Duchess Kate doesn’t have Diana’s charisma or magic, claims Paul Burrell

Celebrities at 'The Late Late Show' RTE, Dublin

Paul Burrell was the late Princess Diana’s butler and confidante. In the last years of Diana’s life, she streamlined her life to the point where she was relying on fewer household and office staff, and Burrell became sort of her go-to guy for many different things. She referred to him as her “rock.” He was one of the first people to arrive in Paris after Diana died, and he was there with Prince Charles to escort her home. He also took many of Diana’s things – personal letters, clothes, mementos – for safe-keeping after her death, which is why he was eventually arrested and put on trial, before the case fell to shreds when the Queen was basically like “no, he told me he was keeping Diana’s stuff for safe-keeping, he didn’t steal anything.” I actually read Burrell’s book, which he wrote to pay off his legal bills from that court case. It was a decent read, although I tend to believe Burrell kind of oversold his friendship with Diana, but whatever.

So, Paul Burrell has been taking part in some of the Summer of Diana, wherein everyone is being inundated with Diana specials and long-lost Diana photos and never-before-seen Diana footage, all to mark the 20th anniversary of her passing. Someone asked Burrell what he thinks of the Duchess of Cambridge. His comment was…interesting.

Diana’s former butler has sensationally claimed the Duchess of Cambridge will never live up to Princess Diana’s legacy because she does not have her late mother-in-law’s “magic quality”. Paul Burrell, Diana’s former butler, told 9News he does not think the Duchess of Cambridge has what it takes – just months after claiming the Princess of Wales “broke the mould” for royal spouses.

In a scathing assessment, Mr Burrell said the mother-of-two, who wears Princess Diana’s engagement ring, does not compare to the late princess. He said: “I met Mother Theresa. She had it. Pope John Paul II had it. The Queen has it. Diana certainly had it. Kate doesn’t. She’s a lovely, lovely girl … she totally adores her husband, they’re devoted to each other. But that extra something, which you would call the ‘X-factor’, the magic quality, charisma, it’s not there.”

[From The Daily Express]

This has been noted by other people before, mostly by people who A) actually knew and spent time with Diana and B) are not super-focused on creating some sugary narrative about how Kate is the New Diana. For all of her faults, who can deny that Diana was supremely charismatic, someone with absurdly high emotional intelligence, and that she was one of the biggest supernova-star-quality people of the 20th century? When you put it like that, how could ANYONE compete or compare to that? That’s not the issue though – of course Kate could never compare to Diana, and of course Kate is always going to be found wanting on the charisma scale where Diana is the model/standard. The issue is that Kate is, like, actively wanting the comparison. That’s why she keeps trying to do “throwbacks” to Diana’s fashions and callbacks to Diana’s famous photo-ops. Kate really wants us to think of her as the New Diana, and the sycophantic royal press have been trying to sell that idea for years. It’s not working.

Princess Diana in India

Battle of Passchendaele memorial service at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's Tyne Cot Cemetery

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit the Taj Mahal

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

179 Responses to “Duchess Kate doesn’t have Diana’s charisma or magic, claims Paul Burrell”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

    • Loopy says:

      Haha i cannot unsee his face from that jungle show where he was digging through some hole with all sorts of creatures in it.

    • Megan says:

      Seriously. Will his next revelation be that water is wet?

    • Seraphina says:

      Is he getting paid for his observation??? Because people can come here for free and get that information.

    • milla says:

      I dont like kate. But…theres no way the royals would allow another di. She was a single woman yet she ruined them.

      • Radley says:

        May Diana rest in peace, but really she’s been elevated to mythical status. She was ill prepared for the “job” of being Princess and being married to a dude who’s just not that into you. People were endeared by what came across as shyness or whatever. But it seems she was kind of a brat and pretty shady when it came to manipulating the media.

        Her compassion, charity work and commitment to her kids should be her legacy. Not whether or not she had “it”.

        Kate is calculating as f*ck. She knew what she was getting into. She got the prize (in her mind) and doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. She’s lost. She seems to have had no other mission in life other than to marry William, who’s already jumped the shark. I think if she got herself together, she could be a real winner. But of course, she’s gotta want to do better.

    • famik says:

      The British press reporters were having a meltdown over his comment, I think they believed all the years of pushing Kate, would make the public not see that she lacks charisma.
      I remember the first time Kate wore the Cambridge tiara. I could not understand how someone could put that tiara on and still look dull, but she managed to look dull even with all those glorious jewels. Kate lacks charisma, she has no inner glow. Not everyone does of course, but I get tired of the press trying to convince us that she does.

      The press can make Kate famous but they can’t give her charisma no matter how much they push.

      • No Dignity in that says:

        Kate: trying to compensate for lack of charisma with lots of makeup.

        I don’t get it. She isn’t ugly. She can’t be that daft judging by her education. But she is unbelieveably lazy. If you reconsider how much effort she puts into clothes and makeup and hair appointments and starving herself then you must admit she does have stamina and determination.
        But she uses it all for the wrong things. It really seems like she has a very ego-centered character: Me! Me! Me!

        Her face keeps changing, btw. It gets more and more elongated. Also her eyes don’t seem to be so heavy-lidded any more. And her wrinkles keep disappearing, too.

    • Paris says:

      We knew it already…
      She has no “It Factor”. She is very robotic? Very often she looks uncomfortable and nervous. Just pretending to be interested. Dull. With fake smile.
      There is no inner glow …
      She is -
      1) the wife of Prince William,
      2) the Duchess of Cambridge,
      She has -
      3) stunning kids,
      4) gorgeous hair,
      5) expensive clothes and accessories.

      Sorry, but that’s it.

      • wolfpup says:

        Perhaps, there is more to her, but she doesn’t want you to know it, for fear of criticism. Can you imagine the pressure to be a superstar? – maybe all the mystery disappeared with the naked-ive photographs. On the other hand, she believes love is being a doormat to her mother’s ambition. It’s true, Carole’s name will be on the genealogy of history. Diana also believed in fantasy, and projections about “whatever love means”. Doesn’t that story just break your heart? Diana was England’s rose. Still, we are watching on the Big Screen, the story of the doormat, yet without ending. The royal family is such a juicy way to gossip…just noticing is all.

