Duchess Kate ‘has a fear of public speaking,’ that’s why she’s so ‘silent’

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The Duchess of Cambridge isn’t much for public speaking. We learned that the hard way, because the very, very few public speeches she’s made have been… um, bad. Hair-tossing, fidgeting, staring blankly at her notes for seconds, no eye contact with the audience, awkward silences, etc. Not everyone is cut out for public speaking, but it’s the kind of thing you can practice and rehearse, especially if your job requires smart media relations and the ability to communicate, which is exactly what royals are supposed to do. Even if Kate still struggled with making public speeches, the answer would then be “just do a few one-on-one TV interviews.” William and Harry do TV interviews several times a year, but not Kate. Well, anyway, The Daily Beast’s royal gossip guy has an interesting piece about Kate and how silent she is.

Kate Middleton has a fear of public speaking, sources say, which may go some way to explain why she has not made so much as a squeak in public since the birth of her baby daughter Charlotte in May this year. Despite being an excellent communicator in private, she is reluctant to put herself forward for more public speaking or interviews, and the palace, wisely knowing the game they are playing is very, very long, are not pushing her to do so.

Kate herself actually confessed, “I find giving speeches nerve-wracking” to a guest who attended her first ever public speech, at a children’s hospice in 2012. That first speech of her princess-hood was not made for almost a year after her wedding, a delay that was widely attributed to her nerves. And it seems that the passage of time has not eased her anxiety, despite access to the finest media trainers money can buy.

Oddly, Prince Harry also shares Kate’s fear of public speaking, a secret he revealed in support of World AIDS Day last year. Kate was not always a shy and retiring type, and does not appear to have suffered stage fright as a kid. She starred in a prep school production of My Fair Lady when she was 12 and famously won the attentions of Prince William when she walked—in a negligee—in a University fashion show. But since becoming a princess of the United Kingdom, Kate has not engaged much with the media-facing side of the job.

Hard as it is may be to believe, given her media ubiquity, Kate has done just one in-depth television interview in her life—and that was shortly after she and William got engaged back in 2011. Watching this video four years later the first thing one notices is how remarkably posh Kate’s voice is. Weirdly, it’s slightly posher than William’s. But watching that cosy chat with the hindsight of a few years, it’s also noticeable how open Kate is. One might have expected, on the basis of that interview, that Kate would regularly be speaking to the media, but it’s been a long time now since we heard Kate talk in public at any length.

Even public speeches on behalf of her charitable causes have been few and far between–and have often seemed painful for her to deliver. There has been nothing from Kate compared to the kinds of interviews that William and Harry have done in recent years, being interviewed at length about their life and causes. Even the Queen has been more forthcoming than Kate on camera.

But who can blame her? Friends of Kate have always said that she is nervous about public speaking, notwithstanding her early dramatic career, and the truth is, she is not exactly a natural at it. After her visible nerves during the 2012 hospice speech, another public speech did not follow until almost a year later, when in April 2013, she recorded a message at Clarence House in support of Children’s Hospice Week. Her delivery was stilted and at times a little wooden.

However, her nerves were most evident when she made a brief speech at the National Portrait Gallery in 2014, and repeatedly stumbled on different words, before ending with a hastily garbled ‘sorry about that’ as she crumbled into embarrassed laughter and fled the podium.

Part of the problem is that Kensington Palace has a strict policy of not allowing anything other than broadcast interviews (to prevent misinterpretations). A few broadsheet interviews with friendly outlets might just go a long way to easing her nerves. In the meantime, we will just have to continue to wait, with baited breath, for the day when Kate actually speaks.

[From The Daily Beast]

The fact that she was happy enough to perform on stage as a kid, and model lingerie as a college student, and sit down for an engagement-announcement interview shows that she’s quite comfortable in the spotlight, I think. She fine with being photographed, she’s fine with being seen, she’s fine with being a public figure (perhaps there’s even an exhibitionist streak in Kate). It’s just the “making speeches” part of her job (and actually showing up for work events, but that’s another discussion entirely). I still think it’s something she could easily master if only she put some effort into it. Practice, be familiar with the words of your speech, rehearse your speech in front of your communications people, and yes, maybe hire a professional to help. In the meantime, spare us the PR puff pieces about how Kate does “more” than just smile & nod at these events.

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Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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279 Responses to “Duchess Kate ‘has a fear of public speaking,’ that’s why she’s so ‘silent’”

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  1. burnsie says:

    Loving all the subtle shade thrown in the excerpted article

    • r-r says:

      I love it too! But they forgot to point out one thing. I refuse to call 5 sencences a speach. At most it is a thank you note. Some comments here are longer than what her PR team calls a speach. And it is not like she has to read it in a different language (Maxima, Mary even Sofia). If you can’t read it, then memorize it (her dyslexic brother did that for her wedding ceremony), honestly it’s not that long. And if you refuse to prepare and practice your speeches than be candid, stop by some reporter and tell him/her a few things about the cause you are interested in. On the other hand I don’t hink she is eloquent, bright or interested enough to speak all by herself.

  2. Seraphina says:

    Spot on. She showed us that she isn’t shy to done a see through dress and show herself in the public. And while many may say we are comparing apples to oranges I disagree.

    Also, if she has this fear, she has the best of the best at her disposal to help her. She can take small baby steps but she has yet to do anything of significance to show she is trying. She will one day be queen consort by Wills side. This alone should push her to try.

    • Loopy says:

      I understand how you can be an extroverted child and later as a grown up be the opposite. It happened to me, I used to love doing plays and singing, even doing school presentations. But by college I was rattled with nerves doing presentations and standing in front of people.

      • AnnieRose says:

        Loopy, me too. I used to LOVE being on stage. However, I always pretended to be someone else (a la Sasha Fierce) and that helped. I became very anxious in college and was almost paralyzed with fear speaking in front of people. Law school helped with that fear to some degree, with the Socratic method and all, so maybe Kate needs to be subjected to the Socratic method? Lol

      • thelazylioness says:

        Same here Loopy. I starred in plays in elementary school but once puberty hit so did anxiety and I would cut class if I had to do a presentation because I would nearly faint from nerves. This continued in college even if the professor called on me sitting. However, knowing I have this fear, I would never choose a job where I was required to speak! She will be Queen Consort! What if she outlives William? Won’t she be required to speak? What a mess unless she gets training or maybe she needs an anxiety pill before attempting it again.

      • hmmm says:

        @thelazylioness

        I understand that some nervous musicians in orchestras take beta blockers. There are SO many avenues to dealing with the fear, especially for one so privileged. That’s why I think this is more bushwa to garner sympathy for and to rationalise Dolittle’s apathy.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Diana was also a poor public speaker. She got professional help in how to give speeches.

      There are so many excuses made for a 33 year old woman who chased this life for 10 years. “Oh she didn’t know what it would really be like”? How is that an excuse, nearly 5 years in, for her continuing failure to perform to the bare minimum professional standard in this role?

      • Green Girl says:

        I am with you on this. I always circle back to “What was she DOING all those years of waiting?!?” She could really make herself into a remarkable member of The Firm, but she….doesn’t.

      • FLORC says:

        Kate was taking lessons to change her accent. It’s been said each year she returned from St. Andrew’s Uni her accent was a bit more posh. More posh than Williams and her family took light jabs at her over it.
        She can apply herself when she wants to.

      • hmmm says:

        Totally agree, FLORC. She can, indeed, apply herself when she wants to. I remember that report of her pre marriage intensely watching a polo game and remarking that she really had to focus on it so she could talk about it later. Yes, she has the will and the way. Just not for anyone who can’t be of use to her.

      • FLORC says:

        Hmmm
        That interaction was proven false. It came out with the detail of Kate claiming she was allergic to horses. She’s not.
        That said her dedication to absorbing details is true. When she wants to apply herself she does. Where things fall apart is once a goal is achieved whatever was gained is no longer needed and quickly set aside or forgotten.

      • notasugarhere says:

        I don’t remember it all being proven false. The horse allergy interaction one there were questions because the person was a writer, but there was another story involving the polo event in California that raised the question again. It may be been officially denied at some point, but two people saying that KM said she was allergic to horses, five years apart? Why would a charity polo organizer lie?

    • herewego says:

      I fear for the Monarchy when or if Kate and William get their claws on it.

      ———-quote
      ” at the National Portrait Gallery in 2014, and repeatedly stumbled on different words, before ending with a hastily garbled ‘sorry about that’ as she crumbled into embarrassed laughter and fled the podium. “……..article quote
      ============

      It sounds like she acted like a clueless teenager with no idea of what is expected of her.

      • SamiHami says:

        It seems that she cannot win. If she doesn’t give speeches she is criticized. If she does give speeches, she is criticized. She may have the same paralyzing, almost pathological fear of public speaking that I have (I was featured as a case study in a book about stage fright/fear of public speaking). I can imagine it being far, far worse for someeone whose every syllable is being parsed and criticized all over the internet and other media. I would be terrified if I knew that a bunch of people were going to point out every error or flub I made. And of course, being that nervous only makes it more likely to make mistakes. It’s a vicious cycle.

      • Christin says:

        Not to be rude, but just as you say I cannot know if she can speak better about her own interests, how can you be certain she has a paralyzing (extreme) fear of public speaking? Because her PR implies it?

        Many people find public speaking a bit unnerving and work to overcome it enough to do their job.

        Edit — This is intended as a response to Sami’s reply to my comment downthread.

      • LAK says:

        her lack of a public voice would be less critical if her written words were any better, but alas her writing is also terrible. She can’t compose a simple letter for herself or for her patronages. it makes you wonder at her education at some of the best schools in Britain.

      • nic919 says:

        Well George VI, the Queen’s father had a horrible stutter and managed to overcome it with help. This is part of her job and there is no video evidence that she ever had a stutter. She needs to get help if she doesn’t like to give speeches. If help was available in pre WWII England, then it sure as hell is available now.

