Duchess Kate Zooms with two Holocaust survivors on Holocaust Memorial Day

Hope Hicks meets with members of Congress

The Duchess of Cambridge has done a handful events around Holocaust remembrance over the years, including a visit (with Prince William) to Berlin’s Holocaust memorial in 2017, and various meetings with Holocaust survivors. I don’t have a joke here or anything – Kate has behaved well at those events, and she honestly seems to enjoy speaking to the survivors she’s met over the years. I think she has a genuine interest in the World War II era of history. I wish she would do more around the Shoah, especially given the deep vein of anti-Semitism which is still pervasive in British society, and, on the other side, the real history of Britain taking in Jewish refugees before, during and after the war. Perhaps she was told that it’s “too political.”

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day, and to mark the day, Kate did a Zoom call with Holocaust survivors Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg. Again, I don’t have a joke here. Kate is mostly listening to their stories and asking a question here or there, or commenting about how young they were.

I feel like the one criticism which might possibly be made – and has been made before – is that Kate is too smiley and upbeat during somber remembrances and conversations about unspeakable tragedy. I’ll defend her there, because (again) I think she genuinely enjoys meeting with these older people and she seems to have lively conversations with them. I also think that the palace aides want Kate to have photo-ops with kids and do a lot of keen busy work with children, when she would probably prefer to work with seniors. Some people are like that. I also prefer to be around seniors rather than kids.

Hope Hicks meets with members of Congress

Screencaps courtesy of the KP video.

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49 Responses to “Duchess Kate Zooms with two Holocaust survivors on Holocaust Memorial Day”

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  1. Mignionette says:

    Going to be honest – I am shocked they allowed her near such a sensitive subject. I know she has some jewish ancestry but still they never usually let Kate near the heavy hitting subjects as she is not a confident orator and she tends to say some spectacularly stupid things.

    • notasugarhere says:

      She doesn’t have Jewish ancestry.

      After her performance at a Holocaust remembrance event in Poland, with her flippy hair, grinning and gurning, bright floral dress, and open-toed leather sandals? They shouldn’t allow her anywhere near this sensitive subject.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        She had an event I can’t remember very well, but she wore a military style coat while visiting victims of a war? She was grinning ear to ear. Early on.

      • Ash says:

        I had to look up that event in Poland as I thought I remembered it differently – and lo and behold: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40639711

        What exactly is wrong with her dress and shoes here? They appear to be entirely in line with what the women in the background of the signing photo are wearing.

      • Becks1 says:

        @Ash – her outfit there stood out because it was so un-Kate like. we very rarely see her wear open toe shoes with dresses, and at the time we rarely saw her wear flouncy floral dresses like that (of course now the ugly floral prints are her favorites), etc. So it wasnt like the outfit was inappropriate in general, it was just kind of like – the one time Kate wants to go light and spring-like and all floral, its for this visit?

      • Mignionette says:

        @NotA I thought she had some Jewish ancestry via her mother’s side. Didn’t uncle Gary also allude to that?

        It may be way back but I am sure I saw one of those family trees where her maternal line defo had some Jewish connection ?


      • notasugarhere says:

        Added to Becks1′s comment, look up open-toed and leather shoes at Jewish cemeteries. Those are huge no-nos.

        No, she doesn’t have Jewish ancestry. The people who insist she does are generally the same conspiracy theorists who believe the Queen is secretly a lizard.

    • Bohemian Angel says:

      She has no Jewish ancestry. Kate is as English as English can be.
      Funny, the ‘Royals’ were very quiet about Black Lives Matter but are fast to support the Jewish community on Holocaust Day. I can’t with their obvious racism against black people.

    • MaryContrary says:

      She has zero Jewish ancestry.

    • Undine Spragg's vanity says:

      This sensitive subject needs all the awareness and remembrance it can get. Probably the only British Royal who ought to stay away from talking about it is Prince Harry for obvious reasons

      • Mignionette says:

        In which case Charles should also stay away from it as he has a history of actual DOCUMENTED antisemitism in the form of letters and diary entries.

      • Kalana says:

        William should probably stay away from it too seeing as he partied alongside his brother in that costume and didn’t see a problem with it. Instead he tried to use it to get out of sitting his exams. Classic William.

        Kate and Meghan are amongst the few royals who can engage in this.

      • equality says:

        Perhaps Harry and William both learned from that experience. That might be a reason for them to be involved in something of this sort so that they do gain understanding.

      • notasugarhere says:

        Seeing as William picked out Harry’s costume and bullied him into wearing it, as per the shopkeeper? That initial reports were Charles was furious at William but shifted all the blame to Harry in the general heir vs. spare mentality.

  2. Sofia says:

    I won’t hate on her here. This is a nice and wonderful thing she’s doing. And I think the people she’s talking to appreciate having someone hear their stories.