        Of course, stuff doesn’t matter – stuff is only the background, and pure nature is all that the human mind/body/soul requires to regenerate – along with our need to love one another, because that makes us happy, and we can whistle while we work! (Sorry for the lyrics, bluhare (I fully expect you to disagree with me sometime soon about something! – but sloppy licks yummy rabbit hugs from baby wolves, and you love it! Still, I know that I am quoting from Disney’s “Snow White and the Grumpy Dwarfs”). This is not just a song to sing, but an example of man’s search for meaning (I know Frankel).

        Diana, I believe should be noticed merely because everything she lived by, was her ideal’s – no matter the cost, and even if she was wrong; and the one day, she began to believe in herself!.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I don’t believe she’s a doormat; she’s shown she has plenty of backbone and drive to pursue what she wanted with the help of her mother. You cannot blame this all on stage mother Carole; KM’s recorded behavior towards all other women is her own personality not her mother’s.

        KM is welcome to be a cypher. Her own family members have admitted she isn’t that smart and struggles to find other people interesting. If there isn’t much “there” there, it doesn’t ultimately matter to the job. Her role is to do the royal job, not to play act at being a celebrity.

        She is required to stop the exorbitant spending, dress appropriately, act appropriately, and Get the F*ck to Work. We know next to nothing about Princess Alexandra or the Duchess of Gloucester. We know a bit more about Anne and Sophie but not much. It isn’t a requirement of the job that KM show us more than the incredibly shallow and lazy persona she’s exhibited for the last 15 years.

      • wolfpup says:

        She’ll never be what you want, nota. Should we punish her for that, that is, the Duchess of Upskirts? Some people are gifted, and some we must endure. The pressure is really only on her. I remember watching Diana married at 3 in the am. while living in SF, with 3 babies under 3, and the biggest stressor, was my husband in my bed. She has two little children, and if she wants to sit back and be that (is William really cheating?); then how can we deny her, let alone all other women who find themselves rocking the world by the cradle during those few moments in time.

        Much of what we pursue with all our hearts is transitory to our culture. And no matter our wishes, this woman has an unlimited bank account. whether she works or not, she is representing some of the richest people on earth, and of course, her clothing and jewelry will reflect that wealth, that people so admire in this royal family.

      • notasugarhere says:

        wolfpup you’re losing me here. All she is required to do is show up, appropriately dressed, for 500 hours of work a year and pretend to be interested. 500 HOURS of work, wolfpup, in one year. That’s it. Most people manage that in 3 months worth of working 40 hpw, many of them working mothers with no support at home.

        None of that is beyond her, no matter how much her fans seem to think she must be coddled like a child. Hers are not the hands rocking the cradles most of the time, that is reserved for the multiple nannies.

        She is not representing some of the wealthiest people on earth; she is representing the people of the UK and assorted member countries of the Commonwealth. The “wealth” belongs the people, not the Windsors, and is not what makes them admired (or not).

      • wolfpup says:

        I appreciate you responding to me nota, but my stance has not changed (so far). These are among the wealthiest on earth, and they do not give a damn about the old man in the corner in starvation mode; or little Tiny Tim, (except for good press). They simply need to redo the palace. This is the fact of it. What is the story of the creature that ran around the dialogue repeating, “I know nothing, I know nothing” – oh yeah, Hogans Heroes? Half of the British government, are unelected landowners, I believe they are called the House of Lords. People in that country are counted superior for mere blue-bloodiness, land ownership/or ownership of the happiness of other’s, whom they term their serfs. On the other another hand, some folks love the idea of bowing, scraping, licking the ground, the whole Downtown Abbey, and knowing one’s place! Whatever flaws you may find in my thought, we do have China and its philosophic ideas of socialism hidden within an Obligarchy appearing. There is no hiding – If we do not shore up our ideas of freedom, it is possible that we lose. Honestly dears, everyone believes such a fellow as “god” is on their side! North Koreans are the same as you or me, but they are fed a very narrow agenda, intended to limit their freedom of thought. If am losing you, nota, in my thought, then my apologies for appearing to you, just now. Bluhare is kind of pissed at me too – “what does one say about bunnies!”

      • notasugarhere says:

        Again, wolfpup, it isn’t their money, they don’t own the palaces. The Windsor family has a great deal of personal wealth, none of which they use to support themselves or do the royal job. All of what they use day to day, from the palaces to the jewels to the security to the wardrobe – are all paid for by the taxpayers. To the tune of 600 million a year. Paid by the taxpayer in exchange for the work these people do representing them on the national and global stage.

        If the Windsors ultimately don’t care about the people paying the bills, it doesn’t really matter. As long as they show up, do the job well, and pretend to care – the system remains with them as the apolitical referee. When some of them (W&K) blatantly want only the perks without the work, that’s when the valid criticism comes in.

  1. Kimma1216 says:

    He’s right. She’s about as exciting as a paper towel. And, doesn’t come close to the work Diana did outside her family. She’s got no spark.

  2. LadyMTL says:

    Although I am tired of the whole Diana-worship / cult of Diana, she seemed like she was one heck of a charismatic, generous, and warm-hearted person. It would be hard for anyone to live up to that, but I agree with you, Kaiser – Kate is doing herself no favours by wanting that comparison. She could just trying being genuine and seeing how that would work out, lol.

    • Tulip Garden says:

      I don’t think Kate actually wants that comparison. I think the tabloids do. Anyway, as good business as Diana, whom I adored and named my cat after, was for the tabloids, she wasn’t a good fit for the royal family or they for her. In the end, I guarantee “the firm” is far happier with Kate and all of her flaws then with another Diana with all of her charisma.
      I’ll bet Kate lives are far happier private life then Diana ever did although I’m not sure that anyone cares about that. I just never want to think of someone in Diana’s position again because she truly had no way to win as far as a happy private life. Her husband was a mismatch that would have been fine staying married as long as they both carried on discrete affairs while he nor his family could imagine actually divorcing over something like acute unhappiness and a need to have a real relationship. Diana finally got out but it cost her a hell of a lot to do so and she got so little time to enjoy it.

