Duchess Kate: ‘Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict’

The Duchess Of Cambridge Attends The Launch Of 'Taking Action On Addiction' Campaign

Here are more photos of the Duchess of Cambridge yesterday at the Forward Trust. Our photo agencies got the photos later than they usually would have, so this is sort of a fashion/styling post too. Her red dress is Ralph Lauren, and the turtleneck is cashmere. It’s new-to-us, and it is pretty, although I stand by my assessment that Kate loves to copykeen. Kensington Palace released a less-than-a-minute clip of Kate’s “keynote speech” at the event, and Kensington Palace released the text to select media outlets, like People Magazine:

Launching the Taking Action on Addiction Campaign she thanked those who shared their experiences of addiction with her as she met with beneficiaries of the charity as well as supporters with experience of addiction.

Kate said, “Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict. But it can happen to any one of us. None of us are immune. It is all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition and seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes…. The journey towards addiction is often multi-layered and complex. But, by recognizing what lies beneath addiction, we can help remove the taboo and shame that sadly surrounds it. As a society, we need to start from a position of compassion and empathy. Where we nurture those around us, understand their journey, and what has come before them.”

Speaking of her pride in being patron of The Forward Trust, Kate highlighted how the lockdowns and anxiety caused by the COVID-19 crisis have exacerbated the problem for many sufferers. “The pandemic has had a devastating impact on addiction rates. And families and children are having to cope with addiction in greater numbers than ever before. We know that over one and a half million people across the U.K. who did not have substance misuse prior to lockdown may now be experiencing problems associated with increased alcohol consumption. Around 2 million individuals who were identified as being in recovery, may have experienced a relapse over the past 18 months.”

On Tuesday, she spoke of the hope that she holds despite the figures. “I have had the privilege of meeting many incredible people who have lived through the harsh realities of addiction,” she said in her speech. “Through their own hard work, and with the help from communities and charities, such as The Forward Trust, lives really are being turned around.

In the keynote speech, she added, “I fully support The ‘Taking Action on Addiction’ campaign to improve awareness and understanding of addiction. The campaign will show us that, not only do many people recover from addiction, they can go on to prosper. We can all play our part in helping this work. By understanding, by listening, by connecting. So that together we can build a happier, healthier and more nurturing society.”

[From People]

Her speechwriters are doing a better job, at least. I expected her to go to the microphone, flip her hair and mumble something about how she’s keen to meet addicts. I found this interesting: “It is all too rarely discussed as a serious mental health condition and seldom do we take the time to uncover and fully understand its fundamental root causes…” She’s trying to link addiction to early-childhood development (her beloved Early Years research), like if addicts had better childhoods in two-parent affluent homes, then maybe they wouldn’t be addicts. That’s not the way any of this works. As medical research into addiction grows, we find more and more that there are so many genetic predispositions to addiction, and those genetic predispositions are across race, class and socioeconomic background. I know I’m nitpicking, but her emphasis on “knowing the root cause” of these issues is often simplistic and offensive.

The Duchess of Cambridge making a keynote speech to launch "Taking Action on Addiction" campaign.

The Duchess of Cambridge making a keynote speech to launch "Taking Action on Addiction" campaign.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

Related stories

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

171 Responses to “Duchess Kate: ‘Addiction is not a choice. No one chooses to become an addict’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Merricat says:

    Is she not aware that addiction happens in loving families? In well-to-do families? In her own family?
    She is such a waste of time.

    • Sinéad says:

      Yes. Exactly. Her own uncle is a known coke-head and most of her her in-laws seem very ‘fond’ of the drink!!! But they’re rich and privileged so I guess she thinks that doesn’t count as addiction.

      • Maria says:

        Her uncle is different, he’s willing to be an anti-Meghan mouthpiece for her! So his drug trafficking and knocking his wife out with a right hook are okay.

        This speech would land better if she and William hadn’t vacationed at Gary’s known cocaine trafficking villa.

    • STRIPE says:

      Am I missing something in her comments? I don’t see that she said anything about socioeconomic status or families for that matter causing addition . The way I read it, she is saying that underlying mental health issues are the root cause of addiction.

      • MrsRobinson says:

        Same. She doesn’t say that those root causes aren’t genetic, right?

