Duchess Kate makes her first public speech at a hospice opening: how did she do?


I’ve been waiting for a few hours to see if we would get the new photos of Duchess Kate, but we haven’t. So these are just some more photos of Kate from last week’s outing for that Children & the Arts charity thing, the one she did with Camilla and Charles. You can see the new photos of Kate here, at The Mail. Kate borrowed a dress from her mother! It’s a royal blue Reiss dress, and yes, it’s very, very buttony. Kate got her Button Problem from her mother. She comes by it genetically.

Really, though, I just wanted to talk about Kate’s first public speech! She made her first speech (as a duchess) at the opening of the East Anglia Children’s Hospice, outside London today. We already heard her speak during her engagement interview back in 2010. At the time, some of Kate’s old classmates commented on her “new voice” – it seems like part of Kate’s “princess lessons” were some diction and elocution lessons which gave her a more “clipped” accent. I think Kate has probably done hours of work just to make this short speech:

According to People Mag’s sources, she wrote it herself. Which… I don’t really believe. I think she had a hand in it, sure. But I just don’t believe that some staffers didn’t help her, or that even this short speech wasn’t vetted by the Palace. She says, in part, “I am only sorry that William can’t be here today. He would love it here… A view of his – that I share – is that through teamwork, so much can be achieved. What you have all achieved is extraordinary… I had a pre-conceived idea as to what to expect. Far from being a clinical depressing place for sick children, it was a home. Most importantly, it was a family home, a happy place of stability, support and care. It was a place of fun… [The work you do is] inspirational, it’s a shining example of the support and care that is delivered,” and added, “The feelings you inspire – feelings of love and of hope – offer a chance to families to live a life they never thought could be possible.”

As for her manner… well, she did fine for her first speech. She seemed nervous, and she kept checking her notes – but that’s why you have notes. Because when you’re speaking in front of an audience, sometimes your mind goes blank. I think her manner inspired sympathy, but I’d personally like to see her elocution lessons toned down a bit. She seemed like she was trying too hard to remember all of her coaching. She would be better if she was encouraged to be more natural, even if that means speaking with her normal voice, in her normal accent.

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet.

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104 Responses to “Duchess Kate makes her first public speech at a hospice opening: how did she do?”

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  1. Goofpuff says:

    I agree. She spoke slowly but each word was a labor in itself to force her voice into that fake posh accent. It didn’t sound natural at all. Not like when pippa who received the same education spoke. Ugh Kate. Why why? Just be yourself.

    • Cerulean says:

      That is what is cringe inducing. A phony accent. How can she speak if she has to remember how to say the words the exact right way. They hid her until she could pull it off kinda sorta.

  2. Rose says:

    She sounds terrified! I don’t blame her though, she’s under a lot of scutiny. She sounds like she’s going to cry, still it’s fine. I think the ‘speech coach’ at the Palace makes them pause in some odd places and for too long. It was the same with Diana

    • brin says:

      Yeah, I feel bad for her, I’d be a wreck, too. Hope it gets easier for her.

    • L says:

      I’d be terrified to. Aren’t more people afraid of speaking in public than most other fears?

    • Freya says:

      She was nervous, and it was the first time she gave a speech as Duchess of Cambridge. She will give many more. It will get easier. She’ll grow in her job.

  3. Hautie says:

    I will never understand why this girl is judge so harshly.

    Kate has made a point to not do anything to embarrass her self. Or her husbands family. And lets be real… the Royal family is no picnic.

    So taking voice lessons is nothing new. Practically every successful actress/public personality has had years of voice lessons to lose bad speaking habits. And to strengthen their ability to speak in public. Why should Kate be any different.

    She is now and will be forever a very public person. Who has taken the steps to be the best she can be. But yet she is heckled about it. And I am tired of the whole English cliquish behavior about “class”. As if she is one step up from being poor white trash. (a Southern term)

    At least the Royal family took enough interest in her to prepare her for this job. Which lets be real. She knew she had at least 3 years before they got engaged. So she isn’t taken any chances on looking like a idiot.

    • Goofpuff says:

      A middleclass accent is not a bad speech habit.

    • brasileira says:

      She’s judged so harshly because she made it her goal to become a princess, yet, did nothing but the waiting part to achieve that. I don’t feel sorry at all. How many of you around here had half her privileges in life and get all of her passes in your job, at least?

      • Linney says:

        Why don’t you try feeling nothing for her at all? You don’t know her and never will. Why spend so much time thinking of ways to shit all over her?