      • wolfpup says:

        So clever to call Diana’s marriage a mismatch – she was so young that she needed HIM to love her – smash on whoever calls the tale mismatch/smishmash. She was used, duh. Won’t it be even more amusing (since the prince’s have obviously learned the story Diana simply withheld, and now developing their own perspective), while we all watch Charles continue his insistence on making his mistress, Queen? What a soap, and what a foolish man, Charles appears. He seems more self-indulgent than Mariah. OH, whoops – he is the bloody-blue Prince of Wales….and all that ordained by some “God” nonsense!

    • Megan says:

      If William had married a man, he would be getting compared to Diana. It’s inevitable.

  3. minx says:

    That front page headshot of her is so unflattering….old lady hair, skin that makes her look much older.

  4. Citresse says:

    She doesn’t have her work ethic either.

  5. perplexed says:

    People would probably like Kate if she did some more work. Would she be a super-nova star? Probably not. But people would probably like her well enough.

    The cuteness of her kids is probably going to overshadow her anyway.

  6. Enough Already says:

    Unless he was specifically asked this question it seems classless to keep stressing the obvious. At least the hair twirler bever flung anyone or herself down a flight of stairs. When do his fifteen minutes expire?

  7. homeslice says:

    Well to be fair, with the exception of QEII, no one currently in any royal family has “it”. Diana was extraordinary. We don’t get may of those in a lifetime.

  8. Bitsy says:

    Haven’t seen any clue at all that she wants to be Diana… its the Diana-stans who are nostalgia obsessed and seem to keep comparing her (press included). If anything, it seems Wills and the firm actively searched for a woman nothing like Di so as to not pull focus. William seems like he would absolutely loathe a spouse that outshines him in personality and charm. There is a reason the most eligible bachelor in the world chose plain Catherine. Although I really like her, unlike most Celebitchy readers, I di recognize she is slightly boring.

    • bluhare says:

      I don’t know that she wants to be Diana, but I’m not sure I agree she doesn’t invite the comparison. it’s a bad idea too. Kate should try to be her own person instead of standing in the shadow of someone else.

      • pleaseicu says:

        The sad thing is, would Kate even know how to go about being her own person? It’s not like she was ever encouraged to be her own person by her family. She was essentially raised by her parents to be dependent on them and then William/BRF. It definitely seems like independence and individuality were definitely not encouraged by anyone in Kate’s life.

      • notasugarhere says:

        She (and her mother) should start with avoiding Diana’s signature design house. Plenty of other living UK designers out there.

    • Llamas says:

      If you look at pictures of her kids they are dressed almost exactly as Diana dressed William. It’s creepy as hell. Her intentions with that are obvious.

      • perplexed says:

        In the HBO doc, Harry said he wanted to dress his kids up the way his mother did with him and William.

        So, now I’m beginning to think the homages in dressing are William’s idea.

      • Lizabeth says:

        True, Perplexed, Harry did say he wanted to dress his children as Diana dressed W&H even though they seemed to say they hated dressing that way. But he said that after watching W and/or K do it with George for years. I agree its getting creepy. I do think Kate tries to channel Diana at times besides with the children’s clothes although some comparisons in the press are stupid. (“Kate wore a red dress—Diana once wore a red dress too!”) I don’t know if Kate wants to be compared to Diana or not but I suspect she does (thinking she’ll come out ahead because of perceived stability–perhaps because of her family’s self-centered nature she’d not considered or really understood the public’s view of Diana’s charisma.) When Kate visited (for a 20th anniversary celebration, I think) a hospice opened by Diana, Kate wore a plaid coat. Diana had worn a plaid coat at the opening. Could certainly be coincidence but few of Kate’s coats are plaid. Most are solid blue, white/cream, shades of green, red, or black. She also debuted new pearl earrings similar to the ones Diana had worn and carried an over-sized clutch as Diana had instead of the tiny kind she usually carries. The polka dot dress worn after George’s birth was similar to what Diana wore leaving the hospital after giving birth. It’s not been as bad for the last year but for years and years Kate positioned her left hand awkwardly front and center presumably to be sure The Ring was seen in every photo. KP has tried to paint Kate as  ”the children’s princess” vs Diana’s “the people’s princess” but Kate doesn’t seem comfortable with children (except her own.) There’s nothing wrong with that but Diana was a natural with kids from the public’s first glimpse of her. And frequent stiffness with kids in public doesn’t make Kate a children’s princess. I agree Will is conflicted about his mother but I don’t think all the above is Will’s doing. I think both Carole and Diana play a bigger role in that marriage than is typical or necessarily healthy for most couples in their mid 30s.

  9. littlemissnaughty says:

    Uh, we did not need Paul to tell us. And I would bet a month’s salary that everyone in the BRF is so goddamn thankful that Kate turned up. As if any of them ever want to deal with a charisma explosion like Diana again. Although they should’ve told Kate that, maybe. She could follow the Princess Royal and be known as the rising star among the work horses of the family. Well, I guess that won’t happen.

    • still_sarah says:

      True. I think Kate’s dull nature made her exactly what the BRF was looking for after Diana. Diana for better or worse was too much for the BRF to handle; Kate by comparison seems more predictable and less of a risk to act out in any way. Now if she would only do more work.

  10. Loopy says:

    But does Kate really want that comparison? She strives me as someone very happy and comfortable to fly below the radar,very mediocre and content,doing the absolute bare minimum. She would make a hello of alot more effort if she really wanted to be the New Diana,and I think Williams personality would not go well with someone who was like his Mother.

  11. Mimi says:

    Kate chased this position for years yet seemed to have no plan for how to conduct herself afterwards. It’s baffling.

    • Merritt says:

      Not really. Kate doesn’t seem like she has a strong voice. She did what her mom wanted and now she does what her husband wants.

      • minxx says:

        This! I think that Kate is totally dependent on her mom who seems to be the one with strong personality. She’s meek and subservient, which is probably what William wants anyway. It will be interesting to see if Meghan entering the field will change her in any way.