      • Becks1 says:

        We’re all connecting the dots, which is that Kate thinks that mental health issues don’t happen in perfect loving families and that mental health issues are often the result of “stress” or something similar. So when says addiction is a “mental health issue” its easy to go from there to Kate’s views on mental health issues.

      • Merricat says:

        I’m taking her comments in context with other things she’s said, not just this particular speech. Lol.

      • NoComment says:

        Underlying mental-health issues can cause a person to self-medicate and become addicted.

        Also, I don’t know anyone who has come from a “perfect family.” Often what looks “perfect” at first glance, is far from it when you look more closely.

      • Amy Too says:

        But the fact that we have to question and infer what she meant is part of the problem. We watched/listened/read what was supposed to be a keynote speech about addiction and it was so surface level and full of platitudes and with the shallowest plumbing of the depths that we don’t actually know what she meant when she says “addiction is a mental health condition” or “many root causes,” or “we need to understand what came before.” She said so little that here, that we have to go off what she’s said before, what sort of projects interest her, what her supposed big life’s work is (early years) etc. Someone sitting in the audience shouldn’t have to know Kate or be familiar with her work to get the gist of what she’s saying or implying. But because she basically said nothing besides what this patronage likely puts on the cover of its own flyer where they have limited space to grab attention (“addiction is not a choice, it can happen to anyone, it has many causes”), we’re all sitting here questioning what she really meant. And that’s a problem. We should not come away from a keynote speech with more questions than answers. She said so little that her audience is out here trying to *guess* what she meant!

      • ReginaGeorge says:

        @ STRIPE

        Same. That’s exactly what I got from her comment and anything else was a reach or projection.

      • Becks1 says:

        @NoComment you said “Underlying mental-health issues can cause a person to self-medicate and become addicted.

        Also, I don’t know anyone who has come from a “perfect family.” Often what looks “perfect” at first glance, is far from it when you look more closely.”

        YES. We all understand this. We’re making inferences as to what Kate meant based on what she has said in the past about mental health and the early years.

        and according to Carole, the Middletons are the perfect family.

      • Mac says:

        There are many causes of addiction, but adverse childhood experiences and PTSD are major drivers. Genetics may play a role in addiction, but the impact of trauma shouldn’t be ignored.

      • GraceB says:

        It’s a really complex subject and all she gave was a short speech. She’s staying very surface level and at the end of the day, she wasn’t there to give a lecture. I’m not even sure where her understanding of the issue lies.

        I think part of the issue here is that she also champions mental health, which has a significant role in addiction, and she’s also surface level with that. She talks about getting outdoors, talking about how we feel, not being afraid to see a therapist, and having a good support network. It’s the same stuff we see repeated in the media all the time, but for the average person who might be struggling, getting help is really hard to do in the UK.

        It’s incredibly hard to access counselling on the NHS, the wellbeing service does barely anything and mental health services are so stretched that even those in crisis will struggle to fine help. My own teenage son hit a crisis a couple of months ago, after being on a waiting list for 6 months, with no appointment. I called and begged for him to be seen, only to be told that the only doctor who could see him was on long term sick leave. I had no choice but to pay for him to be seen privately, which then created a whole new set of problem with his continuing care within the NHS. The system here is completely broken and failing people terribly.

        So I don’t think Kate is wrong in what she says, I think we are just pulling it apart, but I thinking she’s missing a real opportunity to say so much more.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        It’s as if she was talking in circles. I am dizzy after reading her notes and her little blurb posted.

        KKWeen offered nothing of substance. She just spoke in generalization, which could be applied to any other disadvantages that people suffer from. Homelessness, food insecurities, lack of employment, etc….
        Until she speaks in plain English, no one is going to know what the F she is talking about. And FFS, hire a F speech coach or something!! Stop being lazy and continue to think that just your presence is enough to highlight or put a spotlight on your current KKWeen-project-to-KKWeen-about!!

      • Becks1 says:

        @GraceB – I hope your son is doing okay now.

        And I think your last paragraph is really key and is why so many of us are rolling our eyes here. Its not that’s she’s wrong, its that this is all she can say at this point in time? She has such a platform and such an opportunity and this is what she says?