        It’s not like her presentations require her to have any substantive knowledge anyway, making them less taxing than school presentations, which are substantive. She must have had to do a few presentations in university so this is all bs.

      • FLORC says:

        SamiHami
        Why say she cannot win? You must ignore much of the praise she gets when doing anything corrrectly. If she cannot win no one would lower the bar for her to able to achieve a win. She wears her hair back. Win. She wears a respectful outfit and comes dressed for her event. Win. She starts working consistently if only 2 or 3 events a week. Win. There’s praise given here for all those times.

        Kate has proven she knows how to apply herself. She can achieve goals.
        And we should expect no different from a 33 year old mother who spent a decade pursuing a relationship directly entwined with a job.

        I’m not understanding how we are to so easily excuse this behavior of someone who if applied herself could move mountains. And to expect the bare minimum of an adult is it. No one is asking her to actually move mountains for praise.
        Or should she win for simply showing up properly dressed?

        The can’t win argument makes no sense without omitting facts.

        *Now if you only read part of my comment let it be this part*

        As another point there was a time maybe a year ago where Kate was doing a flurry of events. She made maybe 3 public speaking appearances. The speaking was brief, but happened. Over the course she had dramatic improvement. It’s an example that she can learn, but once she stops all improvement is gone and she’s regressed back to the start. She can learn. She can “win”. And we should expect no less from her IMO.

      • herewego says:

        What was the worse part of her speaking was her crumbling in giggles and fleeing the stage. Is she a ten year old?

        This is a 30something woman. I repeat, I feel for the Monarchy when William and Kate get their claws on it.

        She is vapid, lazy, doesn’t seem to prepare herself.

    • Original T.C. says:

      I love how there is always an extreme diagnosis for Kate’s issues. Morning sickness leading to dehydration has nothing to do with her eating disorder, it’s HG! Staying away from the public as she does intense excercise and dieting to get back to even smaller then pre-pregnancy weight? It’s post-party members blues you’ll! Can’t be bothered to give public speeches? She has EXTREME public speaking phobic!!!! LMAO. So many excuses for a grown woman who has never worked a day in her life and only cares about her weight and shopping for clothes.

      • Susan says:

        This. And even if she does have ” debilitating fear of public speaking “….should she have waited around all those years for William, knowing a life in the public was the outcome?? Did she not know that the role of wife would involve speeches? Please.

      • hmmm says:

        Yes, susan, all it suggests is either she is apathetic or she is not that bright. Not sure what a third option might be.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Third option would both apathetic and not all that bright.

  3. Goats on the Roof says:

    More like, if she opened her mouth and said words, she’d give away how unprepared and clueless she is regarding these causes she “supports.”

    • Chrissy says:

      Exactly! If she took the time to learn about her causes and the people involved, she would feel confident enough to speak about their issues. Visiting her charities once a year for under an hour at a time isn’t helping either. Surely she’s done homework before. Why hasn’t she figured this out yet? Because she’s just not interested and will find any excuse to get out of doing what’s required of her.

    • Ivy says:

      +1
      Public speaking would quickly expose her sloppy work ethic. And when I say ‘sloppy’ I mean ‘non-existent’.

    • Dena says:

      In addition to the excuses (blame KP) and the sympathy and compassion her PR is trying to carefully cultivate around a supposed fear of public speaking, which is legit, I think the real elephant in the room is her carefully cultivated upper class and pedigreed accent that doesn’t quite fit her class origins. That would be the thing placed under a microscope and called into question and ridiculed every time she spoke.

      There is nothing wrong with being self-made or even having class aspirations, if we can call it that, but there is probably something about the way they went about that that will always make Kate & crew feel like frauds and interlopers without any help from the slings and arrows thrown at them by the aristo crowd and anybody else watching.

      • MinnFinn says:

        Dena, You make an excellent point. The quality of her faked posh accent is the thing making her self-conscious and a bundle of nerves.

      • belle de jour says:

        Very perceptive… think you’re on to a large part of it. Whether it’s accent, enthusiasm, interest, dedication or intent, the concept of “genuine” might be the common denominator here.

    • herewego says:

      Exactly. She’d be truly exposed for the unprepared, vapid woman she is.

      I am shocked that she giggled, garbled a few words and fled the stage at one of her few speeches. She sounds hopeless.

      I Wonder if she is getting a lot of requests to speak and Jason’s making these excuses about her fears, for a reason for having to turn them down?

      • Vava says:

        so true……

      • antipodean says:

        I think poorJason is peddling as fast as he can to explain the inexplicable. I wonder how much longer he will last before he himself takes the blame from them for her poor performance? At least he deserves a holiday soon, perhaps on a sandy beach in Mustique?

      • hmmm says:

        I don’t feel a shred of sympathy for someone so willing to lie for them,

    • Christin says:

      If the topic were scuba diving or hair styles, she could probably speak far better. It has more to do with interest than shyness.

      How many of us who are required to speak to groups from time to time, had access to the best training? I certainly didn’t, but I had a few common sense tips and a brief college lesson or two.

      It’s not as if people will be asking her unknown questions, which can happen in a real world job. She just has to say a few words, already prepared for her, and appear engaged for a couple of minutes, maybe once a year. Yet she can’t even do that?

      • SamiHami says:

        A lot of people couldn’t do that. She wouldn’t be the first royal to have a pathological fear of public speaking. And she’s not speaking to groups. She is speaking to the world, essentially, as her every move is documented. You cannot possibly know that it “has more to do with interests than shyness.” That’s an unfounded statement. Absolute terror of public speaking is very real.

      • Christin says:

        I’ve replied upthread as well, but here is my point. She has a track record of having excuses made for her. She could have it filmed (edited) and shown during the appearance, if it came to that.

        Thinking about how the ‘world’ critiques her is a sure way to become even more fearful — if she indeed has a fear to such an extreme level, which I personally doubt. Anyone who repeatedly flashes their bottom for the world to see probably is not in fear of stumbling over a word or two in a *prepared* speech just once or twice a year.

        I doubt many of us can pick and choose parts of our jobs, fear or no fear. Our bosses would simply advise we train or do whatever is needed to perform that aspect of our role instead of making excuses.

      • FLORC says:

        Samihami
        Kate has shown she will make herself available and talk at length when it’s something she’s interested in. And many times where she looks bored and cannot be bothered to learn about the issues she is to support.

        Over the years it’s more unfounded to claim the opposite over shy vs interest as she’s gone the extra mile for Wimbledon over children’s hospice.

      • LAK says:

        SamiHami: As @marjiscott reminds us below, the Queen’s father grew up with no expectation of being King and thus not trained for it, but due to abdication of his brother, he suddenly was. At a time when Britain *was* a super power [fading], with a very pronounced stutter and expected to talk either in person or through radio addresses to the entire world. He also wasn’t the most confident of fellows, yet he did his duty instead of wielding his very real power to ensure that he never spoke in public.

      • Chrissy says:

        @LAK
        Excellent point and one which should be brought to her attention. If she put in the effort, as George VI did, she can overcome this problem. Enough of the excuses.

  4. Sara says:

    I suggest hypnotherapy! Worked for me!

    • Jaded says:

      I was about to add that downstream – I’m a trained consulting hypnotist and I’ve worked with people who had other phobias like fear of flying or water. It works. If she were dedicated enough to make the effort, she could easily hire a licensed hypnotherapist to work with her. That day will never happen though.

  5. Sixer says:

    #poorjason has gone into overdrive!

    “despite being an excellent communicator in private” said the puffman to the poor, ignored journo.

    • Olenna says:

      IKR! Communicator in private? What’s that suppose to mean? She’s skilled at giving Poor Jason and everyone else on her staff clear and distinct orders?

      • Sixer says:

        I think it translates to: “Dear journos, Katie Bucket has never spoken to or in front of you before, is not speaking before or in front of you now, and has no intention of speaking before or in front of you in the future. Despite this, you must report her as an EXCELLENT communicator.”

      • Olenna says:

        Ha! Thanks for that translation, Sixer. I guess it’s always about reading between the lines when the Cambridges are in the news.

      • notasugarhere says:

        That not-so-secret meeting with the press is yielding interesting results.

      • LAK says:

        Nota: i’m assuming all these new PR driven articles are from media people present at the secret meeting.

      • FLORC says:

        LAK/Nota
        What do the journalist get in return?

      • LAK says:

        Florc: the reward for the journalists is that they got to meet and gaze at the hidden babies.

        *Secret meeting was attended by the hidden ones.

        If we are counting meetings as engagements, then the hidden ones are doing really well.

        Let’s see:

        Charlotte’s birth. 2 checks (one each)

        Polo. 1 check PGtips

        Christening. 2 checks (one each)

        Secret meetings. 2 checks (one each)

        PR effort via arranged paps. Numerous for PG tips since he is being ‘accidentally’ caught out with granny/Kate/Nanny. One check for Charlotte.

        PR effort via authorised DoC photos. 2 checks (one each)

        At this rate, the hidden ones will have worked more than their mother in less than a year.

      • FLORC says:

        LAK
        That’s madness!
        And I may be approaching from a wrong way, but there must be more. Like those Journos are on a short list for future coverage. The more they kiss up them more likely they are to win a chance for a scoop story?

        I wonder how long before the Journos feel this trade off isn’t worth it. You know it’s coming. How long until is the question.

        And using the babies as pawns for their PR motives… It’s as plain as that. Wills is shameless.

    • Vava says:

      LOL @ ‘excellent communicator in private’…………… I wish I could have heard what she said to the Chinese president over dinner that night.

    • bluhare says:

      Excellent communicator in private = makes sure everyone knows what she wants and how she wants it. Not always kindly.