    • notasugarhere says:

      I don’t see her as a doormat, but calculating and strong-willed when it gets her what she wants. She wanted The Prince and her stage mother helped her get him.

      • wolfpup says:

        I hear a portion of what you are saying, nota, but I do not give this “princess” the same due. She is a follower, a team player, even, for no good reason other than the love of Willy. We should let her go because she will never amount to anything – unless I am wrong, of course. My singular point is that she is wholly unoriginal in every way. Lots of women are so imprisoned. Who knows? For example, who out there has not fought for their belief in some outrageous religious idea – like God cursed the earth and all its inhabitants?

        Really, there are those who call my thought, Satan; I hear all the questioners of my rejection of such a “god.”

      • notasugarhere says:

        She’s not imprisoned, she went in to this eyes wide open after a multi-year campaign. With a lot of help from her family, but what she wanted all along. Plenty of ambition and spine to land the Prince, no ambition to do anything but that. I don’t see her suffering in her life, I see her getting everything she wanted (money, status, The Prince) but having the annoying little problem of hating to work.

        She’s bland, it doesn’t matter. She doesn’t need to “amount” to anything other than someone who shows up, does a basic job much better and more often than she has been. Stop shopping, learn to give a speech, and show up to work 500 times a year. Alexandra, Birgitte, Sophie, Anne, Camilla – they all manage this, KM can too.

      • wolfpup says:

        I appreciate you responding to me nota, but my stance has not changed (so far). These are among the wealthiest on earth, and they do not give a damn about the old man in the corner in starvation mode; or little Tiny Tim, (except for good press). They simply need to redo the palace. This is the fact of it. What is the story of the creature that ran around the dialogue repeating, “I know nothing, I know nothing” – oh yeah, Hogans Heroes? Half of the British government, are unelected land owners, I believe they are called the House of Lords. People in that country are counted superior for mere blue-bloodiness, land ownership/or ownership of the happiness of other’s, whom they term their serfs. On the other another hand, some folks love the idea of bowing, scraping, licking the ground, the whole Downtown Abby… Whatever flaws you may find in my thought, we do have China and its philosophic thought contained within the ideas of Karl Marx, hidden now, within an Oligarchy appearing. If we do not shore up our ideas of freedom, it is possible that we lose. God is not on our side, perhaps such an idea so powerful to move the masses can occur only within a singular human heart, like a religion…that wishes to love one another.

        Perhaps you are right, and I am wrong nota. I do believe that you have far more respect for Kate than I.

        Stilll, we will burn our ecosystem, don’t we? I don’t care for the Royals, other than the great gossip. They do represent the rich, never the poor, except for the few coin tosses of the lucky! What are we to do with so much suffering?

      • notasugarhere says:

        wolfpup, you seem to be losing the plot.

    • msthang says:

      mimi, The majority of huge hoohah weddings have lots and lots of planning about the wedding,the wedding, and then the honeymoon which for most couples the honeymoon is over by the first or second date, and of course not much planning into the marriage which is why more than half of marriages fall apart, and a lot more would take a dive if not for kids or economic reasons. I suppose that is why most people still call her Kate Middleton,versus the duchess of Cambridge, because they just don’t give the relationship it’s weight in paper. When Chopper decides it’s over, she won’t have a say so, it will be over, and a 70 million dollar wedding another huge waste of tax payers money. You have to wonder how long before the public has had enough and they say no more, your lot now have to fund this your selves or are they still enamored with that daft fairy tale and they lived “happily ever after”! Not!!!!

      • Lara says:

        To get respect you have to give it. Kate dosn’t respect herself in many ways and definitely doesn’t respect the peope of she would be out and about performing her duties with a genuine smile instead of the manic deranged grin.

        Kate is never going to get my vote. I think Willie will tire of her and divorce her.

  12. What's Inside says:

    He said it right. Kate does not have the IT factor. However, she and William are a real couple in a real marriage making it work and that is more than Diana and Chuck were.

    • famik says:

      Are they? Was he a means to an end of a chase for Kate, I think she loves what he brought her and pleasing mummy? The Queen reportedly said it will end in tears but that was during the dating years, when they split and got back together.
      imo, William is a quiet storm. Calm on the surface, trouble underneath.

    • Nic919 says:

      All real marriages have the husband ditch his wife and kids on Easter to go to an ex girlfriend’s wedding…. please. Will cheated on Kate while they were dating and he disappeared when they were supposedly living together in Wales. He isn’t any better than his father regarding fidelity and is a hypocrite on this issue. The only difference is that Kate will stay despite the cheating and cling to her position. She is not Diana in that way either.

    • notasugarhere says:

      As someone else pointed out, it is an exchange. He gets the wife who let’s him do what he wants and marrying her stopped press criticism and calls to work for a bit; she and her family get the status and attention they desperately chased for decades. As long as they’re all content with the deal, the arrangement continues.

  13. OTHER RENEE says:

    Hard to compete with a dead woman.

    • famik says:

      One that had natural charisma, natural charm, genuine love for people and cared about her role and job…yes hard to compete with Diana alive or dead.

      • Jeannette says:

        Diana once visited a woman in an iron lung and brightened her day. Not everyone can do that. Diana cracked a little joke to put the woman at ease. She would do the same thing time after time, brightening people’s lives. Whatever her personal faults, I believe she more than validated her existence on earth by bringing joy to those who had none. Too bad Charles and his family could not bring themselves to acknowledge her efforts.

  14. Nancy says:

    Just watched the documentary of Diana on HBO. Her sons worshipped her. She absolutely had that it factor that eludes Kate. As gorgeous as she was, it was the footage of her holding AIDS patients in her arms and her work in the landmines that shed light on her true beauty. William loves his wife and she shouldn’t be compared to Diana, it isn’t fair to her, and there simply is no comparison.

