and her intentions, I was never able to piece together the backstory as to how those impressions had evolved.
        In observing Kate, I’ve often been frustrated – and angered – by what I’ve perceived as her lack of commitment to herself and her willingness to change herself to fit an externally-approved mold. All in all, the reports you’ve referenced make me feel more sympathetically toward her, as it strikes me as terribly sad to think of someone being sent such a disempowering message at what must have been a deeply vulnerable time. Such a reaction would certainly have rocked my self-esteem and I can only imagine it would rock hers.

  25. booboobird says:

    ouch. very awkward. the reading, the accent, the giggle. she is way past the age (also her status matters) of giggling at herself tripping over words. and what’s with the darn hair?!?!?!?! it’d have looked so much better pulled back in a bun. also, you are not to scratch your head, pick your ear or whatever it was that she was doing in the video. apalling, considering all this time she’s been mingling with the royals.

  26. BeckyR says:

    The criticisms seem overly harsh. Public speaking can be uncomfortable for many of us and we don’t have a very, very large audience to pick apart our apparel, make up, hair, etc. Some of you should be ashamed of yourselves. She appears to be a nice person who doesn’t deserve the ugly comments.

    • Maum says:

      Well she leads a life of incredible privilege in exchange for a few public appearances a year and a couple of speeches (if you can call a minute ‘I’m so glad to be here’ spiel a speech). Of course she is going to get judged if she can’t even get that right.
      Her JOB is to represent the Crown and be a role model/spokesperson for the monarchy. She knew that when she married William- even Camilla who is a very private person, has managed to step up and contribute to many charities where she has been lauded for her unaffected spontaneity and kindness. And she was hated in Britain.

      I think compared to the other European princesses who do a hell of a lot more than her Kate is starting to stick out for her ‘unprofessionalism’. If you look at comments on British websites the goodwill she’d cultivated after her wedding has disappeared.
      She does short rare appearances and has been known to arrive late and ignore the crowds waiting for her.

      So basically, she might be a lovely person but she is a rather poor princess.

    • Lisa says:

      If it’s so hard for her she shouldn’t have taken the job. Or are you in favor putting people in publicly funded jobs they are not qualified for? And how is critiquing this pathetic gibberish from a grown, putatively educated woman ugly? Jeez — the dumbing down of Kate apologists continues apace. Have some pride and standards, woman!

    • FLORC says:

      Comments here aside. She didn’t have the reputation of being a nice person before the engagement. She was cruel to Princess Bea on a senseless level and seem do what she did just because she could. And she was cruel to girls that would approach William when he was single. Rumors were started calling those girls names and most lead back to pippa or Kate.

      The behavior has continued after the marriage too. Just better PR control.

      LAstly I will remind you what site you’re on. And to not go to a Leanne or KK page. Those comments are far worse and mean just to be mean. These comments have a foundation of fact.

  27. Amanda says:

    I read the comments before watching the video and I honestly expected the speech to be a lot worse based on what most of you have said. It really wasn’t that bad. Not great, but certainly not the worst speech ever. Sometimes, I think people are just looking for reasons to pick on her and compare her negatively to Diana.

    • LadySlippers says:

      Honestly, not true. I don’t want or expect her to be Diana nor do I think do others.

      Kate is being compared to Rania, Maxima, Mathilde, Masako, Mette-Marit, Victoria, Mary, Charlene, and Marie-Chantal just to name a few. And she comes up lacking. Mind you, not every woman on this list is fantastic either but the difference is they try.

      In this day and age, we expect women, even Royal and Imperial women, to be more than just eye-candy on their husband’s arms. Being a Princess is now more of a profession and one that takes time and commitment. That’s what people expect from Kate — or at least what I see most Royal watchers would like to see.

      And *constructive* criticism is 100% okay and I see that here which is why I stay. No one is making vile or nasty comments towards Kate which would be totally uncalled for — so CB is moderating this well AND they tend to attract a much more knowledgeable and educated crowd than other forums.

      I challenge you to go on some other Royal forums and see just how polite and nice this crowd is. It’ll change your perspective.