  3. Nic919 says:

    Compared to the video yesterday it’s pretty obvious how much more comfortable she seems doing these videos on her own. Similar to in person engagements.

  4. HeatherC says:

    Though her hair is a dupliKate of Meghan’s, I hope she keeps it. It looks nice, especially without the sausage curls. I feel she should pivot to seniors if it’s an option. “everyone” says how “great” she is with kids and all but to me that’s when she really breaks out the hyena laughs and rictus grins. I don’t especially like kids, other than my son, so I get it.

    • Becks1 says:

      If it wasnt such an obvious duplicate of Meghan’s I would really like her hair like this. It looks so much better this way.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      Her hair is nice like this but the obvs cosplaying kinda ruins what is a good look for her.

    • Nina Simone says:

      “DupliKate” is hysterically on point. So clever ahaha

      • HeatherC says:

        I wish I could say I was clever enough to think of it on my own…but I didn’t. I swiped it from another commenter here.

    • L84Tea says:

      I’m glad I’m not the only one like that with kids. With my own sons, I will dance and sing and behave like an absolute fool, but around any other child I’m like, um, hello, nice weather we’re having…

      • Lady D says:

        Just as a suggestion, you could ask a child what instrument they’re learning to play, what team they’re on, what book they are reading, what their favourite movie is, do they have/want any pets, have you been on an airplane, or tell them a joke, e.g. Mary had a little lamb – her doctor had a cow. Usually once you get a kid laughing, it’s easy to keep them that way.

  5. Becks1 says:

    I do think Kate tends to interact better with seniors than with children, so I’m surprised they are pushing her towards children just because she has young kids herself. Some people are just better with older people than younger and I think the palace would do well to emphasize that for Kate.

    I dont really have any criticisms for this either – I watched a quick clip of the video and the survivors were also laughing a bit in the clip I saw, so its not like Kate was laughing at an inappropriate time or something. And that basic sweater is a nice look on her.

    • Lady D says:

      Maybe they want her with small children because seniors have a bad habit of repeating the stupid things she says?

      • Becks1 says:

        LOL, maybe! I would think that seniors and children alike would have a better opinion of the royal family – seniors if they lived through World War II, even if they were kids at the time, or remember the young queen with her children, etc – and little kids because hey, royalty! Princess!

  6. Amy Bee says:

    It’s good that the Royal Family is remembering the Holocaust. It’s very important in the fight against anti-Semitism and I wish they would do more on this issue and other forms of discrimination. Promoting anti-racism is not a political issue, it’s an human rights issue and I think the Royal Family taking a role in this fight would help Britain to become a less racist society.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Tell it to the KP staff and tabloids who insist Meghan even mentioning the idea of ‘racism’ is forbidden. Or tell it to racist W&K who sat through racist chants at a football match and said nothing, because they were there for a PR photo op as ‘happy family’.

      • Amy Bee says:

        I know the Royal Family is never going to touch this issue because it will stir up a lot of discussion about their participation in racism and they will to have acknowledge their role in it and white supremacy. But I think it is a worthwhile issue for the entire family. Perhaps get some scholars involved and develop a huge campaign against racism. I think this would show the Royal Family having a real impact on British Society.

      • notasugarhere says:

        And how exactly would W&K be taken seriously when they bullied their bi-racial sister in law out of the family, tried to have them banished to ‘Africa’, and calmly sit through racist chants at football because they don’t care? No one would take them seriously, because W&K’s intrinsic racism is well-known.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Absolutely no shade on her for this. It’s admirable and necessary to never forget that atrocities of what happened. I hope that she can do more with this and bring more stories to light.

    • Harper says:

      Same. This was for Ziggy and Manfred. I listened to the whole video, and Manfred said when he arrived in London after the camps he never thought he’d be speaking with royalty one day. It really means something to him to get this attention, and Kate did a good job with them. This is what she can do if she puts some thought and time into her work.

      It is funny how Ziggy said he didn’t need to see Will again.

      • Elizabeth says:

        That was funny (the joke about not needing to see William)! I think Kate, on her own with things like this, can be effective. You said it best. They key is her putting some thought and time into it.

        I’m really glad she seemed to just listen to them – let their story be told. There was at least one instance that it looked like she wanted to say something and either thought better of it or maybe just couldn’t find the words to say in response to what was being conveyed. Either way – I’m just really glad she seemed to listen.

  8. Midge says:

    Why is she always smiling maniacally?

    • Pétulia says:

      I think she knows she has a resting bitch face so she try to constantly smile even when it’s not appropriate

  9. Amelie says:

    I watched the whole video and found the testimonials of both these survivors so moving, so touching, and just so poignant. I didn’t think Kate said anything inappropriate or made any weird facial expressions. The two survivors were both happy talking to her and the two young students who came in at the end were great to see, though we didn’t get to hear much from the girl. This is one of the rare times I can’t really criticize Kate. She looks fine, she spoke just fine, and she was clearly moved by the stories the survivors shared with her. It is important to memorialize and remember the Holocaust and to learn as much as possible about it.