      I’m an excellent communicator in private too. Mr. bluhare quakes when I get that look in my eye.

    • anne_000 says:

      “Excellent communicator in private”:

      To the seamstress/stylist: “Lower on top, shorter on bottom, and higher slits”
      To the hairdresser: “Bigger and redder”
      To the physical trainer: “Skinnier”
      To her mom: “You do it”
      To the nanny: “You do it”
      To Jason: “Use that word ‘keen’ again”
      To her work coordinator: “Galas, no speeches, has Sir Ben called today?”
      To William: “It’s all about you, Mr. Future King you”

  6. Betti says:

    On one hand i sympathise as I used to hate it but I made myself take acting classes, partly for fun, partly cause i enjoy it but mostly to help me with my communication and presentation/public speaking skills. Part of my job is to deal with senior execs/project stakeholders so i NEED to be able to communicate effectively and confidently in person. Those classes helped me enormously – again as we have always said the more she does it the better and more confident she will become.

    The issue is she doesn’t want to and the people around her make excuses like this to cover up a lack of interest. But what else do we expect from her – she achieved her goal which was to marry Normal Bill.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      I agree. I have a fear of public speaking. It used to be crippling, but I just made myself do it until I became less fearful. It used to start my heart pounding when I was at a meeting and I had to tell people my name. But these things can be overcome and she certainly would have many resources available to her. I do sympathize to a degree, but she needs to try.

      • BRE says:

        I wonder if some people just never learn to cope. In college this one girl in my classes had such a physical reaction when speaking in front of everyone I was always concerned she would faint. When she was sitting in her seat giving an opinion she was fine. She actually dropped out because of her issue speaking in public.

      • Betti says:

        ^ There has to be a willingness to try – something that she clearly doesn’t want to do. I made myself deal with my fear of it and I stuck with it, am glad i did.

        You have to want to do it.

      • bluhare says:

        The thing I hated the most? The quavery voice because I was so nervous. And hated it more when it still quavered after I lost my nervousness!!

      • ArtHistorian says:

        There’s one one solution to a fear of public speaking: Practice, more practice and then more practice…
        And then working up the nerve to go out and do it. It is easier said than done but doing anything well or conquering something you fear requires serious effort.

        When I started doing guided tours at a national art museum, I got training from a theatre coach and it helped immensely! It even included being videotaped whilst speaking and then reviewing it. It was a toe-curling experience to see oneself on camera but you do learn what kind of nervous gestures to avoid. The only thing that makes it easier is practice. So it is both about being prepared but also about working on conquering the fear. Otherwise, the fear and inability becomes even more crippling with time. She’s doing herself a huge disservice by her avoidance.

      • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

        Gah, bluhare, the quavering voice! So awful. I still don’t look forward to public speaking, but I can do it if I have to. I agree that she has to want to try and that she’s doing herself a disservice by not trying.

      • notasugarhere says:

        AH, she’s doing the people of the UK and Commonwealth a huge disservice by her avoidance too.

      • Christin says:

        I agree with all the above. Not doing it only adds to the fear, IMO.

      • Maia says:

        In complete agreement with ArtHistorian.
        I speak in public on a regular basis addressing crowds of 50 at a time, 3-5 times a week. I was shy as a teenager but worked through my fear bit by bit and got better. The thing about public speaking is once you start to enjoy it, it feeds off itself and you become better and better. Now I don’t even bat an eyelid about speaking in front of unfamilar crowds if I have looked through my material, thought about it a couple of times, said it once in my mind, and know the general flow of what I am going to say. I won’t go as far as to say that I look forward to it, but I am definitely not nervous anymore. You really just have to keep doing it. There is simply no other way. You can’t take shortcuts.
        I taped myself numerous times and yes, it is an awful experience having to watch those tapes, almost like having to slash your own wrists. But you have to do it if you want to get better.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Maia,

        It has been the same for me. I was quite nervous when I started that job and the my first effort didn’t go well – in front of the boss, no less! But with experience it has become something that I enjoy immensely. Sharing knowledge about something I’m passionate about gives me great joy. I give something of myself and I do feel that I get something in return. I almost always finish a tour feeling happy and energized.

        However, I did require work, pratice and confronting your fears, etc. I have even become comfortable speaking to fellow scholars, which is infinitely more unnerving.

      • bluhare says:

        Me three, AH and Maia. I used to do presentations to groups of any size up to a couple of hundred people. I haven’t done it for a few years now, and I bet next time I have to I’ll be a quivering mess beforehand. But I’ll do it, and it will be fine.

    • zinjojo says:

      Betti, I’m right there with you. I regularly speak in front of groups and several years ago, I started working with a speaking coach — it’s helped tremendously. It also helps that I fully understand my subject matter and was willing to do the hard work with the coach to improve.

      When CEOs give major speeches, they work and rehearse them for 40 hours on average so that they pull it off in a profession and polished way. Katie Bucket could devote time every week (just like she does to working out) and improve her public speaking abilities and her confidence. Of course, she would also have to learn about the subjects she’s speaking about, and spend time on things other than hair, shopping and work outs.

      • Christin says:

        I dreaded giving speeches and would sometimes stutter or trip over words. Plus, I had a pronounced accent that became evident to me only after hearing myself on tape. We sound different to ourselves, apparently, which is why taping oneself is an incredibly helpful tool.

        It took practice and preparation to change things. Confidence builds, and you learn from each experience.

      • Anne says:

        I’m currently addressing my own crippling social anxiety, which – to my shame – I have allowed to get ridiculously out of hand. Thanks to everyone here who shared stories of overcoming it.

        Love to you all. I needed to hear it.

      • zinjojo says:

        Christin, good for you, and you’re so right about how your confidence builds, and these are things that help you grow as a person. To your example, it’s knowing you want to improve and making the effort to do so. The overall thread today is full of people who don’t like/feel anxiety about speaking in public and worked on it.

        One thing that has become clear over the past several years is that none of the Middleton kids have much of a work ethic or drive. They all seem to think they can bounce along on their connections without too much work behind anything.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        Anne,

        I wish you the best of luck. I’m battling various issues as well – it is longterm exhaustive work but it is the only way to come to lead a life that is enjoyable rather than merely tolerable.

        Hang in there.

      • Christin says:

        I tend to think it is a lazy attitude that hinders her. Most things boil down to willingness and ability. I think she lacks willingness to try. She may even pretend not to be able, just to excuse away what she doesn’t want to do.

        Example — Several have mentioned her accent. Toning down one’s accent is hard enough to do. But to change an accent to a different one altogether takes ability. To me, doing a prepared speech (especially when people in attendance are fawning over you) would be a piece of cake by comparison!

  7. LadyJane says:

    Could it be she just doesn’t have that much to say? She got married to a prince, had 2 babies and stayed very thin. I think she thought that is all that was required.

    • herewego says:

      Exactly. Her only goal in life was marry William and secure her position. I doubt she has much to say and if she did it would be something inane.

    • anne_000 says:

      She doesn’t have to think of things to say. Her speeches are written for her. All she has to do is read them aloud.

  8. Natalie says:

    *shrugs* Then she should practice.

    It’s a job. If she takes the compensation, she has to do the work.

    I’m tired of the regressive message around Kate. Can you imagine a man getting away with just grinning and posing in expensive clothes and refusing to make speeches?

    • Vava says:

      I think that is a valid point, Natalie. I can’t think of any guy who would do that and maintain any sort of self esteem.

    • anne_000 says:

      Well, as Kate apologists would say (with two examples on this very thread), she’s a woman who had only ‘some choice’ in who she married (as if it were an arranged marriage), should get credit for wearing clothes well enough that other women might want to buy the same outfits, should stay at home waiting to get pregnant and bear her husband his heirs, and declare ‘job well done.’

    • Jib says:

      Kate = the British Beyonce.

      I’m starting to think she is about as smart as Beyonce, also.

  9. Citresse says:

    How about a “crack daddy” to prepare for the next speech?
    In all honesty, when I viewed the engagement interview, I didn’t think she had too much going on upstairs. I mean she seemed like a real airhead- she could barely piece together a few words about Diana. And apparently Kate has a degree in art history? Unbelievable.
    It leads me to believe she bought her way through school.

    • Vava says:

      I had a similar impression of her, and it’s only been escalating ever since.

      If she ditched the phony accent and just focused on the content of speeches, she’d do fine. I believe the reason why she is so rattled is 1) she refuses to practice, and 2) she can’t think about two things at the same time (maintaining the accent and delivering the message of the speech).

      • Citresse says:

        At the time I thought it was just nerves. But when more information emerged later, I realized it’s a combination of lower intelligence and the fact she has a history of skating through life and figured she could skate through the engagement interview too, especially knowing William would be right beside her. You would think she would’ve prepared for that interview since it was her first real formal introduction to the world and it’s logical to presume one of the questions would pertain to Diana and yet she seemed so caught off guard, unable to provide much of an answer. I would hate to think she doesn’t care. I think she does care to some degree or she wouldn’t put so much effort into her make up, hair(wiglets) fringe, shopping for outfits, shoes etc…
        So I think the explanation on Kate is she’s a bit of simpleton used to skating through life and she feels she can keep doing it especially now, after providing the heir and spare.

  10. Nancy says:

    Nobody was more timid than Princess Diana as a newbie and she became a rock star. Kate needs some professional assistance in public speaking and to balls up. She knew she’d be the Queen to her King, so one would think, at her age, she would be a bit more prepared. But, I have all the confidence in her to pull it together.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, remember her first speech? So nervous! She had lessons, as I recall, and became much better.

      • antipodean says:

        Diana took lessons from Sir Richard Attenborough, Dickie she called him, and they became quite good friends. But Diana had a gruelling work ethic, and wanted to do “the job”. Big difference to Ms Bucket!