        It wouldn’t bother me coming from Anne or the Queen – but the Cambridges have said they want to do fewer bread and butter engagements and really “focus” on their causes and mental health is one of their “signature” causes so yes, I do do expect a lot more from Kate on this front.

      • Lorelei says:

        @Grace, I’m so sorry to hear about your son, and I hope he’s doing well. I think your story is an example of why people get so frustrated with Kate, because she touches blithely on what she seems to view as lots of easy “solutions,” most of which are not realistic for huge numbers of people in the UK. Many children don’t have access to safe, clean parks with playgrounds, and parents/guardians who can supervise them playing for hours, and it seems like any adult with functioning brain cells would just *know* this by this point in their lives?!

        Kate appears to totally lack the capacity to realize that other people live lives that are not exactly the same as what she has personally experienced in her own? And imo it seems reasonable to ask, especially ten years in, if an educated 40-year-old woman seemingly incapable of empathy AND of speaking coherently is who the people of the UK want to pay lavishly to represent them on the world stage. The fact that her response — when she was on an official tour, representing the Queen — to a maimed child living in poverty was “wow, how interesting” is still SO viscerally alarming every time someone brings it up, even years later, but that’s another conversation.

        ITA with everyone on here who’s said the best way she could use her time is to be active in uncontroversial programs like the Scouts, since she’s clearly more relaxed and at her best when she’s doing outdoorsy activities with children. Or maybe tennis clinics? Anything sporty (well, except yachting, because obviously that’s not an option for the majority of people in the world, yet she seems to do yachting-related events fairly regularly 😬).

        I’m an American so my opinion doesn’t matter, lol, and I also don’t know what British citizens expect from a royal in Kate’s position, if they even think about the royals at all. Is it assumed that she’d have a big, important “cause” that she’d automatically be associated with in people’s minds, like Charles with the Prince’s Trust, or Harry with Invictus? Or is that self-imposed —because let’s be real, she *knew* she had to up her game once Meghan came along? Or would people expect more from Kate because this is her JOB, funded by them, and we can’t all just pick what we find to be the most fun and relaxing activities for ourselves because that’s not the point of work and she should do something worthwhile that actually benefits citizens of the UK…? Sigh.

        @Becks we were typing the same general idea at the same time but of course mine is the length of a dissertation

      • aftershocks says:

        Hey all, I think it’s giving Keen Katie way too much credit by trying to analyze and make sense of this speech. It was written for her by staff who probably boned up on some of M&H’s speeches for examples of earnest phrasing.

        The difference though is, as we all know, Khate’s speeches are performative p.r. bs measures designed to shamelessly try and ‘keep up with the Sussexes.’ Meanwhile, there is no competition. Such competitive posturing is only coming from the Lamebridges and their rota cohorts. For all intents and purposes, if there was actually a competition, the Sussexes have already left the ‘entrapped’ British senior royals and smarmy rota ratchets in the dust.

        Real compassion and caring starts at home, with immediate family and relatives. Both W&K, as well as weak Charles have demonstrated no compassion nor real caring for Meghan, Harry, or Archie. So all this performative word salad about addiction, the environment, and early childhood years is hypocritical bs on the part of the Lamebridges.

        And seriously, Charles ain’t much better these days the way he has tried to capitalize on women’s advocacy issues popularized by Meghan. The entire British royal family were embiggened by Meghan being in their midst. So many of them, including the York girls have learned by Meghan’s life example and by how she carries herself in the world. The royals will never admit it, but it’s a fact. The worst is that the main royals and many staffers never respected Meghan and the positives she brought to the monarchy. Some of them sought to destroy her. They in turn are diminished, and hopefully will ultimately be destroyed for their harmful smearing and gaslighting.

        I realize that not everyone has followed this royal drama closely, so they are easily swayed by KP’s performative p.r. games on behalf of the Lamebridges. Bottom line: I give no credence to anything Khate parrots. She doesn’t have a sincere thought in her head that involves caring about others. She’s shown herself to be petty and selfish. I can’t unsee her lack of genuine character and her absence of authenticity.

    • Merricat says:

      If you attend a water conservation conference and say “Potable water is essential to human survival,” then later, you attend a sports and fitness conference and say “A good diet is essential to physical fitness,” I am going to infer, from your previous statement, that water is essential to a good diet.
      What we say adds up to something. That’s pretty basic.