  15. Sassback says:

    To be fair, I don’t think Kate is intentionally trying to create herself as the “new” Diana, and I don’t think her husband would let her. If she dresses similarly, I mean I would too, she had good style and she was the last Princess of Wales, so it makes sense that Kate would try to copy her example on some things. She had the job and did it well so obviously anyone coming is going to be looking at that. Plus, someone dresses these people and someone picks out the color schemes for various events-on the Crown, they picked QE2′s wardrobe for her tour based on where they were regionally/seasonally, etc. Maybe it makes sense that for certain events, the obvious color to wear is like, say, blue or white or red, so Diana and Kate wearing blue for the same event years apart is a coincidence.

    • LAK says:

      Please don’t use the Crown as a reference point for your knowledge of how the BRF works. It’s fiction and full of so, SO many errors about so many things. From protocol to production designs to life events.

      • Sassback says:

        Listen, I know it’s a fiction and they take liberties, being that it’s a drama, but I imagine some of it must have some grounding in reality *somewhere*and even if that particular plot point was untrue-where they showed QE all her tour wardrobe and etc., that process logically makes sense. People style celebrities and VIPs to suit events, theme, culture, weather, etc. so why wouldn’t that be true for the Royal Family? Literally Celebitchy will have a whole article about why someone’s outfit was not appropriate for that particular event’s aesthetic.

      • Lizabeth says:

        So it was a full team of of royal advisors who decided Kate should wear a bespoke Chanel in Paris? And decided that she needed to wear a belt with the logo and carry the handbag with the logo too to make extra sure everyone knew it was Chanel? And a team that decided on sandals for the concentration camp? Bright pink for the 9/11 memorial? Somehow I doubt it. Plus hasn’t KP said Kate picks her own clothes? It might be different for the queen. After all, she does have to do other things besides shop but I get the feeling Kate likes to shop. I am sure Kate gets briefings on local customs though. After all, she wore a quasi-native skirt in Bhutan with a french designer’s top. And I somehow doubt it was a team who decided to dig out that pram for Charlotte’s christening. Or a team that decided she should wear white/cream to her children’s christenings even though that is unusual as it almost competes with the baby’s gown.

      • A says:

        @Lizabeth You are only as good as the advisors you choose though aren’t you. Considering the staffing troubles Will and Kate have had over the last few years, I wouldn’t be surprised if her poor choices in fashion are a result of a) not hiring a consultant for these things to begin with and b) hiring a consultant or a team and then not listening to their input whatsoever, or c) hiring a group of sycophants or like-minded individuals who think in the same way as Kate and have little to no understanding of what royal dressing actually means.

      • LAK says:

        Sassback: The Crown is very well done. Some of the processes they show are things every celeb/ stylist does and certainly the Queen’s clothing are always considered for occassion, climate and geography, BUT but that doesn’t mean that ‘the Crown’ is operating from a point of accuracy as far as the royal household.

        Literally from the opening sequence there were so many errors across the board. The things they got right were almost accidental. They seemed to have used tabloid reports for their research which is ridiculous considering there are process manuals from the royal court, published by the Lord Chamberlain, not to mention any number of biographies and auctions that reveal the behind the scenes which would have been very accurate. And or they should have hired a better historian to advise them.

        The entire production is best compared to the type of glitzy costume dramas that were popular in the 80s.

    • Sassback says:

      I never said I was using the Crown as my entire point of reference for the RF, only that if that is in fact how they are styled, it makes sense that often times KM and Diana have worn similar clothes to the same events years apart. I just think anyone who reads into a correlation between Diana and Kate concerning wardrobe choices is reading too much into it. I mean, jeez, they’re already starting with Megan Markle. Omg she wore a black dress! Diana once wore a black dress! Like chill. I don’t by any means care one way or another about Kate Middleton but does anyone really think William would be okay with a wife that would creepily attempt to
      Emulate his mom? Or that Kate Middleton isn’t savvy enough to know she would look like an idiot if she tried to be the next Diana? Any lady that marries into that family will now probably dread the comparison!

      • notasugarhere says:

        William himself invited the comparisons when he handed his fiancee the Ring of Doom. As long as their collectives games 1) get people on “their” side and 2) enable them to get out of work by claiming the Diana Card? They’re both on board with it.

  16. Lurker says:

    Apropos of nothing: I studied journalism at university and one of my lecturers had made her career by writing about the RF. She used to bring in glossy books (“Fashions of Diana” kind of thing) that she’d written and pass them around and we pretended to admire them. We were students so of course we all dreamed of being war reporters, or winning Pulitzers for hardhitting political exposes, or setting up our own genre-defining blogs (this was right when blogs were starting to become a thing) or something.

    In order to pass the course we had to conduct an interview and write it up, and she came into class one day all excited telling us she’d pulled some strings from her substantial media contacts to organise a big important public figure for us all to interview.

    *DRUMROLL*

    Paul Burrell!

    *embarrassed silence*

    She was most put out when a) none of us knew more than vaguely who he was b) didn’t care c) didn’t want to interview him. I think everyone in the class decided to find their own interviewee.

    If anyone is curious, I ended up wangling an interview with Harry Potter’s dad for mine.

  17. perplexed says:

    I think it’s the position that partly gives some of the charisma to these people. I have no doubt that Princess Diana would have been popular in school and work, even if she weren’t famous, but the world-wide attention she and the Queen (and Pope John Paul II) did receive is also because of their positions. People want to know them and talk to them precisely because their status is different from the rest of us.

    So the fact that Kate manages to be boring even as a duchess when it’s the position that gives these people some of their importance is a bit baffling and weird to me. The position alone should give her some star quality, especially since she’s not ugly.

  18. TomatoGirl says:

    I think the magic would appear for her if she worked more. If she isn’t born with it she can acquire something similar by becoming a hard working and compassionate royal.
    However, I strongly suspect that Will is calling the shots when it comes to their public image. It’s possible she would take on more work if offered,but he wouldn’t and he certainly wouldn’t want his wife to appear more hard working.