      • bluhare says:

        And what else was she supposed to do while she was waiting for William to propose? If she would have done anything to embarrass the royals, she’d have been out.

        Whether I think it was well spent time is not the issue here. She obviously thought so and it worked out for her.

      • JulieM says:

        Please, Katie fan club. Please stop with all the excuses as to why she did nothing for 6 years waiting for William to marry her. Poor dear. There still is no there there.

        Linny- why spend so much time making excuses for her?

      • maemay says:

        Is it really this serious? I guess she could of been some engineer or something but that would not change the fact that when she became princess her main existence is to provide and heir, wave and cut ribbons.

      • Jaxx says:

        Made it her goal to become a princess? You know this for certain? If so, how? I get that she went to that particular college because William went there but how do you know that she didn’t truly come to love him and just wants to be his wife? Maybe all the royal duties are just something she knew she would have to put up with in order to be with him. That makes more sense to me as I don’t know why anyone would want this thankless job where you get criticized for absolutely everything.

  4. lisa says:

    It was a very short speech. I don’t get why she needed to keep looking at the paper.

    She just seemed nervous. I’m sure as time goes on it will become second nature.

    • kay says:

      I agree.

    • P.J. says:

      Exactly. The more you speak in public, the better you get. Today the entire world was watching Kate’s first speech, so the pressure was on. In a few months time, she’ll be much more polished. In the meantime it’s a delight to watch Kate grow and evolve.

    • brasileira says:

      Agree. I get why she’s nervous, but, serious, she made ME nervous in the first three lines she read. I think reading one line at a time is better than reading one word at a time. There, one more pass to the 30 year old child.

    • bluhare says:

      Good lord, people, just think how nervous you would be if you were making your first public speech, not only in front of a small live audience, but one that is being videotaped and will be shown all over the world. Then picked apart word by word?

      If there’s a single one of you who wouldn’t be nervous, I’d like to know. I’ve done a lot of public speaking and I’m not nervous in front of a live audience but I sure would be if I was being videotaped for the world’s consumption. And, yes, I’d have notes.

      EDIT: This was meant as a stand alone comment. Didn’t mean to reply. Sorry! (See, I’m better at public speaking than typing!)

  5. Zimmer says:

    I think she did fine for her first speech. It’s normal to be nervous. It is just so painful to watch her, being so thin. Her mother managed to make the dress look better. Kate looks like she can’t quite fill it. I wish she wouldn’t be afraid to eat, but I guess under that pressure, a person would tend to be too fat or too thin.

  6. bellla chai says:

    Did anyone else notice that she seemed to try to flip her hair every time she looked up?

    The poor girl was so nervous.

  7. Talie says:

    Yeah, in that video of her sister from last week…you can see that Kate was obviously raised speaking a very different way. She probably would feel better if she just relaxed and was herself. I think she checked her notes too much, but it’s probably so much pressure knowing everyone will pick you apart.

  8. Jackie says:

    she is very nervous and trying so hard, i actually feel sorry for her.

    i hate it when people who live in ludicrous cocoons of wealth and privilege make me have sympathy for them!

  9. maemay says:

    She sounds like Hermione Granger.

    • Boo says:

      Was thinking the EXACT SAME THING. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

      • Belle says:

        Well… not that there is anything wrong with that… if you are Hermione Granger(;

      • LAK says:

        Hermoine Granger is a terrible comparison because she sounds forced. Like she is very aware of how words should be pronounced correctly and phonetically per her speech coach.

        It’s very distracting and really a pity that she never settled into a more relaxed speech pattern with subsequent HP films.

  10. Sunny says:

    The dress was actually hers and her mother borrowed it.

    Obviously she was nervous but she did a great job for her first speech. Keep it up Kate!

    • L says:

      Yup, it’s Kate’s dress. Her mom borrowed it from her (which says alot about Carol wanting to stay ‘hip’ to me)

      Is it bad that I thought it looked better on her mom? Although for a hospice opening, I thought it was lovely.

  11. birdie says:

    Funny how she looks down to her card for the last time: … thank you!

  12. KLO says:

    She did well. She’ll settle into it, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  13. lulu says:

    Oh dear. She’s sooooo nervous. That doesn’t bode well for a life in public. I wonder if she’ll crack up. I feel really sorry for her….

  14. FOREVER says:

    Nervouse give her time she will be fine and I think someone mentioned had it been her own speech she would have rememberd more. So bitch write your own shit and memorise.