      • FLORC says:

        Didn’t Diana give 1 of her 1st speeches in Welsh too? It was a few lines or words only, but she did it. Looked nervous too.

      • Citresse says:

        I don’t know why Diana received such criticism in Wales when she gave her first speech (and spoke a few words of Welsh). I thought she was delightful.

    • Jib says:

      The difference was that Diana knew being royal is a JOB and that royals have to work for the people in order to justify their expensive, anachronistic existence. Kate doesn’t seem to get this. Nor does Wills

  11. anna says:

    My sister is somehow like this. She is very open and charming and everybody loves her, but is afraid of public speaking. When we were in school her teachers asked me to try to practice with her because whenever she had to speak in front of the class, she always cried throughout the whole presentation. I still don’t understand how that is possible. On the other hand, I’m super shy and can’t really talk to strangers, but I don’t have any problems speaking in public. It’s just weird.

    • Natalie says:

      I’m sort of the same way. I have no problem when I have a purpose like giving a speech but I dread making small talk with my inlaws’ neighbors when they’re over for a bbq or something.

  12. FLORC says:

    Enter PR justifications for known behavior that is frequently contradicted by her own actions.

    It’s easily believed stuff if you don’t scratch the surface and want to think Kate wants to work.

    • Vava says:

      Yes, these journalists and pr people must think we are all idiots…..

    • caitlin says:

      Hahaha – exactly! Practice, effort, inclination are what’s missing.

    • herewego says:

      Jason trying to spin even though people can see through her.

    • FLORC says:

      To add. Their PR contradicts their PR.
      Kate is now silent from anxiety, but before many times she was outgoing, confident, energized, excited, etc… This has been in regards specifically to her public speaking.

      So now they want to change that narrative and if you believe it I still have that bridge to sell. You have to not question what you read and WANT to believe it’s all true.
      They’re banking on empathising.

      And last point. Kate has crazy resources to overcome this. Not only do you need to work on it, but you need to put it into action. Avoiding never helps.

      • Christin says:

        I only recently looked up the disco charity photos. More evidence she’s no wilting flower. And if she is truly nervous, she has access to additional coaching.

        All I see are excuses with little to no action plan. It’s like saying the house is dirty and cannot be seen, when one is incredibly wealthy and has access to a cleaning crew at a moment’s notice.

    • The Original Mia says:

      I’ve got to remember that phrase FLORC because it is absolutely what they do in every situation. I was trying to explain on another board my skepticism about her HG and a lynchmob came after me as if it’s totally out of the realm of possibility these two would exaggerate or flat out lie to cover for their actions or lack of action. It’s their PR’s MO TO create “circumstances” to explain away their extreme laziness and apathy.

      • FLORC says:

        Original Mia
        Forget Kate out early 1st trimester on the train with William to have a dinner out with dessert. Forget her in her later 2nd trimester sledding up and down a hill. Or presenting awards, or flying for numerous vacations smiling away. Her excuses only apply when it’s regarding her avoidance of work.

        I’m not saying work work work. Or that she can’t have downtime. Just that these excuses are BS and only supported by PR words and never actions.

    • zinjojo says:

      Poor Jason has obviously created a media strategy that they’re now executing — from the not-so-secret meeting with journalists that seems to have kicked off this campaign to the stream of articles all meant to show WK in a positive or relatable way, particularly Kate. It’s rather hilarious to watch this plan unfold as they try harder and harder to change a growing perception.

      But there’s no substance behind any of these PR moves, and that’s going to continue to be Poor Jason’s problem.

  13. COSquared says:

    Tom Sykes, what have they done to you? I’m sure the children-pr-prop/photocall pissed him off somehow. Hmmm…..

  14. khaveman says:

    I’m going to say practice makes perfect. You can afford a coach. BUT I give her credit that many women worldwide are interested in her and William, and she is part of that. She may not be speaking like a pro, but she’s selling out, say, dresses she wears and bringing some positive light to the monarchy. I’d like to look at how much she and her husband are searched online. And she has produced adorable heirs. I hope she continues to work more and more. She needs to “up” her numbers in the appearances/charity/cause support area.

    • COSquared says:

      “positive light”? Eh… All opinions sans viciousness are welcome.

      • Citresse says:

        Yes, the heirs. It’s still the only interesting subject about William and Kate. Face it, Kate could take public speaking lessons til the cows come home and Will could do five appearances a day, every day-they just don’t have the it factor.

      • anne_000 says:

        It isn’t necessary to have the ‘it factor.’ All they need to do is promote their charities. Charles, Anne, and Sophie don’t have the ‘it factor’ either, but their continuous work is publicly noted. If W&K put in as much effort, then the lack of the ‘it factor’ will be overlooked and their charities get the benefit.

      • Citresse says:

        Yes anne_000, I agree with you. Working hard, showing effort would go a long way to earning some respect.

    • suze says:

      Selling out dresses and producing heirs.

      That really sounds horrible when you think about it.

      • Christin says:

        Diana managed to balance motherhood, fashion, hair AND charity work (in her 20s). How did she do it, poor Kate must wonder.

      • suze says:

        Lots of people do it. Most of the European royals do it.

        Kate though is just simply overwhelmed. Too many resources?

    • Jaded says:

      Positive light to the monarchy!? Quite the opposite I’m afraid – the last couple who created such bad press were Airmiles Andy and the Duchess of Pork, and at least Fergie was willing to throw herself into loads of charity work. KM? barely anything.

    • anne_000 says:

      Wow. If the best thing they’ve done is to show off clothes as if they’re living mannequins, then that makes them seem very shallow. It’s like a back-handed insult.

      Loads of celebrities get clicks on search engines. So do criminals and politicians. But then at least they’ve all done something in their lives to get people interested in them. If all W&K have done to get attention is simply to exist in their self-indulgent ways, then that doesn’t say much for them.

    • Pumpkin Pie says:

      ‘Producing heirs’ – no offense, but what does that make of her?
      She got married into a JOB. Representing the monarchy is a JOB. She is not only a wife. She has a public role and responsibilities, not only a family life. This should have been sorted out before they got married. The whole defense that she shouldn’t be much in the public eye considering what happened to Lady Di – PW might have said something along those line – is bs. Different person, different times. I am sure there is some kind of emotional blackmail involving what happened Lady Di.
      And a future queen is not about how many outfits are sold after she wears them. Not. at. all.
      She is an extremely privileged person, more privileged in a way than any of us will be in a million lifetimes. She knew what her marriage would involve before she got married.
      I am not buying the fear of public speaking.
      Imo she is lazy and unworthy of her status. If she were as determined to do HER JOB as she was to GET MARRIED to PW, there would be no problem in her undertaking an active and valuable role. Shameful, disgraceful situation.
      No offense OK?

      • LAK says:

        Well, i’m offended at the regressive persona modern women [or men] think we should accept in the person of Kate, a future Queen consort.

        whether one is a royalist or not, Kate’s role and visibility does influence societal trends as it has done for centuries.

        it is mindboggling that in 2015, people exist who think that women are too feeble to do more than have babies and show off their clothing, without seeing what a regressive view it is to reduce women to womb hire and being ornamental as their only function.

      • FLORC says:

        LAK
        All of this! It’s offensive.

      • wolfie says:

        This PR narrative will backfired, because what Jason is basically saying is that Kate is not a capable or competent person, in contrast to many on this thread who work on their challenges in order to succeed. We know that Diana was extremely shy, but she did not try to make us feel sorry for her – she made a huge effort over a period of several years. Poor pitiful Kate is not exactly a winning narrative.

  15. Jade says:

    For that kind of remuneration and perks, I would be embarrassed if I did not practice public speaking. Ah well.

    • Fallon says:

      As would most people.

    • wolfie says:

      Yet Jason’s PR tells us to feel sorry for her. The pitiful princess narrative is a poor flashback of Diana’s challenges, which are not Kate’s challenges – but the contrast is meant to confuse the public.

  16. Kate says:

    Well before that puff piece about how “involved” KM is during her visits to charities, it was said that she asked substantive questions and was vocal in meetings, so unless we’re privy to those meetings I don’t see how we can confidently assert that the flattering picture is inaccurate. Sure, it could simply have been charity workers being a bit star-struck and ingratiating toward their patron, but whenever KM actually works I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Hopefully she does care, and hopefully she is involved in discussions, and hopefully this will spur her to work more. As for the public speaking, anyone who knows the difference between a litigator and a transactional attorney knows that verbal communication is just not a talent some people have, and no amount of practice can change that. She can improve and get more comfortable, however, even if she never gets great at it. It will just take some practice and some will, and of course one always has doubts that KM is willing to put in the effort.

    • notasugarhere says:

      It has been proven that the “secret meetings” aren’t really taking place. Anytime she shows up for anything, it ends up being publicized later. There aren’t meetings on that calendar, and she is the only royal for whom those meetings count on the tally.

      • FLORC says:

        Nota
        When it came out those secret meetings were bs it was kind of awesome how their PR got caught. Then Kate made an appearance with a few cameras at a “secret meeting” to say she has them.

        When the few charities she has say outright they haven’t seen her but once a year with numerous cancellations on her part they got caught in a huge lie.

    • anne_000 says:

      She’s not someone who has to come up with her own speeches, like some attorneys have to. All she has to do is practicing reading what somebody else wrote for her. So it’s never an off-the-cuff public speaking for her. But then, even lawyers practice what they’re going to say in court before the hearings.

      I agree with you that she should train and practice which is something she could have been doing all along these past years if she was interested in promoting her charities.

      I don’t see how allegedly she can be so interested in her charities in private but do nothing in public to support them other than attend galas. It doesn’t correlate, imo. So what are the alleged private meetings for then? For her to do her best to keep her charities’ goals secret?

      • Canafian Becks says:

        Whenever I read a comment that just sings with common sense, I look up to see who wrote it, and many times, it’s “anne_ooo” (and many, many other commenters).