  19. Kitty says:

    Not everyone has that magic and aura that comes once in a lifetime. That’s fine to be honest. Though I will say that it was fun when we had those larger than life global icons around us back in the day. MJ in music, Muhammad Ali in boxing, Diana with royalty, etc…

    • famik says:

      Those were fun days, I recall my mom surprising me with the newest Diana magazine Cover (LadiesHJournal, People” almost every other month, Country Life, even obscure now defunct mags had Diana on their covers, which were plentiful at that time. Sigh…. nice memories of mom handing me those Diana magazines with a smile.

  20. Kitty says:

    Not everyone has that magic and aura that comes once in a lifetime. That’s fine to be honest. Though I will say that it was fun when we had those larger than life global icons around us back in the day. MJ in music, Muhammad Ali in boxing, Diana with royalty, etc…

  21. aquarius64 says:

    No woman who is the wife of William or Harry should try to be Diana. They should establish their own styles and make their own marks. While I’m glad Kate is no long lost Kadashian with fashion, the work shy rep is off-putting. Her social climbing family dings her image as well. Work more and distance yourself from the fame thirsty relatives could help.

  22. Jessica says:

    The Diana Obsession needs to die. It’s quite clear that Diana behaved the way she did for attention; yes it made some people happy but it doesn’t mean that everyone has to act like her. Catherine just needs to increase her work duties; she doesn’t need to be Diana.

  23. J says:

    Do you all think Harry has “it?”

    • Citresse says:

      Yes, certainly compared to William. I saw the doc Diana, our mother, legacy etc….you can see the ease with Harry when being interviewed. William is much more rigid, more defensive.
      Harry is more approachable and seems friendlier.
      Diana, of course, could see it early on describing Harry as ” a different character all together.”

    • Sarah says:

      Yes, Harry has charisma, which is why he gets away with not having a work ethic. So he isnt like his parents in the work ethic department at all!

      • Liberty says:

        Oh please. He worked hard in the military and for his charities and the RF while being thrown under the bus by Wills, his work count purposely kept down to make W&K’s numbers look less weak. Everyone acts like they are so shocked that a young single guy dates around and drinks or had wild times. The Prim Patrol can’t bear it. So Harry doesn’t work. Tell the Invictus Games that.

      • Sarah says:

        Liberty, the charities have a lot of people who do the real work while Harry swans in and gets the accolades. If he was so hard working, he wouldnt have time to be travelling all over, taking off the month of August. Like, he would be in Toronto right now, doing the substantial work that a huge undertaking like Invictus takes.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Those charities only exist and continue to be successful because of his constant work and input. People from the military and charities admit publicly about him being at all the meetings. How he calls them about the details in between. One example was the Sentebale garden at Chelsea, where iirc he was on tour for HM and still calling in constantly for meetings and changes to the design.

        Does he need to do more bread-and-butter engagements in the UK? Yes. Belittling what he continues to accomplish with Sentebale and Invictus Games? No.

  24. Mumbles says:

    The problem with Kate – and most of the young royals – is there seems to be no *there* there. What makes her tick? What does she love to do? She spent her 20s doing glorified part-time jobs for her parents’ friends while waiting for her proposal. The most interesting thing she did in her 20s – that rowing team thing – she gave up when William summonsed her back in the fold. Imagine if she had used that art degree to work at an auction house or a museum, and then made arts education her “cause” and threw herself into it.
    The amazing thing about Diana is that even though she went into the marriage a very sheltered privileged and unexperienced young woman, she blossomed and became very much her own person.

    • LAK says:

      She worked only one job in her 20s. At Jigsaw. Nowhere else. 9mths total. Started at 3 days a week which slowed to 2 days a week by the end of her run. With a 2month ‘ heartbreak holiday’ in the midst of it due to William breaking up with her. Her work colleagues said she was barely there despite the very light schedule. One of her work conditions to any potential employers was that she had to have a schefule that was light enough and flexible enough to allow for her romantic relationship which included William calling her to meet him anywhere at any time.

      With that type of relationship criteria, is it any wonder she doesn’t work now? She needs to be at his beck and call at all times regardless of his location.

  25. HK9 says:

    We know she doesn’t have “it”. But it’s an unfair comparison because you can only be yourself, so to do it is just at that level (ie: rather than comparing work ethic)is just being bitchy. However, I would like to note that while I think Diana had style, she took speaking lessons, went to British Vogue to style herself and worked her ass off. Diana did make her role something it hadn’t been before and Kate must do the same for herself. Diana herself said her job was 10% glam and the rest was work and I believe her.

  26. magnoliarose says:

    Kate should brush aside what Willy and her family tell her and find her own voice and way to distinguish herself. Style and glam aren’t her things, so she must be a hard worker like Anne. That is her only avenue along with being an extraordinary mother. She needs a hobby that can be associated with her or a sport. Anne has horses. Gardening would be nice, and she can create her own flowers or something like that.
    I am critical of her because of her lack of work ethic but I think her husband does not want her to ever shine. I wouldn’t put it past him to be very critical and scathing sometimes. He doesn’t help her because it doesn’t suit him to do so.

  27. xo says:

    Diana had a tendency to freeze out friends who gave her any sort of negative feedback or criticism. The fact that Paul remained in her inner circle for as long as he did tells you that he is probably a bit of a yes man.

    Given the obsequious torrent of praise that is usually thrown about, it’s refreshing (and surprising) to hear a former insider say something even mildly critical of Kate. I agree with him. She doesn’t have “it.” She’s very average. She may be wonderful in private (loyal, trustworthy) but – publicly – and as a public figure, she isn’t actually that interesting.

    I’ve noticed Kate’s (and Carole’s by the way) tendency to copy Diana & Diana’s time – JP Todd shoes on that Canada tour, Catherine Walker designs, dressing the children to resemble the way Diana dressed her sons when they were younger. None of that strikes me as an attempt to mimic Diana. It does strike me as a red flag indicating her desire to get aspects of royal life “right” and her sense that, on her own, she has no independent sense of how to do that in her own way & with her own style. yet.