      • LadySlippers says:

        I forgot Spain! Letizia needs to be on that list of Imperial and Royal women.

        (SO sorry! I’m sure I’ve forgotten others too)

      • kay says:

        are you serious, ladyslippers? and i am not being sarcastic. i don’t want to look at other sites because i truly thought people *here* are vicious about this woman. but it honestly is nastier than this elsewhere?
        see, i do get the angle that she is funded by the people, so to speak, and there are expectations…but i feel bad sometimes when i see how much she is disliked and her every move/word/body/looks/self is torn apart.
        well, i am glad to hear that cb is mild compared to elsewhere…i couldn’t stomach a higher degree of cat scratching than what goes on here.
        i will certainly be viewing the comments here in a different light now.
        truly, thanks for the perspective.

      • FLORC says:

        We are absolutely tame compared to other sites. I’ve actually been a Kate defender on other sites.
        Our criticism isn’t out of line, but there are a select few randoms that post comments attacking her looks comparing her to say an animal of unflattering nature. They might sour the pool, but are not representing the majority collective here.

        And nobody every remembers when we all praise her here. They only remember the bad stuff.

      • My2Pence says:

        @ Kay. Also please keep in mind, there are plenty of sites out there that positively FAWN over Kate Middleton and every single thing she does. They complain that the Queen is being cruel to Kate to make her wear that ugly old necklace to make her nervous, etc. The comments here are balanced, many opinions coming from people who’ve watched royals for years and understand that this is a job that requires work and dedication.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Kay, I am dead serious. Here the critique is much much much more mild. And you can disagree and read various viewpoints here as well. That isn’t the case most places. Some sites and forums are cruel and nasty. The vitriol is just mind boggling — and it goes beyond the BRF. There is a site (I forget the name) that’s seriously very anti-Mary.

    • Andy says:

      I have thought in the past people pick on her but to me there is just no defending this speech. It’s so short and she is so ill prepared and nerves are just not enough of an excuse. She is supposed to be representing and bringing attention to something important. She has been at this for years and years and year. It has to be lack of caring or just basic lack of ability coming from shallowness or stupidity or however you want to say it. I feel kind of sorry for her too and I liked/agreed with ladyslipper’s comments. She just seems generally over her head and like she doesn’t care or realize that she is.

    • Aria says:

      I agree with you, Amanda and I’m not a Kate apologist by any chance.

  28. Rose says:

    It seems like the Royals have had the same speech coach since forever. Diana was always TERRIBLE at making speeches and always pausing in the wrong place, William does it too although not as badly but K-Middy is doing it pretty badly. You’d think with all her private schooling she’d be a bit better than that,.

    • My2Pence says:

      Diana’s coach was Sir Richard Attenborough, whom she sought out herself to improve her public speaking. If Kate Middleton wanted the best speech coach around, that is the person the royals would get for her. But as someone else pointed out above, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink. KM has to dedicate herself to improving her public speaking through hard work, rather than spending 3 days a week at the hairdresser.

      • My2Pence says:

        Corrected above, potentially it was Charles who got her the help and Attenborough because a trusted friend to her. If Middleton was willing to accept help, it would be made available. Again, she seems far more interested in shopping, vacations, hair dressers, working out, and makeup than she does is doing the work to be a good royal.

      • LadySlippers says:

        Sir David was used early to mid 80′s for improving her speech delivery. In the 90′s when she really wanted to up her game she found one on her own. There are videos of it on YouTube.

  29. The Original Mia says:

    She still needs work. Still…after 3 years of princess training, after 10 years of waiting, after years of college. She still needs to work on public speaking. It’s not as if this was a long, complicated speech. She could have said it from the heart or I know…memorize the few lines she had. There’s no excuse. It’s not as if she hasn’t been on a vacation from the vacation that is her life. Don’t give me she’s a new Mom and all that rote. She has nannies. She has help. She isn’t overwhelmed with anything. She isn’t tasked to do much and what little she does comes off as half-arsed.