    • marehare says:

      Addiction IS choice. I was offered many different addictive drugs in my youth, but chose to never take them as I knew they were addictive. My choice. No one is born addicted except babies whose mothers are drug useres. Choosing to use addictive drugs is the addicts fault and choice.
      Once you start shooting up drugs in your veins or taking pills you get either legally or illegally and take way too much or continue taking them after your pain is gone, is your choice. I’ve had to take pain meds sometimes and per my choice, I chart what I take and stop taking them as soon as I can. Addiction is a choice and not anyone’s fault except your own. Matthew Perry, actor, was taking some 30 pills a day of codeine. That was his choice. No one in their right mind takes that many pills except by choice.

      • Greywacke says:

        Apparently, you aren’t familiar with all the NIH-funded research that says otherwise. From the NIDA Budget webpage: “Once viewed as a conscious choice or character flaw, addiction is now understood as a chronic brain disorder that can be treated, and from which one can recover. This view is supported by decades of research demonstrating the complex social and biological factors that contribute to substance misuse and addiction, including the profound and long-lasting effects that addictive drugs have on the brain.”

  2. jeanne says:

    she is so bad at making speeches. between her hair, repeatedly looking at her notes, and her constant head flicks, it was jarring to watch. she makes it incredibly hard for the audience to focus on the message.

    • Grumpier than thou says:

      I’m sure that’s why they didn’t just post a video of the speech and cut back and forth. She looks like a nervous pony with all that head flicking

      • jeanne says:

        that’s what i thought too! they cut the video so that it barely showed her speaking which means everyone at KP agrees that she’s shit at speeches

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        Red outfit check
        Flicky hair check
        Binder check
        Speech making, uncheck.
        10 years on the job and we get another photo op. See you in 8 years.

    • Solidgolddancer says:

      How has she not improved after all this time? Hire a coach, practice, learn to memorize more than one word so you don’t have to look at your notes the entire time. I’m baffled!

      • Lexistential says:

        I feel like she won’t commit the time. Like she’s fine for a couple hours before an event, but she can’t be made to do it on a regular basis (and thus not shop, get Botox, shop more, or stay in Norfolk).

      • Jan90067 says:

        The one thing she SHOULD copy from Diana, she doesn’t. Diana hired voice coach Peter Settelen, to help her develop her public speaking voice ahead of engagements. She even had her sessions videoed so she could *see* how she did, learn what worked and didn’t, and IMPROVE. She said in an interview she wanted to get rid of her “submissive tone” and “gain confidence”. It worked.

        She could’ve had her own “You Could’ve Had a Bad Bitch” tour after her divorce if her life wasn’t cut short.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ The fact is @Jan90067, Diana possessed true caring, compassion, and authenticity. Diana learned how to grow up isolated within a toxic royal gilded cage. While Diana was not a perfect human being, she did have positive purposeful intentions, as well as a very charismatic personality. Diana was one-of-a-kind. We shall never see anyone quite like her again. There are some similarities of kindness and authenticity Diana had that we see in Meghan. But in so many ways, Meghan is a different, extraordinary person in her own right, who is continuing to grow on her own life journey.

        Meanwhile, FFQ Kate is a very pale wisteria wallflower in comparison to Diana and Meghan. Bottom line: Kate does not care to work hard to improve her speechgiving. She doesn’t like giving speeches and she’s not good at it, and she has made no concerted effort to improve. In any case, she would need to drop her false posh accent first, to try and eliminate the mumbling and stumbling over words and syllables.

        Katie Keen’s true accent someone here mentioned awhile back, is Home Counties/ Anglican. She should embrace the way she grew up speaking. But offering FF Keen Queen any advice, is a waste of time.

    • Nic919 says:

      I watched about ten seconds and her hair was bobbing up and down because all she did was read from the paper every few seconds.

      • JT says:

        Maybe I’m an asshole but I just don’t think she said all of the text that was provided to People. The little clip that KP provided was not good, so I just don’t see how she could even make it through all of those words.

      • Nic919 says:

        @JT I didn’t watch enough of the clip to check, but I suspect you are correct. The media props her up non stop.