  15. Suz says:

    She sounds terrified but I would be, too, if I were in that position. She’ll get a lot better as time goes on. She looks good, as usual.

    I don’t get the English obsession with voices, but I know it’s there.

  16. Reece says:

    Yeah she was nervous. Quick movements and shallow breathing. She did ok though.

    Only critique I have is, I wonder how long til she can be on her own and stop referencing Will? Or is that a newlywed requirement?

  17. Marie says:

    Wow, a lot of comments from those who will never know the pressure of being in her shoes and knowing you are the on track to be the future Queen of England, also knowing the current Queen whose popularity has lasted decades, is looking on. At least some are giving her a break.There is always someone worse or better off than you…so what?

    She has many years to evolve into her role. Maybe becoming a mom one day will improve her confidence and maturity. I wish her the best.

  18. HoustonGrl says:

    Sorry, but Kate just seems kind of dim. Maybe that’s why the bar is set sooooo low for her. A 30-year-old woman, college educated, should be able to handle a two paragraph speech without the whole world feeling sorry for her, especially considering how much support and training she receives, but she could barely muster three words at a time! I find her delivery totally uninspiring.

    • Happymom says:

      Perhaps the fact that millions of people were going to view it and critique it made her a bit nervous? I have a college degree and loathe public speaking. I don’t think it has anything to do with intelligence. She’s going to have do a bazillion of these speeches over her royal life-I’m sure she’ll become a lot more comfortable as she goes along.

    • Linney says:

      I’m 30 and highly educated and I’d probably be nervous as hell. What does her age and education have to do with anything? Millions of people will have seen this. That, in and of itself, is enough to excuse her shaky delivery.

    • Anne says:

      Being a confident and capable public speaker has nothing to do with intelligence. Many very intelligent people are terrible public speakers.

    • GoodCapon says:

      Diana did way better in her first public speech when she were only 20 yrs old (anne_000 posted the video down below) and she had to speak Welsh!

      Why the Waity fans keep making excuses for this emotionless dolt is beyond me.

      • MsJAPrufrock says:

        Agreed! There’s nothing wrong with being a bit nervous and making some mistake on your first go at public speaking–this happens to the best of us, but being a boring, unthinking robot is unacceptable. Middleton is being treated like the perpetual woman-child at 30.

  19. blonde on the dock says:

    I think she’s doing a fabulous job and see nothing to pick apart. The pressure to be perfect must be daunting to say the least.

  20. Bobbie says:

    Okay, normally I like her a lot and think she’s beautiful but this is hilarious. She is looking at her notes every two second. “Thank you” look down “for inviting me” look down “here” look down. Funny! She’s a terrible public speaker or just really, really nervous. SURE she wrote that speech. And she’s also a healthy size 8. Ha!

  21. ellen says:

    C’mon everyone of the royal family…(even diana) read their speech. They don’t have to memorize them!

  22. grace says:

    Amazing job — for a 10 year old.

    • Jackie says:

      lol!

    • poppy says:

      Actually the 9year old Belgian Princess Elizabeth made a much better job of her first speach, opening a childrens hospital named after her a few months ago and she gave it in her second language Dutch.

  23. Addison says:

    Even presidents read their speeches, at least she didn’t write it on her hand a la Palin!

    As someone who has been in front of several hundred people knows, it takes a while to be comfortable doing so. So those of you who are harping on her for looking at her notes and such, until you have done it then don’t even criticize. You’re not in her shoes so you don’t know how nervous one gets to be in front of hundreds of people. Maybe thousands.

    Heck, I remember back in my school days some of the kids were so nervous they hummed and hawed their way through it. So it was not their thing. Obviously. She did her best. She’ll get better. I hope someday you all eat your words. Who knows it could be me having to eat mine. At this point leave her alone.

    • bluhare says:

      Oh do I remember the first few times. I would be nervous and my voice would quaver. Even after I’d started to loosen up in my head it would still quaver. Hated it.

      I don’t do that any more, but I sure remember and it gives me much empathy for her position today.

      • badrockandroll says:

        Me too! Actually, I just started public speaking and doing a local cable tv show, so I’m still nervous. I know that I have improved since I started, but there is so much to learn about pausing, phrasing and emphasis. I write all my own stuff but I still read my notes – sort of a security blanket I think. I’m terrified that I will break into a big case of the “ums” or the “like, you knows” or dry mouth or blank brain. Also, what works for a reader doesn’t always work for a listener, so I have really had to change my writing style.