        I just love your last paragraph. So very, very true.

  17. Susan says:

    I’m not buying this PR garbage. Avoiding public speaking is only hurting her “strengths” in addition to highlighting her weakness. She’s got access to the best trainers in the country. Put on your big girl pants and work, Kate. I do stuff for work all the time I don’t love.

    • caitlin says:

      Looks like you’re not the only one Susan. How dumb do they think people are?

    • Citresse says:

      Yes, but look at how much attention is drawn to her from somewhat negative press.
      Sometimes I wonder if some of it is a ruse… meaning, Kate is deliberately choosing some “interesting” fashion choices lately and keeping the hair looks “interesting” too in an effort to create more press, then the increased attention is placed on the charities. I mean, are Will and Kate sitting around KP laughing at the reaction?
      I do, however, believe Kate dislikes public speaking or interviews. That was obvious during the engagement interview.

      • zinjojo says:

        But there isn’t increased attention on the charities — there’s increased attention on Kate and her questionable choices. Bad dress choice, appearing uninterested during the Chinese premier’s visit, the overwhelming hair, general lack of work, etc. Talking about almost everything but her charities.

        IF she was serious about bringing attention and funding to her charities, she would be working a lot harder for them with more meaningful actions.

      • wolfie says:

        Kate just wants to have fun and enjoy her perks. She has shown zero interest in anything other. She actually believes that she is entitled – here is a twitter feed of her uppity behavior while she was in the US: https://twitter.com/RoyallyKate/status/542305613401702402/photo/1

        There’s an article in the Telegraph that headlines that Americans love Kate. After the way she behaved in NYC, I have my doubts. Dressing in bright pink for her pap stroll at 9/ll shows that she didn’t take the time to observe how our senior women (e.g. Michelle) dress for that occasion – which is in a somber fashion. Is it true that we love the respect she showed for our memorial and the consequent war? However, she seems to know how to dress for Remembrance Day in her own country.

  18. Fallon says:

    The ongoing amount of excuses made for Kate are incredible.

    This is a woman who knowingly chose to be in the public eye for the rest of her life. I can understand wanting to spend these years with their young children – I wish I could be home with mine – because her duties will only increase as the years go on and William gets closer to the throne.

    However… she. has. had. years.

    Years to acclimate to the scrutiny, years to polish up on getting comfortable speaking in public, years to study how to dress appropriately. Years to see how the other royals maintain a calendar of engagements. I truly wonder if we’ll ever see her do more than the absolute bare minimum.

    • Vava says:

      We won’t see that. She isn’t going to change. I wouldn’t be surprised if her plan is to be Queen Barbie someday……dress up in new outfits, jewels, flash the veneers.

  19. Ana A. says:

    It’s her job. We all have things to do in our job that we had to learn or that we aren’t that comfortable with. You took the job, you take the salary? Then learn to do it as best as you can and don’t moan about it.

    She can get the best teachers and psychologists and whatever it takes her. It’s not like it is something that can’t be overcome. She needs to make an effort.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      I think part of the problem is that’ she has never had a real job – her entire adult life has been one of idle leisure doing only what she she wanted and avoiding what she didn’t care for. In that sense, the obligations that comes with being part of the BRf must have been something of a rude awakening for her.

      • suze says:

        They will never end. She will have to figure it out.

      • Maia says:

        Again – in complete agreement with you ArtHistorian.
        I think that part of the problem is that Kate does not know how to overcome challenges because she has not been challenged in over 10 years.

      • zinjojo says:

        ArtHistorian, I think you’re right about this. I made a comment upstream about how none of this generation of Middletons has the ability to hold a profession.

        Were they all raised to coast on connections? That mom and dad would always take of them? Kate was raised from early on to catch a rich aristocrat, preferably PW?

        So, she spent all of her 20′s — an important time for most people to build the foundations of their lives and learn to work through challenges that help them grow as adults — doing nothing, learning nothing, and growing in no discernible way.

      • Citresse says:

        zinjojo that’s so sad.

  20. Murphy says:

    If I had to give a speech infront of a large group of people who think I’m a selfish, frivolous waste of tax payer money-I would be afraid too! But who’s fault is that Kate?!

  21. Hudson Girl says:

    I’m confused by all this. Shouldn’t she have been doing a lot of video speeches for the last 5 years then?
    If you don’t want people focused on what you’re not doing- public speeches- do a lot of something else (taped speeches and interviews) to distract them.
    Will and Kate have gone beyond a threshold with me and no amount of work appearances will convince me they are genuine.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Trouble is, she isn’t any better pre-recorded. She cannot even pronounce “palliative” correctly. The fact that they released that video with that glaring error? Was she unwilling to take the time to do more than one take?

      One of her engagements in the last year was a “visit” to a charity, traditional 30-45 minutes and out the door. Afterwards we found out if wasn’t really a charity visit. She was there filming her PSA. She doesn’t spend time talking to the people at the charity. She showed up, is filmed doing a PSA in their space, and leaves.

    • LAK says:

      She’s no good in PSAs and that engagement interview had lots of takes.

      • Jen says:

        I had heard that about the engagement interview. William must have been gritting his teeth and thinking “God woman….can’t you get it right?!”

    • anne_000 says:

      I agree that she should do more PSAs if she’s unwilling to improve on her in-person public speaking. Unfortunately, she’s not interested in promoting her charities.

  22. realitycheck says:

    She is so lucky to be in a position where her job is to support causes she cares about. I do that after work because that work doesn’t usually pay anything. To get up everyday work passion and to try and make a small difference would be so amazing. She is such a waste of a public figure.

    I don’t care that William liked her but we should not be supporting them through tax prayer dollars as she does nothing.

    • Vava says:

      The trouble is though, there are no causes she cares about. Other than herself. I’d go so far to say I wonder if William is someone she really cares about? If he wasn’t Prince, would she care about him?

  23. LAK says:

    The neverending excuses for Kate’s poor work record are amazing.

    poorjason, and his predecessors must have a Mary Poppins bag of excuses for Kate. Delivered the day she met WIlliam. Every year since she met William has a new excuse why Kate is not meeting her requirements.

  24. JulieM says:

    There are very few naturally gifted public speakers. When I was in the Navy, I used to have to brief 3 & 4 star admirals. Talk about nervous. The secret: study the subject and try to now what you are talking about. When you have backup knowledge, it helps your confidence.

    Kate: you learn by doing.

  25. notasugarhere says:

    In other news:

    New York – November 3, 2015 – 100 Women in Hedge Funds (“100WHF”), a leading nonprofit organization for investors and professionals in the alternatives industry, today announced that HRH The Countess of Wessex will serve as Global Ambassador of 100WHF’s Next Generation initiatives. Launched in January 2015, the goal of 100WHF’s most recent initiative is to inspire, mentor and provide access and peer network support to young women looking to start their careers in finance and investments.

    • Tough Cookie says:

      Very interesting and a good choice!!

    • Chrissy says:

      Congrats to Sophie. She’ll be great at this as she was a professional women herself during and prior to her marriage to Edward. I guess they weren’t too impressed with Kate’s dress and hair either.

    • Maia says:

      Well are they still keeping Kate as a patron, though? Is this a slight to Kate or are they just hedging their bets (pardon the pun) ?

      • LAK says:

        when her patronages have wanted to dump Kate, the palace has convinced them to keep her due to the embarrassment it would be for Kate to be dropped. So the patronages appoint other patrons and work more with them. To the public it looks like they’ve just beefed up their patrons, but the reality is that Kate has disappointed the patronage and they are stuck with her. No one points out that Kate isn’t attending any of the patronage’s events. And of course we all know she’s not doing anything for them behind the scenes.

        By appointing Sophie, they need never call on Kate again whilst continuing with a royal patronage.

        The spin will be that Sophie is global and therefore a different type of patronage which is a laughable excuse because right now Kate, Harry and William are the most visible royals globally and it would be a catch to have them as opposed to the lower ranked and visible Sophie.

      • notasugarhere says:

        “The Duke of Cambridge is continuing his patronage of 100WHF’s philanthropic initiatives, and the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have also become Patrons of 100 Women in Hedge Funds’ philanthropic initiatives for three years beginning January 1, 2013. The charities, Action on Addiction in 2013; WellChild in 2014; and The Art Room in 2015, are part of The Charities Forum of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, and reflect 100WHF’s three philanthropic themes: mentoring, women’s and family health, and education. ”

        That’s from WHF site, it isn’t listed as official patronages on the royal website. I think it means, their charities are the beneficiaries of money raised at the annual gala but this isn’t a formal royal patronage. She showed up at the annual gala twice to collect a check that benefits her charities. Last year, Harry was at the Gala and the money raised went to a charity he supports, WellChild.

  26. Fluff says:

    It’s so weird how people act like shyness is a single thing that must cover every single part of your life. Like if there’s ever been a single time in your life from birth that you weren’t shy in, you’re never ever allowed to claim shyness ever. It’s like they have no experience with actual human life. Surely most people are shy in certain situations and not in others?

    It’s well known that many famous actors have no problem performing when it’s within the safety of a character, but have paralysing phobias of speaking as themselves.

    • anne_000 says:

      Then when that’s the case, practice (and serious effort) makes perfect.

      She’s had all these years to train with the best that money can buy. She’s had all this down-time to practice over and over again. It’s not like her life is a ‘hectic whirlwind’ (her PR’s description) that she can’t find time to improve her public speaking.

      I posted two links to her speeches and she’s not done badly in them as it looked liked she actually practiced the speeches ahead of time.

      Why must the bar be set so low for her as if anything she can’t do well (without practice) shouldn’t be expected of her to do forever into the future?

      • Christin says:

        The bar is almost laughably low, and the spin is even becoming predictable.