    • TeamMeg says:

      Agree. Hair flipping out of control—she should have tied it back. Loose tresses, bright red outfit, tight top, uncomfortably tiny waistline all distract away from what is a good and meaningful message. I’ll be generous and give her a B.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ TeamMegm you are much more generous than I am, as I gave her an F, for F@$*&% ridiculous!! I have made public speeches before and worked for 2 weeks beforehand and memorized a majority of it, and I am no KKWeen Kafakta!!

  3. heygingersnaps says:

    “As a society, we need to start from a position of compassion and empathy. Where we nurture those around us, understand their journey, and what has come before them.”
    LOL. She should take a page out of her ghostwriter and practice what she’s spouting. Also maybe she can wean herself off from having her photos being photoshop to the max.

  4. Lolo86lf says:

    Addiction is a disease some people are born with. You do not become an addict, you are born an addict.
    Addiction can’t be cured but it can be arrested.

    • GraceB says:

      I disagree with that. You can be born with a genetic predisposition to addiction but never become an addict. You can be born with a predisposition to mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar and never develop either.

      Life plays an important part in the process. Kate has a point in early years making a difference. Perhaps not in terms of having the perfect, loving family but in terms of leaning coping strategies, prioritising mental & physical health and perhaps even witnessing addiction in action for some.

      It’s also true that those from disadvantaged backgrounds have the odds of developing addiction more greatly stacked against them. Lack of opportunities, education and access to health care can all play a part.

      People may not even have a genetic predisposition at all, but when dealing with trauma or exposed to highly addictive substances, may still go down that path.

      It’s far too black and white to say that addiction is genetic.

      • Becks1 says:

        Of course life plays an important part in the process and no one is saying that it doesn’t. But there IS also an incredibly important genetic component that is always overlooked here. That doesn’t mean we don’t do anything about it – it just means it has to be approached from several different angles.

        And for Kate, “mental health” does mean “make sure you have the perfect loving family and spend lots of time outdoors” so yeah, I’m okay saying that she thinks addiction is a result of people who come from “broken homes.”

      • Twin falls says:

        @Graceb – very well said.

      • Merricat says:

        It is stating the obvious to say that both nature and nurture play a role in who becomes an addict. Kate didn’t need years of studying “the early years” to understand that, and neither to do we. It’s a complex issue, not one that she can paint with her broad brush strokes. If you look at everything she’s said in context, there isn’t a single insight that is new.

      • tempest prognosticator says:

        @GraceB- Hear, hear!

      • Emily H says:

        Thank you for your comment, GraceB. Agreed. I have family members struggling with addiction and true, it does run in that family. However, many members of that family were also susceptible to it and did not develop addiction. Life choices and life events also played a part – childhood issues, job loss, infidelity, betrayal, and honestly, I think fraternity life for men can sometimes set up a lifetime of bad habits.

      • Lorelei says:

        I don’t even think it’s always necessarily a “choice”…some people have dentists who prescribe them far more painkillers than they need when they have their wisdom teeth removed as a teenager, or a doctor who gives them strong painkillers for back pain— and they realize they like how it made them feel, so they continue to use them even after the pain is gone, while someone else might get the same prescription but the medication makes them nauseous so they flush it down the toilet.

        Other people have far more conservative doctors, and they never take more than an Advil, so it just never becomes an issue for them. A lot of it (not all, obviously) is that sort of dumb luck, imo, and then people’s outcomes can be influenced by their genetic predisposition and their circumstances/resources. But even some people with the money and access to the best services cannot beat it, we see it over and over again with celebrities; it’s an awful disease.

        One can have what is in Kate’s opinion a “perfect” Middleton upbringing and still end up an addict through no fault of their own or their parents.