  28. Starlight says:

    At long last Diana is firmly stamped as an aristocrat at long last probably why when in the wedding carriage with Charles leaving St Paul’s she didn’t have to bow her head like Kate had to, to the head of army as the carriage rolled through the street to buck house

  29. WhatwasThat? says:

    Firstly..Can I ask you always use that thumbnail picture as it sums her up to a T!!
    Not the false smile but the superiority of a wannabes..as much as I loathe Sloan Rangers Diana’s was a excellent consort for Charlie boy and the devastating documentary recently on Channel 4 with her tapes and the reaction of Ken Wharfe the protection officer and the press man/PR Patrick Jepson who I remember at the time pitching lies and now appears to be regretting his part in this is eye opening.Who would think a monarchist and one of their loyal servants would be so damaged by them that he would admit in public these things
    So I do believe Diana did have a noble impulse which meant she would always be more than the Windsors tried to portray her as..The rebellious streak she said she has seems to have warped by her sons..but dealing with those people must make for a psychological handbook the size of Encyclopaedia Brittanica!!

  30. Carrie says:

    Good comments.

    Diana was a manipulative aristocrat in her own right but I appreciated her work. I’ve never thought Kate wants to be Diana, rather she wants to fulfil her royal role but that’s not her focus. Kate’s focus seems to be her kids and William and her original family. Nothing wrong with that in my book.

    William alluded in recent docu he did with Harry that he viewed his Mom as a bit of a narcissist which isn’t wrong, it was enlightening. Both boys have chosen women who are opposite their mom. That says a lot. Thy loved Diana but knew her flaws and are trying to forge their own way without all the drama as they had enough of that divisive pain in childhood.

    For these reasons and not least because Kate comes from a loving, united family, I’m thinking Kate is doing just fine as she is. She looks happy. William is finding his feet and voice. They’re not perfect or like Diana but Diana was purposely shoved out there alone. These boys have each other and are fostering loving relationships. In my view, Kate doesn’t need to be like Diana. The picture above is horrid but it’s funny. She doesn’t need to live a separate individually focused life and that’s not who she is – nothing wrong with that.

    Also I keep thinking she’s got two young kids and that’s a big job to raise kids, be a loving wife, build a happy family. If I were in her shoes and reading the hate she gets, that wouldn’t make me want to venture out to meet strangers in public much at all. Who wants to be around people who hate you?

    • Llamas says:

      Yes, being a mom and wife and a family person is a lot of work and that is perfectly fine!…for people who aren’t royal and aren’t living off people who work incredibly hard everyday. She’s one of the most senior totals and it is her duty to give back to the people who give her this incredible life. The British people deserve to have a royal who is aware and grateful of his/her position in life. Kate and William spit on the feet of the public. I don’t think the people should tolerate that. If they want to focus almost exclusively on their family they should not be in line for the throne. It’s fine of they want to do that so long as they aren’t using other people’s money. And I know that many people argue it’s such a little amount of money that’s being given but it’s still money that builds up over time and money that could be used by each person.

    • Sarah says:

      If Kate doesn’t want to do the work, she should not take the perks. It is like saying, “Hey, I want to raise my kids, be a great stay at home mom, but my boss has to keep paying me.”
      It doesnt work that way.

      • Carrie says:

        Yes, of course, I agree with both of you Sarah and Llamas. It’s just that I was thinking of what Kate does in comparison to Diana’s skills and it occurred to me – both of them had enormous pressures on them. Diana hid hers but won support of public and so she blossomed. But that caused more problems within the family and further isolated Diana. Kate might be protected more as a result and thus hasn’t the skills to do her duties as much as is expected.

        It’s like Kate is living the flip side in some overcorrected version of the role.

      • notasugarhere says:

        In the engagement interview we were fed the line that they had waited to make sure she was ready, willing, prepared, and that she was going to hit the ground running.

        She has all the support in the world to do better in her role, and she chooses to show up underprepared every time.

    • PrincessK says:

      But the only man Diana really loved and wanted was Charles.

  31. Citresse says:

    I read Burrell’s book and recall he was there in Paris the same time as Charles but did he arrive at the hospital before Charles? If I recall correctly, he brought clothing for Diana, but did he speak directly with Charles??… or perhaps there was no information about that. Charles, by then, certainly knew Burrell was in the Diana camp so I would guess there was no communication between them.

  32. perplexed says:

    Although I find the butler dude generally annoying, maybe he got tired of hearing all the praise for Kate like the rest of us.

    I don’t think Kate is a bad person at all. Just boring. Ditto for Pippa and the marshmallow brother.

  33. Heat says:

    Frankly, the constant comparisons between Kate & Diana (or Kate & Meghan, or Kate & Pippa…) are becoming rather boring…verging on annoying.
    Kate Middleton is none of these people. Last time I checked, she wasn’t trying to be.

  34. Starlight says:

    Oh my the media are savvy in The Sun today they have an article on the gift Kate received from Pippa when George was born – an exact copy almost of Diana received and wore after Wills was born. Gold flat shaped round engraved sort of necklace. Firstly talk about attention to detail where the Midds are concerned, very strange indeed but maybe Wills had it as a keepsake and Kate wanted one exactly the same.

  35. Moira says:

    Can’t, possibly think why they chose that photo of Kate for this article!

    Wonder what people would be thinking of Diana now if she had lived, and married Dodi?

  36. porcupette says:

    What continues to stun me is how Diana was apparently blabbing about her personal life all. the. time. to the SERVANTS! This puts such unfair insane pressure on employees, just disgraceful. Not to mention, turns out she didn’t push her step-mother down a flight of stairs when she was a child, but in 1989 when she was a 28 year old mother of 2. But for sure charismatic. Who else gets away with treating other people that way?

  37. grumpy says:

    He’s not wrong ;) In the 21st century it is utterly shameful that anyone tries to hold her up as a role model for a nation or for women.

    A woman who had one of the best educations money can buy but has no work ethic, no independence, seemingly no personality and built her whole existence around bagging William. To use the excuse of being a stay home mother when she has servants and nannies is also so insulting to the average person.

    I would love to see Meghan join the Royals because she will put Kate to shame and even if she is calculating, she works. I would much prefer her as my future queen (if the monarchy survives that long).

  38. greyparrot says:

    In this day and age, I think the Duchess would have to be completely delusional to want to have that appeal to people.