        My audience is typical cable size (my mom and a few others!)but it is terrifying nonetheless knowing that someone who doesn’t love me like my mom does (“you were really good dear”) could bump into me in the grocery store and tear into me for my content, my style or the blouse I happened to have worn that day.

        Watching myself is painful – I had no idea I gesticulated so wildly, so taming my hands as well as learning to stare and smile at the camera like it is my friend are also part of my learning path.

  24. Luls says:

    Ok the things that bothered me the most were the EXTENDED breaks after every 3 words!! And the SUPER fake annoying accent!! She doesnt sound like herself at all!

    Not to mention she sounds on the verge of tears at any moment! :S
    It was extremely uncomfortable for me as the ‘audience’ to watch this.
    public speaking FAIL.

    I’m sure she’ll get better with time though…

  25. sweetcrabsalad says:

    I followed the Daily Mail link and saw Carol Middleton’s nips through that dress and now I need to get my brain bleached.

  26. Sachi says:

    I see the “Boohoo, poor Kate Middleton, let’s give her a break!” bandwagon is out in force today.

    Yeah, let’s all feel sorry for poor Kate who was so, so nervous for her first very very short public speech. She’ll get better. She has a lifetime of speeches ahead of her. She’s under so much scrutiny, the poor dear, who wouldn’t be nervous? Try being in her shoes for once, you unfeeling witches! She couldn’t take elocution classes and she couldn’t do anything else before marriage because she might embarrass the royal family!!!!!!1!!!!

    Give me a break.

    She’s nervous and she did poorly because she has little practice. She probably never had any practice.

    Here’s one thing she could have done: she could have gone to work and achieved life experiences that would help her in the future.

    She could have earned confidence giving speeches at meetings, giving presentations at her workplace, or volunteering at events in which she could facilitate the discussions of certain issues like poverty, or illnesses like cancer.

    Instead, she’s done nothing but party and shop and waste a whole decade being nothing but a Prince’s girlfriend who has had no other goals and dreams but be William’s wife.

    It’s all fun and dandy when you’re rich and you never have to lift a finger to work, but in the long run, you’ll do more of a disservice to yourself if you truly want to live a life doing nothing and being nothing and not seeking ways to enrich yourself in knowledge and experience.

    I’m never gonna feel sorry for someone like her who’s had all the privileges and advantages than most people can ever have, yet she chose to do nothing to better herself. She chose to be nothing but a glorified royal girlfriend.

    I would understand it if she’s just a terrible public speaker but she’s trying to improve and she’s taking classes. But we’ve heard nothing of her endeavors but shopping, partying, and going on vacations.

    She’s put no effort in herself than what was necessary to get the ring.

    Yeah, she’ll get better, so say her fans.

    But what if she doesn’t? What if she never gets over her nervousness because she’s too old to gain confidence at this point in her life? She’s 30 years old yet she’s a wreck when giving a 2-paragraph speech because, most likely, she’s never experienced this situation before.

    Looking at the paper after every word, that fake posh accent, zero confidence and charisma…she looked like she just saw that speech for the very first time when she was reading it and never practiced it.

    When I was in high school, I moved to Canada. Never spoke a word of English before moving here. 2 weeks after starting school, I had to give a presentation in my science class. I was so nervous that I’d fumble and the class would laugh at me.

    But I practiced my speech. I practiced every day on how to present my poster and explain the contents. I practiced how to tell jokes to make my audience relax. I practiced how to make eye contact all the time. I practiced, and practiced, and practiced until I got the hang of it.

    By the end of that school year I could speak English well. I was a part of a debate presentation about euthanasia that was done in front of the whole school. I volunteered to co-chair the discussion in my school for the local MPs about the election.

    I was 14 years old at the time.

    I’m 7 years younger than Kate and am working in London, England and living here by myself. I didn’t have the life of luxury she had, so I was “forced” to strive to be better. But I’m glad I did seek to better myself, because I would take it as the worst insult for others to pity me, were I a 30-year old woman, an adult, and yet still treated like a child who must be given dozens of chances to get things right. I’d rather be held in a high standard and given tough love and criticisms instead of being coddled and always treated with comments like, “Give her time, she’ll get better.”

    • Brenda C. says:

      If there was any doubt over Catherine using her hair as a crutch, one only has to look at this video to see the truth.

      She only touched her hair once during the speech but there were many times throughout where she tossed her hair back to do a subtle hair flip. And she couldn’t even make it off that tiny stage before she was touching her hair again.