        In any case, it’s probably too complex a subject for Kate to be giving speeches about, imo. If her message is strictly, “It can happen to anyone,” aimed at destigmatization, then fine, but we know she always tries to tie *everything* back to one’s childhood, and that just doesn’t work here. It’s reductive and offensive.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ GraceB, you are absolutely right!!! We also look at the patterns of our parents as well in regards to addiction. My parents, both of whom drank and smoked, which resulted in me choosing the same addictions. I had to break free of both of them on my own. My parents were born in the ‘20’s-‘30’s, which created a tremendous amount of addicts here in the US. Luckily I broke the addictions, well smoking, but not daily drinking until in my ‘30’s. So I am certainly an extension of addition from my parents. Addictions aren’t limited to drugs or drinking either. Addiction to any activity is limitless, like plastic surgery, shopping, Botox, etc……

      • Lorelei says:

        @BothSidesNow, ITA, and to add to what you already listed, I’m worried about addiction to phones/social media, etc. My son doesn’t have an iPhone yet but he has classmates who do, and I can’t even think about letting him go there this young! (It’s also hard for me to lecture him about it when I’m always on my own phone…)

        I don’t know how many people take the idea of this being an addiction seriously, but I really think it is! And can be just as dangerous to children as everything you mentioned.

  5. Jais says:

    I saw an uncut clip of the speech that was just a little under 2 minutes, I think? So I’m thinking the keynote speech was just very short. Not sure but are they usually longer?

  6. Eurydice says:

    I hate to give her the benefit of doubt, but that sentence ends in ellipses – some of that speech has been cut out, so I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that she’s talking about Early Years. It seems a good enough speech, full of high-minded words, but that doesn’t mean anything will come of it.

    • Merricat says:

      My point is that one doesn’t exist in a vacuum. What she has said about the Early Years is important context for what she says about addiction. They are not such separate issues.

      • Eurydice says:

        Pretty much all she’s said about early years is that they are important. We can’t infer from this statement that she’s also saying the root cause of all addiction is a bad childhood.

  7. Pao says:

    I like this look but somehow it looks as if the skirt is about to fall of her waist?
    Like, it looks heavy on her while normally these type off skirts add something light and airy.

  8. The Duchess says:

    Why can’t she take her own advice for once.

  9. Becks1 says:

    This is better than her other speeches but it still is really lightweight for a “keynote” speech from the patron of the organization. And when she talks about meeting people who have lived through addiction – I laughed. when, on her annual or biannual (or less) visits to this charity? it’s certainly not something we see her do on a regular basis.

    i said yesterday that I watched part of her speech on KP’s IG and what stood out to me was how she had to look down at her notes for EVERY line. It was really distracting, no wonder they only showed a short clip. It was as if I met someone and said “Hello” (looks down) my name is Becks (looks down) etc. Like she didn’t have to memorize the whole speech, but she didn’t even know two of the lines together?

    I know people are going to say that public speaking isn’t everyone’s thing etc etc. And at this point, she either needs to learn how to give a speech properly or stop giving them. The hair in her face, the lack of confidence at the podium, the constant looking down – she clearly is not good at this and she clearly does not want to be good at this, so someone needs to stop pushing it.

    Finally – of course, she still gives the impression that she thinks that early years (I wonder if she was told not to mention that phrase) and having a “happy childhood” is a root cause of addiction. That’s what she boils everything down to in her simple mind.

    • Maria says:

      “Like she didn’t have to memorize the whole speech, but she didn’t even know two of the lines together?”

      This is what gets me too. She can’t remember three sentences in a row or something?

      • Pao says:

        @maria; to be fair, as someone who gets incredibly nervous when speaking in front of an audience, my notes are a sense of comfort. Its not that i didn’t memorize what i want to say. Its a tick.

        That being said, she’s been on this job for 10 years. 10 years to improve this and to get comfortable in front of an audience. 10 years to practice giving speeches and get over this anxiety. So yes. She should absolutely be better at this.

      • JerseyCow says:

        And if you’re passionate and knowledgeable about a topic you can speak extemporaneously, needing only simple notes to keep you on track.

      • Maria says:

        @Pao: I have the worst performance anxiety so I get that. But yes, as you say I learned how to be better at it through working at it. Being in the humanities I had to speak at history symposiums and conferences presenting my research. The notes are helpful at first, but then you learn to look at people as a way to engage yourself and present the material as effectively as possible.

        And yes @JerseyCow – I may be in the minority but I don’t think this is anxiety. I think she doesn’t care and doesn’t want to improve. People who have anxiety giving speeches tend to rush, to be too quiet, their eyes to dart around or to find it difficult to make eye contact. That’s never really happened with her speeches, it’s not happening here. She just doesn’t care and is ticking a box of what’s expected of her. The mumbling is just because she normally talks that way.
        But that’s just me.