        Notice how Harry gets tossed into it. Look — He’s scared of speeches, too! He even said so — once!

      • FLORC says:

        Christin
        We aren’t lowering the bar anymore. Sometimes in 2012 we held a service and buried it. Resting a solitary wiglet as we lowered it 6 feet below.

      • Olenna says:

        @FLORC, LOL! Poor wiglet.

    • Maria A. says:

      I am capable of crippling bouts of shyness and when I don’t have to deal with people, I avoid them, BUT my job working in an art museum requires that I interact with the public, which I do – readily.
      It can be a drain, but you want people to have a good experience when they visit and you want to help them, if they need it. Sooooo, I talk all the time to absolute strangers. Heck, I even carry on conversations with them – with a smile no less.
      This is a pathetic excuse for Kate: shyness.
      I’m an introvert who hates answering phones, but guess what? I had to, so I do.
      Someone needs to remind her of George the Sixth’s situation and tell her to keep at it.

  27. Jaded says:

    There’s always an excuse – you don’t see her for months and its severe morning sickness. She can’t arse herself to make one or two charity visits a week and it’s because she does them on the QT. When she does put in an appearance she twirls her hair and looks bored and it’s because she has two young kids and she’s exhausted (not too exhausted to shop, have endless hair appointments, go to the gym and take vacations).

    I know this has been repeated upthread but Diana was terrified of public speaking too. But instead of shying away she doggedly took lessons and practiced with experts until she became a confident speaker. That’s the difference; KM just can’t be bothered to do the work to make herself into a concerned and committed member of the BRF – she sure enjoys the perqs but put in anything but a minimal amount of effort? Nope.

  28. Kori says:

    As regards playing on stage when she was a child vs now, I don’t see why that’s incompatible. Many actors and actresses are severely shy–look at Kim Basinger–and find they are comfortable performing because they are being someone else. When it comes time for them to appear as themselves it’s a whole nother story. I remember Kate Winslet once said that her role in The Holiday (seemingly the lightest role she’s ever played) was her most nerve-wracking because she was playing a modern British woman–basically herself. She didn’t have a different accent or a costume to ‘hide’ behind. So I can believe she’d like acting especially as a child and have trouble with public speaking. I won’t draw conclusions about the rest of it.

    • anne_000 says:

      Then she can learn from the best media trainers/speech tutors and practice, practice, practice.

    • notasugarhere says:

      She could perform as the character DoC and leave Kate Middleton privately at home. That is, I suspect, what many of them do.

      • anne_000 says:

        You’re right, especially with that fake posh accent of hers. Like the article says, she sounds posher than William. That takes quite a bit of acting and practicing in itself.

    • Anne says:

      perhaps she should think of “Public Kate” as a character. . . it might ease her nerves.

      • Christin says:

        I think that’s a great idea. I’ve heard of several well known people who viewed their celebrity life as one persona, but were very different privately. Johnny Cash was “JR” in private and was actually somewhat shy. John Wayne and Cary Grant also commented on how they were very different from their personas.

  29. Lucky Charm says:

    I have an idea she should try. Since she enjoys being around celebrities, she should ask Angelina Jolie Pitt to help her with speeches and public speaking. AJP is a pro at them, and the Duchess seems to be enamored of her and would probably listen, so it just makes sense.

    Hmmm, now that got me to thinking about why the Duchess always wears dark colors when she attends children’s events. AJP said she does it to keep her kids’ messes from showing on her clothes; so the Duchess is just following her lead. One mystery solved!

  30. anne_000 says:

    These two speeches she did were not bad (for her) and were relatively long (for her):

    Malaysia – First speech on foreign soil:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM521uPwjM8

    At St. Andrews to open their new astro pitch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyylEImvpmQ

    Why weren’t they bad (for her)? Maybe because it looked like she practiced a few times before delivering them? So it’s proven that she can do them if she were interested in getting it right.

    Again, it’s the Ray Romano strategy. If she wants to do it right, then she can. If she doesn’t want to, then she’ll slack off in her preparation and comes off looking like it’s too difficult for her to do so that she can argue that she shouldn’t do anymore public speaking. That’s one more item she can cross off on her list of things she doesn’t want to do for ‘work.’

    One solution is to do pre-recorded PSAs – if she wanted to. That way, they can take the best clips and slice them together to make it look smooth. She can also write handwritten letters for the sake of her charities and unwell people, especially children. But obviously she’s not interested in doing so.

    As the article says, she can get the best media trainers money can buy, but then again, that’s if she were serious about doing this part of her ‘work.’

    But I think her attitude is ‘Why bother?’ Why spend the time and energy on training when she can get away with not speaking in public and she has no interest in promoting her charites?

    • LAK says:

      I think we can cross off the letters too. Her efforts are risible and are shameful for a well educated person, even if it’s her office putting them together.

      • anne_000 says:

        Yes, I agree. I saw the two letters she sent to the 100 Women in Hedge Funds. Even if her staff wrote them, they weren’t well written and for whatever reason, she didn’t care even though they were sent in her name. She’s capable of hiring actual office professionals to write letters for her, if she wanted to, but ho hum…

      • COSquared says:

        Anne: I’m not sure but it’s either those letters you’ve mentioned or 1 for Action on Addiction: The letter was just copy-and-paste of something from 2013. She did this before with a EACH speech being a CAP straight from the charity’s website. And then fans say she’s working hard for her charities.

      • anne_000 says:

        @ COSquared

        Geez. Those examples really do show how lazy and disinterested she and her office staff are.

  31. perplexed says:

    Wouldn’t someone else just write the speech for her? I think it’s the writing part and not being prepared that can be nerve-wracking, but other people help her out with that stuff.

    I didn’t think anyone really cared that she hasn’t been speaking much though, so I’m surprised a comment was given about it. I don’t know why all of these articles are being written about why her abilities fail in certain areas since I doubt most people are sitting around in the general public wondering why Kate isn’t giving speeches — most seem to always say she needs her “maternity leave” whenever criticism is pointed at her.

    • Betti says:

      All her speeches are written for her – all she needs to do is turn up and read from cue cards or the auto cue. Simples!

    • anne_000 says:

      Promoting her charities is part of her work and why she gets to live in such wealth. For her not to want to even try to do so is what she gets criticism about. If reading speeches helps promote her charities but she refuses to do it or train to do it, then that adds to the list of things she can’t be bothered about, especially when it affects a lot of other people who could use her help. It just adds to the image of her being selfish and careless.

      • perplexed says:

        Yes, I get that she gets criticized on internet forums (after an article is posted as to why she can’t do certain things). But I also think that in other corners people seem to insist we should leave her alone. Therefore, I think there’s a certain segment of the population that doesn’t care if she gives speeches or not. Thus, I think her PR people are causing more attention to be drawn to her weaknesses and drawing more attention to why she’s an ineffectual princess. If they didn’t mention her “shyness” and WHY she hasn’t done any public speaking, I think people wouldn’t come out to point out why the assertions in the article are problematic. Therefore, I think this kind of PR trying to explain away why she stinks as a princess do more harm than anything else. I just think her PR teams is not that good.

      • anne_000 says:

        I have a feeling that her PR people didn’t just send out a statement pointing out her weakness. I think maybe the reporter made an inquiry about this topic and this was the response he/she got, i.e. an excuse as to why she can’t and won’t do public speeches.

  32. HoustonGrl says:

    Nerves can be crippling, but no one is asking her to be the second coming or something. Just a few three or four minutes speeches and interviews. I think she could manage that if she put some effort into it. She does seem very silent, and that doesn’t bode well for the monarchy. It makes them look sexist, in my opinion. Like ‘women are meant to be seen, not heard,’ and only under the most polished circumstances at that. There’s an additional problem with this. Her lack of speeches makes the contents of her visits less clear – we may focus on her fashion instead of the message, because the message is not heard.

  33. Coconut says:

    Professional help would be som effective and help her get over the fear.

  34. Sarah01 says:

    I think it’s excuses, she likes the luxurious life without the work. her job was to secure her place in the royal family. She’s done her job by producing two heirs, she wants to attend celebrity events, she likes shopping, decorating / renovating and playing with her hair. It’s simple she is not a working duchess and likes to do the bare minimum. Loves going on holidays and rubbing elbows with elite.

  35. jmho says:

    I have to say that, if everything I did, wore, or said was as thoroughly criticized as it is for her, I don’t know that I’d leave the house.

    Yes, there was some choice on her part, but I wish people would make some attempt to put themselves in her shoes. The woman can’t go out in a sweatshirt and jeans. She can’t say anything without it being picked over. Give the girl a break.

    • notasugarhere says:

      This 33-year-old woman was welcome to say, “No” when William finally asked her to marry him.

      She goes out in jeans and tshirts on private time frequently. She shows up in tshirts and skin-tight skinny jeans at official engagements. Do you think she’s online reading the criticism? She said she doesn’t care about anyone’s opinion but William’s. The PR staff are tripping over themselves trying to get her poor job performance to look better, instead of her committing to doing the job better.

    • anne_000 says:

      When she goes out, she’s usually wearing very tight pants, a regular blouse, and flat shoes, so it seems she doesn’t feel pressured into not wearing these things. I haven’t seen criticism of this, unless she’s posing in an odd, suggestive manner or some part of her backside is showing.

      I don’t understand the ‘there was some choice on her part’ statement. Was there some part of choosing to marry into a working royal family not by her own free will?

      Her family are born and raised in the UK. They’ve seen the royals do work all their lives. They’re apparently big Diana fans, so they know that Diana went out in public visiting charities and giving speeches and interviews. So expecting her to do the same shouldn’t have been a surprise.

      I’ve yet to hear about a celebrity/rich folk gala event or sports game that she’s shied away from because of fear of criticism. Instead she’s seen going to them in a very eager and giddy state. So I doubt she’s let any criticism keep her away from all the fun.