    • Ellie says:

      The 80s were ridiculous, I grant you; but there was a certain warmth in the air then that is lacking now. There was such a sense of hope mixed in with the materialism, vanity, etc. (Can you imagine a song like “We are the World” becoming a #1 hit now?) I think people crave some of that nutty hopefulness and humor.

      Kate could capitalize on that and show some sincere kindness, diligence, and self-derogatory humor. I think people would adore her for it. Everyone hates the pressure to be perfect. She could show her softer human side and I think people would really like it. Get rested and healthy and go without makeup and show her naturally curly hair on occasion. Work A LOT more with “regular” people at non-gala functions. Kids like her and that speaks well of a person.

      A genuine good heart would be so much more lauded than charisma.

  39. seesittellsit says:

    I think the BRF is probably grateful for someone without charisma after Diana – I think they know from experience that charisma is a dangerous quality for people who are supposed to be where they are for other reasons. I’ll bet they probably prefer Kate’s careful stolidity. If she would only back that up with more work . . . it would be fine.

  40. A says:

    I don’t think Kate wants to be Diana, and I don’t think William wants her to be like Diana. And I definitely don’t think the RF would have ever entertained the idea of allowing another person like Diana to marry into the family. (By which I mean, had William been with someone who was like her, it’s very likely they would have discouraged the romance over time). They don’t need a “star”, they need a team player who looks good and does the job but doesn’t command a lot of attention to themselves over the firm.

    I have a hunch that that’s part of the reason why William’s PR works overtime to hype him up at the explicit expense of Harry. Every time Harry experiences a bout of popular sentiment that makes him stand out, the coverage is “balanced” with a lukewarm/negative story about him at some point. It’s also why Charles was so annoyed about Harry’s letter to the press which took away attention from the tour he was on at the time. They don’t want individual high-flyers, they want a group of people who revolve around the central monarch, who can prop her up and the ideal of the institution without outshining it. And Kate, regardless of her work hours, is boring enough that she fits that bill perfectly. And even when she does try and draw attention to herself (via various shots up her skirt, wearing bright clothing to sombre occasions etc etc), she comes off as more juvenile and annoying than anything else.

    • A says:

      To clarify, by boring, I mean boring personality. She has no character to her. She’s utterly bland in terms of who she is as a person and has very little substance. She likes attention, but she commands it by acting like an utter twit rather than with anything else, so.

      • magnoliarose says:

        I agree with you about her. They practically act like she doesn’t even exist. Unfortunately, it isn’t doing the institution any favors. By body language, it doesn’t seem like Charles likes her very much. I think when he is monarch more will come out about what he thinks about her.

  41. blonde555 says:

    She’s as exciting as a wet mop.
    Loved the new princess Di docuseries from the BBC, what a d*** Charles was after they got engaged when he answered to “are you in love?” And he said “yes, whatever that means” CRINGE.

  42. Mel says:

    I am no fan of Kate’s (I couldn’t care less about her), but all these statements and comments about her lack of “charisma” sound as accusations, as if “charisma” = good, “no charisma” = bad.
    “Charisma” in itself has no value at all unless it is used for good; in fact, it is known to be a distinctive trait of many a sociopath (though not every charismatic person is one, of course).
    Now, why would the media and the public hold her perceived lack of charisma against Kate? The answer is clear: because she lacks entertainment value. Chuck himself said it very well: “We’re a bloody soap opera to them” (= the public). That is ALL they are, nowadays.

    As for Diana: like a few others who have commented, I find her mythologisation, now and when she was alive, quite puzzling (and hypocritical on the part of the media). I don’t think she “destroyed” the Windsors at all (they did that, and are doing it, all by themselves); and she was remarkably ill-suited for the “job” she signed up for willingly (I don’t believe for a minute she was simply madly in love with Charles as a person, not as a prince and heir to the throne). She wasn’t a particularly good speaker, but she was very good with people (unless you were in her “inner circle”, willing to be manipulated or prepared to be given the cold shoulder all of the sudden).
    Furthermore, I think much – not all – of her “charisma” came from shockingly superficial sources (that the public at large would never admit), such as the brightness of her hair and smile, as well as her posture. I cannot help but wonder: would she be equally “charismatic” if she were a brown-eyed, short-haired brunette? (Just to be clear: of course I am not saying that a brown-eyed short-haired brunette is less charismatic – or beautiful, or sexy – than a cobalt-blue-eyed short-haired blond; I am saying that in Diana’s specific case that might be true.)

    But at least she actively used her “charisma” for a greater good.

    • Bitsy says:

      ITA! I’ve read lots of accounts from other celebs that met her and found her (princess Di) extremely shy and immature. For instance, in one of the JFK Jr biographies he was supposedly going to interview her for George Mag but upon meeting didn’t think she had anything of value to say.
      Her legacy, like so many, is built on cherry-picked photos and sycophants.

  43. Scarlett says:

    The most interesting thing about Kate is her persistence in exposing herself at airports, war memorials etc, it has to be some kind of disorder….. Just gets me that people keep on about how she has not put a foot wrong. We never saw Diana’s undercarriage that’s for sure.

  44. Margaret says:

    It wouldn’t matter that Kate is as boring as a sheet of cardboard and has no personality or charisma, if she worked hard and earned our respect.

    • notasugarhere says:

      +1. I find Queen Mathilde of Belgium boring (sorry, Belgium), but she does her job and that is what matters. Then again in Belgium, given the precarious place the royals have been in for awhile, bland is a good look for the royal family.

  45. Wow says:

    Let Kate be Kate. We don’t need anyone trying to turn her into another Diana.

  46. PrincessK says:

    The less we hear from the awful Burrell the better. William definitely wouldn’t want Kate to attract the same kind of attention as Diana, but on the other hand he wants to please the public and if he had successfully persuaded Isabella Anstrruther Gough Calthrope to marry him the British public would have adored her as a real beauty with a personality. So hmmm… People do say that the Queen loves Kate, after Diana she probably would. But its early days, anything can still happen and Kate may still well roar!