      I do feel for her to some extent. It must be terribly nerve wracking to know you are not just speaking to a room full of strangers but to a wider audience of millions. But I do agree with Sachi that had Catherine had more real life experience, speeches like these would be far more manageable for her to handle.

    • Goofpuff says:

      It didn’t look like she practiced her actual speech that much if at all, nervous or not. More like practiced her elocution not the speech. And he’ll no that she wrote that.

    • The Original Mia says:

      Nothing more needs to be said. You’ve said it all. She’s 30, not 3. She’s been a Duchess for a year. She’s had training for a year & this is the best she can do. Ridiculous. Oh, and there’s no way in hell she wrote that. If she had, the words would have flowed naturally. She even had to look down to say Thank you. FML!

    • HoustonGrl says:

      Thank you Sachi! I too had to learn English (at age 10) so I can really empathize with what you went through.

      I made a critical comment about Kate’s pathetic speech and got devoured. Being nervous is one thing, but she came across like she’d never even read it before!! There’s no excuse for that, no matter how nervous you are!

      I also had to do a number of speeches in undergrad/grad school. I once had to speak at a huge city council meeting, in front of the mayor and state legislators to argue for funding for a program at my university. I could not have messed up that speech because it would have made me, my graduate department, my advisors, my university look bad. So I practiced like HELL. And it was several minutes long, not two paragraphs. Pressure is good sometimes. Challenging yourself is essential to personal growth and development. Kate has NOT challenged herself, and continues to put in the minimal mental effort, that’s why she came across as a barbie-robot today. Of course, she always “looks” good, no efforts spared there. She is all looks and no substance.

      Cannot believe the amount of excuses people make for this child woman! What’s next on the agenda, will we applaud when Kate learns to tie her shoes??!

    • LAK says:

      @sachi-another comparison to make, that has to be made to Diana….

      Her earliest if not first speech was given to some welsh grandees….in welsh.

      People excuse this girl like she didn’t know or was accidentally tricked into this life.

    • Hmmm says:

      I love you. You saved me millions of words.

    • JulieM says:

      Word, Sachi. You said it all. Oh, the pearl clutching of the waity fan club.

      And I don’t think she wrote it either.

    • Boo says:

      So well said, Sachi! i was going to say the same thing, but i think you said it better :)

    • iseepinkelefants says:

      Round of appluase.

      The Waity brigade is such a sad lot.

  27. Justine says:

    Everytime I see pictures of her she has more hair. Seems fake. What do you think?

    • Belle says:

      Agree. I wonder if there is a name for having a ‘distorted hair image’… kind of like a distorted body image, when one sees themselves as ‘fat’ no matter how ghastly thin they are.

      Is it possible that no matter how poofy Kate makes her hair, she will still see it as flat? Scary(;

    • Sofia says:

      That is her real hair, she never had flat hair. It just looks like that because it has been blow dried with a round brush by a pro. I have same kind of hair after a blow dry. People always tell me I have gorgeous hair when I blow it out but if you catch me after an air dry, it’s an awful puffy frizzy mess. Someone told me about a week ago that I have gorgeous hair and I said “my hair doesn’t really look like this” she said “so what is it a figment of my imagination” smart ass lol.

  28. Belle says:

    I can imagine that she was INCREDIBLY nervous… and I don’t blame her for that.

    It was very awkward though… and she wasn’t ‘checking’ her notes, she was reading her notes. I do think she should have been able to get through more than a few words before having to look back down at her notes, as it was really distracting. I’m sure she had plenty of time to practice… maybe it was decided that it was better to pause, take a breath, and look at her notes than it would be to hyperventilate, flub the words and/or get lost in her speech and have to stop and figure out where she was.

    So, I give her credit for getting through it… though I think she is really going to struggle with this aspect of her ‘duties’. Honestly, I think if William were there, she would have been even MORE nervous! Yes, she will improve over time, with practice… but only if she starts doing more public speaking. I get the feeling she will avoid it at all costs (not that I blame her).

    As for the coaching and speaking ‘lessons’, I think it is sad… and even a bit offensive that she wasn’t good enough the way she was, to represent the royals. I understand the need for some direction and I guess even ‘royal lessons’ to a certain extent, but it seems a bit over done);

    • Jessica says:

      Duuude…. Wondering the same thing…

    • Jessica says:

      I could only make it through the first minute and a half. She is so boring and long winded. Blahblahblah is all I heard . However, her hair was flowing like a Pantene commercial, so at least it wasnt a total wash.