      • LAK says:

        As that Hong King journalist reported on the chinese state visit, she was bored all day until she met Jackie Chan at which point she ‘suddenly lit up’ and was ‘girlishly delighted at meeting him’. those are direct quotes from someone shadowing that chinese visit.

        i doubt she worried about being criticised with a celebrity in the room, but was super worried when it was boring diplomats and presidents and first ladies. etc

    • MinnFinn says:

      People who have both a strong sense of self and life-purpose are not easily bothered by criticism. It appears to me that Kate is a person with both of these qualities. In addition during her engagement inteview Kate said she ignores media reports that criticize her. Kate is fine. Criticism is not interfering with her doing her job.

      • snapdragon says:

        She does have a very, very strong sense of self and life purpose but they have nothing to do with service and representing her country in the best light possible — the job she hounded for 10 years.

      • hmmm says:

        If, as you assert, she is so centred and strong that she doesn’t care about criticism, then why does she care about what William thinks and only what William thinks?

      • MinnFinn says:

        hmmm, My point was not that she disregards criticism from everyone. But that she ignores media criticism about her royal duties and work wardrobe. Being her definition of sexy which to her means showing off as much of her legs and tush as she can get away with and having long flowy hair are integral to her sense of self. She ignores work ethic criticisms because her life priorities lie elsewhere. Imo she cares about Wm’s opinion because he is the center of the purpose of her life. He’s a top priority.

      • MinnFinn says:

        snapdragon – Yep, ita.

      • hmmm says:

        Okay, that makes sense, MinnFinn. She values the shallow, so criticism of her work ethic doesn’t move her.

    • MinnFinn says:

      jmho – Putting myself in her shoes, I can’t imagine myself or any grown woman being bothered by strangers criticizing the ruffle on my Erdem dress at the recent hedge fund event or my new auburn highlights. The reason I would not care is because my self-esteem and life-priorities are based on things other than fashion and my physical appearance. Therefore the hated ruffle would not matter because it is of no consequence when it comes to my self-esteem or my purpose for attending the hedge fund event which was to raise money for my charity. After an event, in this example the hedge fund appearance, I would analyze my role in its success by how much money was raised and since it was about 500+k pounds, I would decide it was indeed a successful event.

    • Jaded says:

      She goes out in casual clothes all the time. For that she is not scrutinized and pilloried. What she has historically worn, until lately, at public events has been far less than professional. There were way too many Marilyn moments with flimsy dresses blowing up showing barely any underwear. Far too many airport de-planing events where she did not consider the effect of airport wind blowing up her short, unweighted skirts. Far too much wearing of skin-tight, painted-on jeggings. Far too many short t-shirts that lifted up to show a good deal of her belly. Way too much hair blowing around her face and twiddled with at public events. This is NOT befitting of a member of the royal family at a public event in any way shape or form, it is college student fashion. The entire world has seen her underwear and her basically naked butt, She’s been photographed at Remembrance Day ceremonies giggling and twirling her hair. The fact that she’s 34 and the wife of a prominent royal hasn’t seemed to have sunk in much.

      As has been stated above, she knew for 10 frigging years what she was getting into but apparently didn’t feel it necessary to prepare for it as far as her dress, her lack of public speaking skills and professional demeanor, and her ability to engage with the people she is there to represent. A huge fail in every way possible.

  36. marjiscott says:

    Such nonsense! Remember “The King’s Speech”?
    George V1 had a terrible speech impediment (stuttering) AND had the British Monarchy basically thrown at him unexpectedly with the beginnings of Hitler and a World War to boot!
    Both of these morons are pathetic.
    No sympathy here, Jason…

  37. Hazel says:

    Somebody up thread suggested the Duchess perform her practice sessions in front of a camera & then watch the playback. I think this is a great idea– I did it myself & found I did the hand-flippy thing that the Duchess does. I had no idea! Now that is something to work on. Kate just needs to try.

  38. Pabena6 says:

    “Bated breath,” not “baited breath.” Sorry – I’m leaving now.

  39. msthang says:

    If she is in a miserable marriage, it must be hard as hell,to keep up a charade of see how happy we are, much less speaking in public! Personally I am poor as the dickens right now but I would not trade places with her for all the money in the world!

    • anne_000 says:

      Ok. Good theory. I hope Jason uses that in the future.

    • Citresse says:

      msthang I agree with you. I think Kate signed a deal with the devil. Imagine never knowing where a camera is hiding every time you leave your home. And even inside your own (Royal) home you can’t be one hundred per cent sure you can trust your staff. Being married to the heir to the throne must, to a large extent, be a very lonely, isolating experience. It’s no wonder Kate so often runs home to Bucklebury to be with her family. It’s where she can truly feel safe and secure.

      • Jaded says:

        She had 10 years to get used to what it would be like married to William. No excuse.

      • Betti says:

        Kate has always run home to her parents – during the dating years she was often at her parents home more than her flat in London, particularly as she was supposedly helping with the family business.

  40. cindyp says:

    Do they have “Toastmasters” in the UK??????

    • Prairiegirl says:

      I came here to say exactly this. Toastmasters. A speaking coach. Practising in front of a mirror. She’s a grown woman and public speaking is part of her job. Put on your big girl panties and step up, Kate.

  41. snapdragon says:

    Did she not know that public speaking would be part of the job she so doggedly pursued for 10 years? She’s really letting her country down badly and setting a terrible example for modern young women.

  42. Wren33 says:

    I hate public speaking but enjoy dancing on stage. There is also a huge difference between acting on stage as a child, and speaking in front of national news organizations, knowing that your every nervous stumble is going to be broadcast and picked apart by the blogs. I am okay with giving a rehearsed speech, but I get physically trembly and sweaty and panicked if I know there are going to be questions and I am going to go off script.

    • bluhare says:

      I can’t speak for everyone, but if Kate made an effort I wouldn’t pick her apart. You start small and work up. Give a speech without cameras. Work up to speaking to larger groups with and without a camera. You can’t just throw your hands up and quit. That gets criticized. I don’t know anyone who absolutely loved public speaking from the moment they heard about it.

      The other thing is admit that it terrifies you and do it anyway. Most people totally support someone who they know is scared. When I first started speaking in front of people I’d tell them I was scared but I’d do my best. I found that by doing that people were totally encouraging. I worked at it too, and found I was better when I was prepared and did not like to have a speech in front of me as I’d get more rattled if I lost my place than I would if I just winged it. And I learnt to deal with hecklers too. You just learn, and the only way you learn is having to deal with it.

      • FLORC says:

        Bluhare
        You speak for me on this. If she only tried there would be less of this lashing.
        Not more excuses from a PR angle. Kate is capable and can grow these skills.
        Years in the excuses are still coming without the effort and i’m at a loss to understand how people can excuse this behavior without degrading the strength women have.

    • Anne says:

      Perhaps she could just practice in front of small groups in private without the pressure of being filmed. Work the muscle.

  43. hannah says:

    Well , I did plays in school , never a problem there , but I could not read homework out loud in class or do a presentation . I always started out ok , then my speech would get faster and faster until the teacher told me to slow down and that was it , I ended up crying and not able to get out a complete sentence . At one point teachers just stopped asking me to do it all together . I had that problem all through high school and college and it never went away . Today at my job I do the work and somebody else can do the speaking .

  44. My two cents says:

    I have a dumb question because I am so illiterate about how this monarchy thing works. What happens if a regular person falls in love with an heir to the throne and thinks they can handle the job part of it. Then after marrying and being in the limelight, finds they do not like the job part of it at all. Can they just stay married and be a Princess or Duchess without having to do any of the job part of it?

    • Olenna says:

      Well, I think we’re all seeing that your hypothetical scenario is not so hypothetical.

    • LAK says:

      I guess we are finding out.

      Although, early consorts – and i’m really going back to ye olde, OLDE worlde, at the dawn of England, if not actual pre-England – were expected to just be breeding machines and nothing more, so I guess that’s what Kate is trying to do.

      Royal women have always been better educated, and expected to be aware of govt and diplomacy in case they had to be Regents, so better lot than the average woman, not just breeding machines. We can’t compare Kate to any of those women.

      • maggie says:

        She’s not just a breeding machine either if that’s what you are insinuating. I don’t blame her for not wanting to speak publicly either if I was torn to shreds every day like she is on this thread.

      • Christin says:

        Earlier today, I was reading comments and thinking about how she had set the expectations back by decades. But it’s actually centuries, isn’t it?

      • suze says:

        Maggie, comments on blogs like this have nothing to do with the Duchess of Cambridge public speaking abilities.

        Kate supporters would gain a lot more traction if they could point to positive contributions versus just retreating into the defensive “leave her alone” defense.

      • Adding sums says:

        @ LAK

        Expectations and reality sometimes clash.
        Even in the good old days Queens were expected to do their thing for charity.
        The smarter Queens of smarter Husbands did even do some diplomacy stuff. After all the point of marrying a princess from abroad was to strenghten relations with that “abroad” and often the Queen aka Princess from abroad would do that.

        @ Maggie

        Kate does next to nothing. It is not just speaking. And yes, for that you should call her out. You pay her with taxes, after all.
        And no, I don’t believe that her current worky worky attitude will last very long.

  45. Switch says:

    KM has been given every excuse for her lack-luster duchessing. If she isn’t good at delivering a speech she will either learn with time or they will rewrite her ” job description” so she doesn’t have to. So, what IS she good at? Making herself look pretty. Smiling for the cameras. Attending celebrity galas and sporting events. Doing walkabout (Eyes and cameras on me, peasants).

    I find it interesting that they are playing “the very very long game”. That sums it all up for me– the low numbers of events, SAHM, EAAA job, gap year, the endless excuses and stories, etc. It’s all a plan to postpone their responsibilities for as long as possible while they live the good life. Problem is that in the meantime they live off the taxpayer and continue to enjoy the benefit of the PR spin.