    • Virgilia Coriolanus says:

      My God, THIS. It wasn’t like she had to go in depth about what the museum’s art pieces were—all she said was that it was extensive and beautiful. It’s pretty bad that she had to keep looking down at a piece of paper to say what a beautiful exhibit it was, and how glad she was to be there. Pretty bad. She’s 30 years old.

  30. Gracie says:

    Urgh. I can’t believe I’m about to defend her. For the record, I am one of her worst critics. But I hate public speaking and am painfully shy and timid and can somewhat empathize with her. But only just so. She knew what she getting herself into, she could’ve prepped more. What does she do all day?

  31. Eleonor says:

    For the love of God SHOW THAT ROCKS KATE! Seriously.

  32. Chrissie says:

    It’s like watching Bridget Jones.

  33. Nymeria says:

    The way I see it, William tried desperately to move on and marry someone, anyone, else, yet no one else would have him. No one else wanted the intrusive spotlight that comes with marrying into the British royal family. Thus did he default to Kate, who had fought so hard for the title and money and, in the end, only “won” because no one else wanted to deal with the royal family’s BS. So here we have Duchess Dude, vain, pretentious, and dumber than a box of her own hair.

  34. rep says:

    Good grief that was really bad. I dont see how she got through college without developing some public speaking skills. Maybe Ladyslippers is right, she doesnt think she sucks.

  35. Lucky Charm says:

    Perhaps the reason she couldn’t wear her hair up was because Prince George used her hairbrush as a teething toy…

    I do really like the dress and jewelry, it’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t see more of it. Maybe next time she’ll show off the jewels, not the curls. :-)

  36. kellyinseattle says:

    I want to see Miss Piggy wearing that necklace, with her hair up.:)

  37. Virgilia Coriolanus says:

    I am a jelli-h8ter that this lazy trick gets to wear THAT necklace and not have to do any work. I’m going to petition the Queen to adopt me–I’ll do whatever she wants, even if it’s corgis sitting, so I can wear some of that bling….

  38. Juliette says:

    As always, she’s exceptionally unimpressive. I’ve been a longstanding Kate critic. I will fully admit that I am envious of her vacation schedule. The rest of her life however, seems to be a sad shipwreck. A dream gone awry. In fact, I’m beginning to have a change of heart towards this miserable creature. She’s still as useless as ever, but I guess I think instead of criticizing her, I ought to feel something closer to pity.

    She is an “object” for public consumption, and all she has to offer are superficial qualities of near-emaciated thinness, long curly brown hair, and white teeth, qualities with no value to anyone of substance. I’m certain that the plebeians and even the sycophants meeting her are communicating a similar sentiment to their friends and families behind closed doors. To the press – of course they will call her “darling, charming, luminous” – but anyone with eyes can see the emperor has no clothes. They’re all laughing about William and Jecca behind closed doors.

    This particular performance may be the straw that broke the camels back, for me. Kate is entirely cringe-inducing: she’s just wandering around with her head tilted like a dog, nodding and blinking. I truly believe she is thick. I have pity for her. She spent many years in pursuit of a dream, and she obtained her goals, only to find out that it was an empty victory. Even Kate isn’t thick enough to believe there is anything innocent about William’s jaunt with Jecca.

    • Original N says:

      Wait … Juliette, you mean you are certain that the ARISTOS are echoing the same sentiments you expressed behind closed doors, non? NOT the KM sycophants – doubtful that they consider her an object for public consumption nor recognize that all she has to offer are ‘qualities of … no value to any one of substance’ …

  39. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Of all the things I’ve criticized Kate for, her reading of the scripts isn’t one of them. My suspicion is that the Palace drills it into her head that she’s not allowed to stray from the script. I don’t think Kate is too bright, and I don’t think anyone in the Palace thinks very highly of her “intellect” either. (For the record, I don’t think *anyone* in that royal family is very bright — but I think THEY think of themselves as smarter/better than Kate). I also think the people she’s surrounded by now her look down on her common background, and don’t want her to embarrass them. So, she cannot, ever, stray from the script, and she has to think about her new accent with every single word she speaks.