  29. Cerulean says:

    Oh for goodness sake she is a 30 year old woman who wanted this job. It’s not that hard to read a speech.
    All this poor girl for a grown woman! It was a speech not a dissertation and she didn’t even have to memorize it. She has been given chance after chance to distinguish herself and she hasn’t.

    I don’t think the bulb is burning brightly here. Now I see why people like Pippa better. There is at least some spark of independence there.

  30. Bobbie says:

    I’ll give her credit for the cause- what an awesome cause, but I went to that Daily Mall article and it sounds like she was very awkward with the children at the home. A lot of people are like this, they don’t quite know how to act around children with disabilities (having a disabled family member I see this first hand), but do you remember Diana? She always had so much grace. This princess just doesn’t have that natural connection with people, especially children.

  31. christinne says:

    O.M.G! I just wasted 5 minutes for 5 sentences that lack any substance! Barbie spoke!

    Good grief! What a freakin’ disaster!

  32. SmartGirlsAlwaysWinInTheEnd says:

    I think she did very well!

  33. Susannah says:

    I’m not a Kate hater but I am a realist. This speech was abysmal. She has only improved slightly since the engagement interview which was 16 months ago. She probably wrote/helped write this speech months ago. She should have it memorized by now.

    IQ is an issue with Kate. She needs someone to tell her every move (watch it in the videos). She is usually looking to someone, waiting for her cue. Sachi is right. She doesn’t have the confidence or experience to handle herself independently so she just looks childish and, well, I won’t say dumb because it sounds really mean…

  34. Lisa says:

    Anyone who thinks she spoke well has very low standards for what they believe women can achieve. Women her age — and younger — are prosecuting crimes, performing life saving surgery, caring for disabled children, serving in war zones. I could go on and on.

    I wouldn’t even call what she delivered a speech — no substance, no policy statements. They were just opening remarks and she needed notes for them. Who needs notes to figure out how to say thank you? I fear that brain surgery had some cognitive impact on her.

    For those making excuses or thinking she did a great job — please, please expect more of yourselves and know that women are capable of great things.

    That said, it seems like a really great charity and I hope the children and their families derived some comfort and joy from the day.

    • katy says:

      I take offence to your comment, I’m an OBGYN and I take great pride in what I have accomplished at 28. Despite my education, I have trouble speaking in front of large crowds let alone millions of viewers around the world. Kate was asked to say a few words and she did, there was no “policy” involved, she’s doing her job… and it was her fist public solo speaking engagement to boot. Where does all the hate for this girl who has done nothing wrong come from??? I can’t believe anyone here is so perfect that they should be casting stones. I think she’s handling herself with grace and is fulfilling her role as Duchess well.
      I’ll start hating when she’s caught stealing, lying or acting like a bratty, entitled reality star…

      • Lisa says:

        Katy –

        Public speaking is not your job; it is Kate’s. If you delivered babies as weakly as Kate spoke today you would be on the receiving end of well- founded criticism as well if not out of a job or on the receiving end of a few malpractice suits.

        No educated 30 year old woman should need notes to say thank you — not after months to prepare and doubtless access to the best professional advice available. In my opinion, she did not speak well or effectively today and for people to say she did or to excuse it really lowers the bar.

        Also, hate is a very strong word. Please do not impute it to me.

  35. Fue McCormick says:

    Off topic: That blue ring was ugly when Diana wore it and it’s still ugly. I’d be pissed if I had to wear that thing.

  36. poppy says:

    Actually I’m beginning to think ‘Kate, Poor You’, Princess Margaret said exactly the same thing to her sister QEII when she became queen .

    Be very careful what you wish for, she has it cushy at the moment but she has a very boring, very demanding life ahead of her. When you look at the schedule of some of senior royals she can expect around 10 functions a week, sometimes four in a day when she is outside London.

    No matter how she is feeling she will have to be there because people make plans sometimes years in advance for royals to attend these events. She will have a life time of ‘attending the annual dinner of British Accountants at Fishmongers Hall’ and ‘attending C Brandauer and Company Limited on the occasion of its 150th anniversary (they manufacture machine parts) then onto ‘The Lord Provost’s Farewell Dinner in Edinburgh’ not to mention as patron of ‘The Wooden Spoon Society she will open their new premises’ plus a short trip to Birmingham ‘to attend the city’s annual cat and dog show’ and then the ‘Grand Mess of XXX regiment in Leighton Buzzard’and have new speaches ready for each one ….. and no I’m not making this up, these are actual events Princess Anne has on her schedule, and more of the same for weeks, months and years on end, sounds wonderful doesn’t it? Not to mention she will have to look tip top in a new outfit at every event because she will be scrutinized from hair to toes at every single moment from every possible angle and bitched about the next day on 6 continents.