    Of course, the Holocaust isn’t the only genocide that needs to be memorialized and I wish the BRF took a stance on causes that didn’t only affect Europe, given they colonized half the planet. And I will say Kate isn’t always respectful when it comes to memorials. I still remember when she wore that bright pink hideous coat at the 9/11 memorial in NYC at Ground Zero. I am from NY and I was only 13 on that day. My memories from that day are rooted in terror and fear. I won’t go on and on about it but that coat has always angered me and still does.

    • Nic919 says:

      I still can’t believe any of her people didn’t steer her away from wearing hot pink at a 9/11 memorial. It made her look ignorant when everyone else was wearing somber colours.

  10. CC2 says:

    I actually think Kate is fine with both seniors and children. I followed Kate back in the day when I didn’t know better, and she honestly came across as really sweet with little kids. There a couple of cute moments i still remember, the baby leaning backwards and her supporting the baby, a kid playing with her hair, and a kid dancing with her when she’s on the floor. I think Kate does give off a very maternal vibe, while Meghan gives off a big sister vibe. Meghan did great at the school she attended last year.

    As for the smiling. I don’t know. I think they’re very aware of how their resting faces look and that’s their own way of coping with it. Meghan sometimes has a very awkward smile-resting face at formal events (although her at commonwealth shows a natural zen face in a sea of nasty people), Kate has that manic smile.

    This engagement is fine I think. Sometimes being too sombre with survivors rub me the wrong way. I think she’s genuinely interested in this, her photography of survivors were cool too. She just can’t make a project out of this. So early years and pie charts it is.

    Also, minor criticism. She nods her head way too much. It’s very intentional and it’s kind of funny.

    All that aside, can I say that I love CB. We don’t usually mindlessly drag people just because they hate them. Meghan trolls could never.

  11. Mia says:

    Good sweater choice, perfect neckline and colour.

  12. Cel2495 says:

    Gosh! There is that manic smile again. It seems this woman is always performing….being empathetic should not be that difficult . I guess smiling maniacally is her way to show expression

  13. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    This whole scenario really pisses me off.
    The 27 Jan is the day the majority of Jews, including myself, remember Shoah and contemplate the family members who died in the death camps (a large number of the European branch of my family was exterminated). And instead Of that contemplation, we have to have articles and comments on how Kate looked and behaved. She simply shouldn’t have done it. She’s much too divisive and polarising person when something of this magnitude is in question. Sorry, but the Kate-attention on a day survivors talk about their shattering experiences really, really pisses me off to the point of rage.

    • Undine Spragg's vanity says:

      When I watched the video, I was completely focused on the two strong, resilient gentlemen who were happy to to share the stories of the lives they’ve lived. So I beg to disagree. Maybe you’re the one focused on Kate and making it only about her. She was just a backdrop, this story is all about them.

      • Ann says:

        I’m Jewish and I don’t have a problem with it. She is doing her part to make sure people remember. Just because she’s there talking to them doesn’t mean she’s making it about herself. I’m American and while we certainly have our problems with anti-Semitism, I think we are in a better place here than they are in the UK, where it seems to be a bit more insidious and pervasive. My friend has a daughter who’s at St. Andrews. She has a rather Posh Scottish BF and my friend genuinely was nervous his parents might have a problem with the fact that her own father was Jewish. Seriously, a problem because his GF is 25% Jewish (and not even technically Jewish according to the religion itself, since it is matrilineal)! Raised Christian, too. That kind of surprised me in this day and age.

    • CC2 says:

      Don’t make me defend her lool

      I know Kate’s fans will say the exact same thing if it was Meghan doing this. But in honesty, this engagement was fine. Kate is not relevant enough for this event to overshadow the day. I didn’t even think about her until i watched it again to see how she was behaving.

    • Melissa says:

      She isn’t all that divisive and polarizing outside of gossip columns and this blog — mostly she’s just bland.

      • notasugarhere says:

        So we’re to forget about her racist bullying of her sister-in-law simply because she’s boring at the same time?

      • Melissa says:

        @ nota
        ?? I didn’t say anything about forgetting xyz. I merely stated she isn’t that polarizing or divisive.

        You are of course free to personal opinion, but as far as the BRF “subjects” go, I don’t see where she is all that hated.

  14. Maevo says:

    I saw Elizabeth Holmes saying that she’s noticed Kate has been wearing pearls since the inauguration and speculating whether that was a nod to Kamala. And…there’s just no way. I guarantee you Kate couldn’t care less about that. After the green BAFTAs dress
    (and of course everything with Meghan) I’m convinced Kate gives no sh*ts about women.