    Not that I blame the Palace either — when left to come up with something on her own, the best she could do at a PLANNED visit to a tea shop was, “Can you . . . um . . . test the . . . um . . . smell of the tea . . . by smelling it?”

    So, I think she’s deathly afraid of the backlash that she would get if she says anything wrong, which is why she appears so nervous all the time — even (or should I say “especially”) when William is with her. Stick to the script, don’t mess up, don’t remind anyone that she’s a dummy and common. Hence, her stilted script reading.

    • Suze says:

      Nobody in the royal family is a Mensa member, for sure. One thing most of them can do, though, is give a speech that is lightly entertaining and self depracating. They are masters at it.

      And that is why I won’t give Kate a terribly hard time about this. She is surrounded by people who can do this type of thing in their sleep – for gods sake, someone help this woman.

    • Jaded says:

      I agree – girlfriend is wayyyy over her head and always has been, however William apparently likes being in control, doing what he wants to do and damn the torpedoes, and pulling her strings. She’s so terrified she’s going to screw up and incur the wrath of her husband, courtiers, the Queen and entire royal family that she becomes catatonic when she has to appear in public as an icon of perfection. Even though I rag on her for her outlandish make-up, hair and clothing fails, I kinda feel sorry for her. She knew what she was getting into and one has to give her a D for determination, but I think it’s now become more than she can handle.

  40. Joy says:

    Her sister sounds TOTALLY different. So it’s a sure bet that she had some speech training.

  41. Aria says:

    I don’t like Kate at all (I think royalty in general is pointless) but the man introducing her was far worse than her.

  42. Tishi1025 says:

    You either have “it” or you don’t. If you don’t have “it” and can afford some one to help you, that’s what you do. This just shows me she has absolutely no one around her with the balls to be honest to her. No one is in her corner… Not even her mom and sister! If they were, they wouldn’t let her embarass her self like this. That speech was painful girl!

  43. Sloane Wyatt says:

    Prince William has taken up with his very own Camilla. The cad has a type, and Miss Boar Hunt and Kate bear more than a passing resemblance to each other. I don’t understand why almost no one is really talking about this.

    I also don’t get why no one sees the scary resemblance and disturbing parallels between the Duchess of Cambridge and Karen Carpenter. Kate looks so frail, hunched over and tense, and she’s back to her whippet thin frame. I am sincerely worried that she has Anorexia Nervosa, and that maybe the weaves are covering up more than we know. The gleam of the diamonds encircling her throat do nothing to lessen my shock at seeing Kate in so obvious distress.

    Lastly, I’m really surprised to see the nearly unanimous vicious criticism of Cathy Cambridge all through this story’s entire comment section. Is an entitled social climbing young woman whose only sins are ‘standing by her man’, following the admittedly low standards of Prince William’s work ethic, and being generally vapid, really deserving of this level of vitriol hurled at her here?

    Yes, The Duchess of Cambridge is a horrid public speaker and lacks the warmth and sincerity one would hope to see in an emerging Royal, but this level of scrutiny really seems like overkill. If it weren’t mainly women heaping scorn on her narrow shoulders, I’d be quite tempted to observe this rather harmless young woman is an undeserving target of the Internet’s scornfully misogynistic double standards.

    • Suze says:

      Commenters here snark on William as much as Kate. Plenty of men get the Celebitchy treatment. Scorn is not reserved for women around here.

      There was a post on ye old boar hunt yesterday, where Wills and Jecca were pretty thoroughly digested and spit out, so it’s not like “no one is talking about” that.

      And is any celebrity deserving of the vitriol hurled at them on this site? Not sure why the duchess deserves special exemption from snark. The fact that the best anyone can come up with in her defense is that she’s “harmless” says a great deal. Many of the celebrities featured on CB are harmless, but they are snarkable.

      And frankly, if you read the bulk of the comments, they aren’t nasty. They are pointed but I don’t think they are out of line with the spirit of the original posts.