    Not that I like Kate much but as someone up thread said I hope she doesn’t crack. I know I would. No wonder Harry is having trouble finding a future mate, most women are smart enough to give this life a miss once they realize what it entails, which tends to make me think the Duchess is even dimmer than I originally thought.

    • Lisa says:

      Hear, hear!

    • Violet says:

      I agree with Poppy… the Duchess, after all, “rushed in where angels fear to tread.” Forgive the cliche. She pursued this title, she wanted the attention, the clothes, the life in front of the cameras. But no substance beyond the eye candy. Dim really.

  37. anne_000 says:

    What an awkward speech…

    I kept wondering how she was able to find her place on the paper if she kept looking up. I kept watching her hands to see if she was using her fingers to guide her on the paper. Now I’m wondering if she was reading off an Ipad and each section of each sentence was flashed up on the screen, sort of like cue cards or a teleprompter.

    So many jerky up and down movements of the head would have given me motion sickness. I’m not going back to review the video to count how many times she had to do that.
    *****

    Compare Kate’s first public speech with Diana’s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2sjrbK3J3k

    Diana’s first public speech since her wedding was done on 10/29/81 when she was 20 years old, ten years younger than Kate, 30. She gave her speech at a formal government function in Wales in front of what looks like a few dozen officials on-screen and possibly several dozen in total if you count those off-screen including the reporters & cameramen. The heavy sound of the applause shows there were far more people there at Diana’s than at Kate’s. Whereas at Kate’s speech, there seemed to be maybe a dozen people in that room, including the reporters and cameraman and her own entourage. Also, she didn’t do it in front of an official government event, but at a far more casual setting.

    Diana also said part of her speech in Welsh, seemingly remembering most, if not all of the Welsh words. Though she too kept looking down at her notes, it was more fluid, as if she was more familiar with her speech than Kate was with hers. Diana seemed to have memorized her speech and used her notes only as a slight crutch, whereas Kate seemed to be reading her speech bit by bit.

    While Diana’s speech seemed to be over quicker than Kate’s, I think it was only because she said it faster. I think Kate’s speech was probably as short as Diana’s too if only she hadn’t taken those long awkward pauses.

    Also, Diana had more of a charm when giving her speech and more in tune with her audience. Kate seemed to be wishing at every breath to want to get it done and over with.

    For all that was said about Diana’s lack of higher education, I think she was more intelligent and knowledgeable over all than Kate will ever be.

    Some might say it’s unfair to compare the two, but Kate had a ten-year jump start on Diana when they married into the family. And because of this, Kate shouldn’t act like she has less experience than Diana did when Diana was only just 20 years old. At 30 years old, Kate should have more of a mature nature about her than 20 year old Diana did. Anyhoo, jmo.

    • GoodCapon says:

      Diana is a shy person but she delivered a good first public speech. Waity is far from shy, but she and her Waity fans are using the ‘I’m not good with public speaking/she was nervous’ excuse to justify her mediocre performance.

    • Jaxx says:

      Thanks for that clip and a chance to revisit Diana. It made me sad, but wow, she did have such enormous charm, didn’t she? I can’t believe anyone could think Kate could be another Diana. There is no chance.

      Funny too, on the same page as your clip was one titled I’m Not Stupid. Yes, Diana had those complaints in her early years. But never mind, what I was most shocked by were her clothes. I remember her having such style but the montage of shots with the clip showed so many Bows! Ruffles! Furbelows! And just volumes of fabric she was was swamped in. Not to mention: Shoulder Pads. Thank God those are gone.

      Looking at Kate now she is really showing a classy style. Beside her Diana’s clothes now look fussy and overdone. Times change.

      But the palace can certainly relax. No way Kate will ever outshine the Diana years.

    • Sofia says:

      There is no comparison. Diana was more natural and charming. Her audience was more intimidating as well but she did a great job. Kate read every word, it was just awkward.