    • hmmm says:

      Very astute. I think you’re right.

    • wolfie says:

      She will be very unpopular by the time the long game plays out. She had so much good will after the wedding – and she squandered it with her selfishness. And strangely, we are supposed to pity her…

      • notasugarhere says:

        It is both of them wolfie, and we’re supposed to pity them and their children. No matter how many lies these two tell, no matter how much they use their kids as PR pawns, we’re supposed to stop questioning and let the poor dears live a normal, criticism-free life in their taxpayer-supported mansions and palaces.

  46. Sunsetsnow says:

    I have said this before. She is

  47. Saywhatwhen says:

    It’s the accent. She hasn’t quite mastered the toffy accent as yet. She is working on it.

    Thing is when she married I was eager to hear her use her educated/British middleclass speak/accent. I felt very sure she would not bother with the pretentions and I was looking forward to that. Thought it would have endeared her to many. That woman is so silly, so unaware…

    • Betti says:

      Her way of speaking pains me – you can tell its not her natural way of speaking and she has forced herself to speak like by copying (badly) they way Willy and his set speak.

      • Pondering thoughts says:

        I am German so the finer details of British accents and variations usually elude me. But even I can hear that forced and unnatural way of speaking in Kate’s talk. The prosodie is off and she places minor emphasis’ in the wrong place and stuff like that.
        It is awful and pretentious and ridiculous. There was nothing wrong with her way of speaking before.
        She fakes it. And that is disgusting. About as disgusting as somebody who claims to have achieved certain merits and then it comes out he didn’t.
        A fake accent is lying about your identity which makes people dislike you for your dishonesty and that is a scientifically confirmed fact.

        I bet her elocutions lessons gave her the feeling that her way of speaking before wasn’t right. And that added to her public speaking issues.

      • FLORC says:

        Pondering Thoughts
        I agree. Her accent feels forced and only slows her speaking. It feels false because there’s no flow.

        She took on a new accent to maybe fit in with Williams crowd, but it only makes her stand out now. Like she’s trying to speak with marbles in her mouth. Very slowly and very carefully.

  48. Nunya says:

    I can stand in front of a classroom full of students all day and have a blast. However, speaking to a group of my fellow teachers makes me want to curl up on the floor in a fetal position. The social anxiety of public speaking is excruciatingly painful for me.

    • Pondering thoughts says:

      It is always easier to speak to people who aren’t your equal but hierachically lower (students) or younger (children). Yep, know that.

      Nevertheless one has to get over it. Preparation does the trick. Kate doesn’t prepare.

  49. FLORC says:

    It’s worth repeating, butI have said this numerous times.
    The BIG issue discussed here isn’t Kate. We all can see she’d rather vacation over meet with her charities. That’s never been a secret. It’s the PR lies and narratives of being “Keen” to help them.
    They paint a picture that she directly counters and that’s for me the issue.

    Worse yet is how people will defend this behavior by acting like it’s ok to live as she does and refusing to do her job because if they could get away with that they would. And that nothing more should be expected of her past producing children and appearing for photos.

    Is this what we should value? False news and apathy towards a podium to bring help to needed causes? I will root when Kate does well, but I will not root for someone wasting such a position. I won’t lower my standards to accomidate her fair weathered work ethic. She wants for nothing so she can help others who do. When you are given that privilege it’s not ok to ignore it.
    And i’m not even starting on William. He’s worse in many more ways.
    That’s my soapbox rant.

  50. Jf says:

    Many people have spoken about how they worked to improve their public speaking/overcome anxiety about speaking in public because they had to for the sake of their job- inability/unwillingness to improve would lead to negative consequences in their job. The difference here is that there are no real consequences for Kate’s lack of ability and unwillingness to improve- she won’t ever be fired from her “job”, so (from her perspective), what incentive does she even have to improve? There are just no consequences for doing her job badly. For this reason, I just don’t believe she will ever really improve.

    • wolfie says:

      It’s been 5 years and she still hasn’t received the family medallion for service to the Queen. Royals like Sophie and Diana were given the medal after 1 to 2 1/2 years of being in the royal family and DOING well.

  51. majicou says:

    Why does Kate have to be the next Princess Diana? If she doesn’t like public speaking, then whatever. The Royalty in the UK is just a figurehead.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Problem is that they are funded by the tax payers – and so there is an unwritten contract that are doing something to justify the expense. That’s the thing about a constitutional monarchy, it exists on the suffrance of the people and the government. In that sense, one could argue that the royals are a kind of civil servants.

      Prince Charles has given statements that show that he’s aware of this. William appears to don’t care at all and Kate seems to follow his lead. William and Kate are also going to hold the top rank in the future. They are going to be among the highest ranking representatives of their nation, which is why their blatant disregard of the public aspect of their roles is damaging and, frankly, quite appaling. So I think that it is absolutely justified if British citizens express their disapproval and disappointment about how these two blithely exploit their priviledged position without doing anything other than the absolutely bare minimum.

      Whilst I do think that they’re a benefits to a constitutional monarchy with a head of state that stands outside of specific political affiliations, I can assure you that I’d turn republican if the monarch and royals of my country showed the disregard for the responsibilities of the role that Will and Kate display.

      I don’t think anyone wants her to be the next Diana. However, in terms of “work” Diana set the bar high and that is what Kate is being measured against. Kate’s efforts is also being measured against other royals, both British and European and in that comparison, she falls woefully short.

      • Adding sums says:

        How about an elected figurehead. He could stay in office for more than one government term. That would give him the possibility to act more long-term.
        But he could get kicked out.
        And he could get controlled by the public / the courts.
        And he couldn’t hand down his position to his heir / heiress.
        And an elected head wouldn’t come with a huge royal family in need of money.

        If the Queen, Prince Charles or even Prince William were to campaign in an election for such a position then none of them would get even into the pre-elections.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        That is an interesting option. I live in an constitutional monarchy and the institution represents more than a politically neutral Head of State. The symbolic value of a monarchy shoul not be underestimated – it (and the dynastic family) represents historical continuity and in that sense serves to create a sense of the nation’s deep history. That is a relevant factor when it comes to national identity construction, especially in countries like Denmark and England that can boast of being some of the oldest surviving monarchies in the world. It is a much more intangible and abstract value but it has cedrtainly played an important role in the way certain have been imagined as a national community. It is a radical different imagining than fx the US that celebrates its history of breaking a way from colonial rule through revolution.

        Benedict Anderson has written cogently on the way national communities are imagined.

      • MinnFinn says:

        AH – That is an excellent and succinct summary of monarchy’s role in forming and maintaining national identity. I have wanted to read more about national identity formation so thanks for mentioning Benedict Anderson. I’ll start with him.

      • ArtHistorian says:

        The role of the arts in the formation of national identities is one of my academic specialties. Benedict Anderson is one of the big names in this field. His definition of the nation as an “imagined community” is the most succinct to date, IMO.

        I’d also recommend Hobsbawm & Ranger, “The Invention of Tradition”. It has some really interesting articles – like the provenance of the kilt and some articles on royal rituals and recently (1800s) invented traditions.

        I would also recommend Michael Billig’s “Banal Nationalism” and Ernst Gellner’s “Nations and Nationalism”.

    • Adding sums says:

      A 30-Mio-Pounds figurehead plus costs for police protection paid for by the taxpayer. And then you can add the money Prince Cha_rles gets from the Du_chy of Cor_nwall which is essentially the taxpayer’s money, too.

      • wolfie says:

        What is the rational connection between lives of extreme wealth and good diplomacy? Is social standing (and tax dollars) so meritorious to the British that this fanciful blue blood is enshrined? There’s no true value being extolled here – Will and Kate are mere celebrities with very little ethic or reason to celebrate.

      • Pondering thoughts says:

        @ wolfie

        There is no connection between lives of extreme wealth and good diplomacy. The Germany elected Federal President is a figurehead head of state, too, but it merely costs about 10 mio / year and he is controlled by the government and the people and his actions are a lot more transparent than the Queen’s.

      • MinnFinn says:

        wolfie – Excellent questions. I hope some Britons will respond.

        National pride is a primary reason why any free society allocates tax money to provide a luxury lifestyle for their leader(s). And English Edwardian era royals and aristocrats believed that luxurious hospitality was an extension and metaphor for their Christian faith. My guess is that the House of Lords and/or all of parliament got taxpayers on board with funding the royals for those 2 reasons. Fast forward to today and nothing has changed because monarchy and government are reticent to change and modernization.

  52. Adding sums says:

    Nope, I don’t buy it.
    She walked on stage in a neglige. She did theatre. She did presentations at uni.
    Everybody would have acknowledged if she had made and effort and even if it were a merely average speech. Though she should make an effort to go beyond the thank-you-for-invinting-me and this-is-a-great-charity speech.
    She can’t have gotten through university without giving presentations. She could do it. She merely doesn’t want to.
    Also I suspect she wouldn’t have much to say as she isn’t really interested in any of her charities. And if you ain’t got no clues and no interests and no practice then you really can’t give even a basic speech.

    It is telling that Buckingham Palace PR apparently starts noticing that they have to come up with excuses and explanations for Kate’s lack of performance. Even BuckPal starts losing its patience with lazy Waity Katie.

    and what does Kate think or do to improve? She can’t out-wait this problem.

    • FLORC says:

      BP is excusing her?
      That i’m aware of BP has been shutting down her excuses if they ever entwine. Like the claim when she was the Girlfriend that BP didn’t want her to work. BP shut that down directly.
      Or that BP dictates her schedule. They shut that down too.
      I could be wrong, but isn’t this poorjason’s work?

      • wolfie says:

        Jason has managed to make her look very weak – so apparently she must be. And he wants us to respond with pity…