      I will agree with you on this point, I think Kate is getting frail and dead eyed. I find it scary. I don’t think she’s happy. But maybe I am hugely off base on that – lots of her supporters claim she and Wills are deliriously in love and she is a contented and fulfilled wife and mother. So it’s her supporters you should be concerned with, they’re the ones who think all is just perfect in Kateland.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        I hadn’t read Ye Old Boar Hunt, and so I didn’t realize that was extensively covered yesterday. Good to know, Suze.

        Kate’s slouched and pathetic figure just seems so defeated and wan here that it felt like the snark was kicking someone when they’re down.

      • LadySlippers says:

        @Sloane: I am mostly in agreement with both Suze’s and My2Pence’s comments. No one is wishing vile things on her that I can see. Now you may legitimately dislike the fact so many dismiss her as ‘dumb’ or ‘brainless’ (or things like that) so I would suggest argue your case with those people. I did.

        If it helps, I see a lot of concern here as well. People that express constructive criticism do so with the hope and wish that person it targets improves. They are not wishing bad things when they offer up solutions for someone to improve. Many here (probably the vast majority) would LOVE it if Kate found herself and hit her stride and excelled. It’s not just because we love the BRF or Royalty in general either. Most people here truly would love to see her succeed.

        As for being concerned, please continue to do so. I do agree that there might be something we can’t ‘see’. It happened with both Diana and Sarah so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that something is going on. Being a Royal woman is tough and there are other Royal and Imperial women that have not transitioned well (Masako but that’s due to the JIH).

        As for the comments. Letizia is one woman that gets so much crap it’s horrible — and to her face. Masako of Japan has been whispered about for years and that has got to be hard too. And she IS a accomplished, educated woman that the Japanese Imperial Household (JIH) wishes was a vacuous nobody. I also mentioned the hate Mary of Denmark receives.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        @ LadySlippers, the comment section dissecting Duchess Kate obviously struck a chord with me, but it does help that no one is wishing anything vile happen to the Future Queen Consort. It is heartening that many people here truly would love to see her succeed.

        On the other hand, I was appalled to read of the disrespectful cruelty Letizia and the other contemporary female Royals endure.

    • My2Pence says:

      Misogyny: “hatred of girls or women”

      Vicious: “deliberately cruel or violent.” “immoral”

      You clearly see those things in these comments, I do not. I see logical, respectful discussion from people who have, in many cases, watched multiple royal families for decades. They bring a wealth of experience to compare and contrast Kate Middleton with other married-in spouses. (Most of those spouses had 2-3 years to prepare for the limelight not 10, having met their princes when they were about 30 and marrying 2-3 years later.) These discussions do not involve hatred, cruelty, violence, or immoral behavior. If you speak Spanish, I suggest you wander over to some Spanish discussion boards and witness what they’ve done to Letizia of Spain for a decade if you want to see hatred.

      We do not know what William is doing with Jecca. We can infer, from his own comments and behavior in the past, that this is a relationship that is of great value to him. She may be his best friend, closer to him even than his brother (whom he clearly sees as a rival), and the one person he actually trusts. She has been in his life since before Kate Middleton arrived, and hopefully it was made clear to KM by William IF Jecca is “non-negotiable.” That doesn’t mean they’re having an affair, it means that he will have Jecca in his life whether KM likes it or not. If KM cannot handle that idea, then she should not have chosen to marry this man after a 10 year relationship.

      I do not see misogyny here. I see valid questioning of a 32-year-old who appears to have shown no work ethic for 32 years. Discard all of the years before the engagement, and we are left with a woman who made a lot of promises to her employers about working hard and who hasn’t followed through in the three years she’s been on the job.

      I’ve always seen lousy posture from Kate Middleton, I don’t see the hunching over as a recent development. The scary thinness began after the engagement, and Kate Middleton was quoted as saying, “It is all part of the plan.” I do not see someone who doesn’t recognize that she is too thin like Carpenter, I see someone who is choosing to be too light for her frame for her own reasons.

      She had 13 years to prepare for this. She chose to become a taxpayer-funded representative of the Crown. I don’t think she is a puppet, I don’t think she is a hopeless romantic, I think she is a doormat only to William but had a spine of steel to wait him out until he finally proposed. I think she chose this life, and whatever this relationship is, of her own free will.