  38. Vincent says:

    Clearly the Duchess does not require my help – but to those posting harsh comments – try doing it yourself. Yes, she seems nervous, of course – probably a billion people watching- but she does well.
    Public speaking is a learned skill that takes practice. She sounded a bit like Elizabeth Rex way back in the day – and will be every bit as great in her own time. So everyone please take a deep breath, give her a chance, and relax.

    • Susannah says:

      Let’s call a spade a spade.

      Today, a 30 year old college graduate made a 3.5 minute speech in front of a dozen people. She continually checked her notes as she spoke. She spoke with little emotion or enthusiasm. Her speech sounded like a fill-in-the-blank template that could be used for any occasion.

      There, if any other woman did this today, she would be snickered at. How is it that Kate is glorified? Are your standards so low?

      • maemay says:

        Gee it really is this serious?

      • Vincent says:

        I disagree – surely you do not believe this speech was given just to the dozen people in the room. She chose the life, to be sure -and all that goes with it -yada- but this speech is under the microscope, like everything else she does – most commenters just sound jealous and lame. Just sayin’

  39. bettyrose says:

    I was about her age the first time I taught a class. It was a two hour class and I scripted every moment of it in advance. I lay awake the night before with nerves. But, ultimately, I got in front the class, put my notes aside, and winged it. I realized I knew what I wanted to say without reading my script. Until that very moment I wasn’t sure I could do it, but when the moment came . . .I don’t know, her reliance on those notes worries me for her future as a public figure.

  40. Lorrie says:

    I know she was nervous, as I would be too, but can she keep her hands out of her hair for once? Pull it back if you think you are going to play with it.

  41. GoodCapon says:

    It boggles the mind how people have to lower their standards to the negative level in order to praise this woman. She was extremely mediocre – GET OVER IT. And for those who defend her saying even adults/highly intelligent people have trouble with public speaking – what those people lack in elocution they make up for through their hard work and skills. Kate has nothing to bring to the table aside from preening and strutting her new clothes for the cameras.

    This is a 30 year old woman who is still being treated like a baby. So she gave a speech – hurray! Give her three biscuits! Give her one month holiday for doing a great job! Really, is this something to be proud of? Should she really be praised for doing so little?

  42. Hypocricy says:

    I don’t understand the overeaction of some people in here, and no i am not refering to those who criticize her speech.

    She is a public persona; She puts herself for public consumption..it goes with her JOB. She will be criticized or applauded like all the rest in her position. Nobody calls her names like many other public persona who are called names for just breathing…though we don’t personally know them too.

    People with a mind of their own will have an opinion about her public professional exercise…just like you will have for a singer who didn’t deliver well. I remembered beyonce being harshly criticized for botchering the french language in a song during the Oscars a few years ago, but i digress.

    Sure it’s not that serious. Then why babysitting her and making her a victim of normal public critic over something she did publicly to begin with…something that will trigger critic over anyone else in the same position ?

    Unlike anyone else in her position, whatever their status, did she has a special immunity card for speech exercise critic that i am not aware of ?

  43. Hm says:

    She was cute when she said she wished William could be there, and she gave a little dimpled smile.

  44. Anastasia says:

    When your hair is bigger than you, you have a problem. And I’m co-signing with everyone saying she’s being held to such LOW standards!!! Come on! More should be expected of her at this point. And if it’s not now, it never will be.

    Perhaps the royals are just waiting for her to get pregnant and than they can stick her in the background as a royal incubator.

  45. Ali says:

    I think all-in-all Kate did a great job. It was really a good speech – sincere, sweet and personal. Actually, all the royals (incl. William, Harry, Charles & the Queen) give their speeches by reading a typed version of the entire speech aloud. So it was brave of Kate to do her first public speech from memory (using cue-cards as backup only), amidst so much media hype and with the whole world watching. Understandably she was nervious, and it became apparent that she was out of her comfort zone and has timing & delivery issues to address. BUT, she got up and did her level best, spoke slowly, clearly and with confidence, didn’t miss or stumble over any words, looked at the audience when speaking and paused where required. She also used her own words (wrote the speech herself) and spoke from her heart, all of which bodes well for the future. – i.e. If she does this well so early on in her training, then chances of her becoming an excellent speaker and speech-writer, within a short period of time, are very high (given her determination, resilience and ability to learn quickly)

  46. MsJAPrufrock says:

    Middleton has no charisma. You either have it or you don’t. It doesn’t matter what you say, or how you say it, it’s about presence and really connecting with the audience and being in the moment. She will get better making speeches, but she doesn’t seem to have the substance or depth to really move people like Diana.