      • Sachi says:

        I agree, especially about Letizia. The hatred towards that woman makes us “haters” here on CB look like angels.

        Did you know that Letizia was called a pig on national TV last month? It was on a show called Salvame, a trash TV show in Spain that has huge ratings. One of the hosts started yelling that Letizia is a pig, over and over again, just because Letizia asked a woman not to photograph her 2 daughters while attending the Three Kings’ Parade. The future Queen called a pig on TV. Yet nobody was outraged.

        The criticisms on Kate are nothing, it’s kumbaya here on CB compared to the poison being heaped on Letizia not only by people on the internet, but the Spanish media as well.

        The worst of this was when Letizia’s sister committed suicide in 2007 and within days the tabloids were accusing Letizia of not helping her sister because she was too busy being a Princess, and that she contributed to her own sister’s death. Letizia was heavily pregnant at the time and had to deal with so much antipathy 2 days after her sister died. The media was making money off of her grief while making her out to be a villain.

        If Kate was in Letizia’s shoes, I doubt Kate would last a year, and I doubt she could spend $150,000 on clothes in 6 months like she did in 2012 or go shopping 3x a week and get her hair treated every week without the vicious Spanish media going after her. The Spanish press is 10x worse than the British press.

        Kate has benefited from a great whitewashing from the media. Her every action excused and she is infantilized at every turn, always seen as a fragile creature who can’t be expected to work too much or put in effort in anything because she might break down and look what happened to poor Diana…

        The criticisms on Kate are nothing but that, criticisms. They’re not made with hatred. They’re from observations and gleaned information. I don’t see anyone here making up stuff or wishing Kate any harm.

        Are the criticisms on Kate truly any worse than the slagging on Kim? I mean, why is the commentary on Kim not called misogyny when Kim has been called vile names before, been referred as scum of the earth before, and the only reason was “she had a sex tape so she’s a tramp and she deserves to be called out on it “. Why is Kate a harmless figure who is unfairly treated and should not be criticized but Kim is a sl*t who must be shamed at every turn? That HRH title is all that separates Kate from most socialites who do nothing with their life. Yet Kate is a victim.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        “it’s kumbaya here on CB” – Sachi

        Lol, well that’s certainly true!
        “Are the criticisms on Kate truly any worse than the slagging on Kim?”

        THAT is a really good point. It’s one of the reasons I’ve mostly bailed on commenting on the KK stories.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        I’m using the word ‘vicious’ as in deliberately cruel and cutting. I wrote that I was tempted to believe the overall tenor of many critiques were ‘misogynistic’, as in reflecting or exhibiting dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women.

        My2Pence, these discussions most certainly do involve deliberately cutting and catty remarks, vocal mistrust of her innermost motivations, and most definitely they exhibit deep dislike and disdain of Kate’s choices as a woman.

        When you compare and contrast the responses to Kate with the responses to KK, it seems to me both of these women ARE judged by how they fail to fit narrowly prescribed feminine roles and gender stereotypes. Moreover, discussions focusing on women’s relationship choices, the way they look, the way they speak, the way they ‘succeed’, and especially the way they comport themselves to get there, are minutely parsed here. That’s part of the fun of Celebitchy. However, it’s one thing to enjoy snarky gossip, but it’s another to pigeonhole women into constricting archetypical molds, and that was the gist of my remarks.

      • Suze says:

        I get it Sloane.

        These Kate threads tend to encompass a lot. A lot. The royaloonies among us tend to use a Kate post to riff on certain things; I know I personally focus on the effect and reach of PR of entrenched institutions, role of monarchy in the modern world, the history of royals and the changing nature of their role, and I often forget that it was a Kate post that started it all.

        You make good points, it’s just that I barely pay attention to what is said about Kate herself once the thread comments get rolling. Which is actually a little sad.

      • Suze says:

        Sachi is right in that we are practically kumbayaing it over Kate. Reading some forums with some of the things said about Leti, Mary and Kate will curl your hair.

    • hmmm says:

      To excuse that Kate is “harmless” derails the conversation. I’m not quite sure what that has to do with anything. We’re discussing a future Queen Consort, expectations for her, and her behaviour. Since when did any criticism of behaviour ascribed to a woman epitomise the height of misogyny. Are we to respect someone because they are simply “harmless”? Using your rationale, Kate gives all women a bad name.

      I find it more misogynistic to ascribe victimhood to her.

      • Sloane Wyatt says:

        Now wait just a cotton pickin’ minute, hmmm! I never wrote Kate’s critiques were ‘epitomizing the height of misogyny’.

        As I’ve discussed above with Sachi and My2Pence, I’m simply offering my opinion of the tone and content of many of Kate’s detractors. Nor have I ascribed victimhood to the Duchess; I’ve merely observing that a fairly run of the mill socialite appears to be physically diminished as she performs her Royal cameo at a charity event.

        There’s no derailment here.

  44. ItSetsYou says:

    The more I look at her the more I think that she really only married William for love, because she seems like the last person to enjoy this kind of life. I can’t find any other explanation to why she always look so worried and stressed out. She is financially stable, married, has a close-knit family, a baby now and only has to do several public engagements per month. At thirty you’d have grown to feel like a mature person and accept that you aren’t going to be perfect anyway. So why does the poor thing always look like she’s walking on ice? I hope everything is okay behind the closed doors.

    • vava says:

      SHE may have married for love. Willy, though, married because he knew he had to get married eventually, have offspring, and secure the throne for the future.

      I seriously doubt Kate is happy. She is majorly stressed out when she has performances with her husband. She went on vacation without him and a week later he (the STUDENT) takes off on this hunting trip? There is something wrong in the relationship, I can feel it. They don’t really live with each other anymore. Of course, they will try their darnedest to cover it up on the Aussie/NZ trip. I hope they have some success with that………………

  45. AMBER5ASH says:

    What’s up w/ the look in her eye? It’s always there and it makes her look old. It’s like the thousand yard stare.

  46. vava says:

    Just watched the video again with Husband and he said “she’s a total beginner.”

    Yeah she is. Buck up, Kate – get your shit together!

  47. Thinker says:

    Well, the speech isn’t going to win any awards but I think the least William could’ve done is show up to support his wife. Especially with the breaking news he’s been off in Spain shacked up with a girlfriend, if he felt any protective instincts he would’ve hopped a train from Cambridge and been there to support Kate.

    I think she’s floundering as a royal. William should be more guiding, but seeing as he is barely interested in his own royal duties, it’s only natural he doesn’t feel like he needs to help Kate.

  48. Amy says:

    I already commented about not liking the necklace yesterday (even with her hair up, I wouldn’t have liked it, it looks like a very glittery Christmas ornament to me).

    I am absolutely in love with the director of the National Portrait Gallery. I visited the museum the one time I went to London–that place is SO BIG. It is so cute to see how excited he is that the museum is getting so much attention. He is totally what I envision when I think of an art museum director. Glasses, little bow tie, and just so enthusiastic. Will be looking for him now every time Kate has an engagement there.

  49. Mitch Buchanan Rocks! says:

    In some of the photos she looks like Britney Spears.

  50. PirateQueen says:

    On a totally shallow note – is her dress see-thru ? Maybe she found a way to show leg despite the longer hem ! And yes, I am actually starting to believe she is thick, that speech was woeful, even little ole me with a stammer and a fear of public speaking has done a million times better on many an occasion. No way did she practice that at, lazy lazy lazy. And Will is no better, worst husband ever.

  51. Sixer says:

    FINALLY. William and Harry sandbagging with the Army.

  52. Zombie Shortcake says:

    ‘Por-trayts.’ Is that the British pronunciation?
    Ok, I just watched till the end. Does she ever need that public-speaking coach stat.

  53. Aurelia says:

    Its not just Kate who has an elocution lessons. Mumma Karole has as well. Apparently trying to lose the jenni from the council block background. One friend of hers was quoted as saying something like “Yes Caole has taken on a few harmless affectations since her rise in status” God, how fake.