      • Jais says:

        Maria- I agree with you in that it could be performance anxiety but is mostly the lack of work she puts into a speech. To really nail it, not only do you need training, but also hours of practicing the speech, trying it out for others, and getting feedback. Like even with training, if you don’t practice, it’s not going to stick. And I don’t think she really ever practices enough. Like I’m sure she does some but not enough.

      • EveV says:

        @Maria
        Well said- to everything you said in this thread. I cannot believe that 10.5 years in, people are STILL making excuses for her absolute shit speeches. Who else would get this kind of leeway at their jobs?! And yes, maybe she had anxiety in the beginning but as others have said, if she was as knowledgeable about these issues as the press says she is and if she had actually practiced through the last decade, she’d be much better than this. Also, as @nota always says, she knew exactly what this job entailed and still chased it for 10 years.
        #NoMoreExcuses

    • Pao says:

      @Becks1: I didn’t see the video but the lines that i’ve read reminded me of meghan. Compassion now? Where have I heard that before.

    • Sofia says:

      “And at this point, she either needs to learn how to give a speech properly or stop giving them.”

      Agreed. I get that not everyone is a great public speaker and anxiety is a thing (I hate giving speeches or standing up in front of people) but if I knew that my job required me to give speeches and that I would be doing this for the rest of my life (barring a divorce), then I would do everything I could to improve, especially if I had her money, resources and time.

      • CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

        I think that’s a bit unfair. “Learn to do it better or stop doing it.” – if speech giving is a wide learning curve for her she still needs to continue to try, especially since despite all things she is considered in some circles an influential person and her words do matter.

        Also of she stopped giving speeches all together we would just say “she can’t even take the time to give a short speech.” And when she does give a speech we say “well you’re horrible so quit.”

      • Becks1 says:

        It’s been TEN YEARS. How much more of a learning curve does she need??

      • Sofia says:

        @CindyKitty: I don’t care if I sound unfair, the woman takes some my taxes to do her job so I think I can say “she needs to do better” especially since she’s been at this for 10.5 years now, I am not expecting her to be the next Barack Obama or JFK in giving speeches but if she cannot give a speech without looking down at every sentence, she clearly needs to improve. Especially since she does very little in general and has limitless money and resources to do so,

        @Becks1: Imagine being told you need to improve a skill for a job and you’re telling your boss “it’s a wide learning curve” 10 years in.

      • Merricat says:

        Sofia, lol. Exactly.

      • Nic919 says:

        She went to university which most certainly involved presenting small seminars during her time there. She even was Eliza Doolittle prior to that in a school musical. She is simply too lazy to properly prepare the speech. Enough with the excuses, it’s been over a decade.

      • CindyP says:

        CidyKitty: I can address this from my own personal experience. I was a terrible public speaker but had to do better as part of my job. I took many classes where I was videotaped & critiqued. I could see for myself what I needed to improve. It was really hard but I eventually became a good & confident public speaker

        I noticed that I fiddled with my employee badge on a lanyard; I took it off before speaking. Kate fiddles with her hair; wear it back, it’s not that hard

        My neck & chest would flush when I was nervous so I wore a turtleneck/high neck top

        She could use powerpoint with short bullet points, no notes on the podium. If she’s looking at a screen across the room she appears more engaged with the audience

        The most important elements are practice & knowing the subject matter. You’re naturally more confident & engaged when you take the time to do this. Kate obviously doesn’t.

        Hard to believe she & the palace can’t put in the work; she’s almost 40 yrs old. No excuse for her not to do better

      • Sid says:

        CidyKitty, in all my years reading Celebitchy royal articles, I never got the impression commenters were particularly eager for Mrs. Cambridge to give more speeches, so if she ever just gave up doing them I doubt anyone here would care.

    • Nic919 says:

      The most educated married in (until Meghan) still cannot give a proper speech after a decade on the job. Diana was 19 and didn’t have post secondary education and she took the time to improve. Kate is too lazy to do so. The time for excuses have long since passed. She just doesn’t care and never has.

      • CidyKitty(CidySmiley) says:

        I should clarify – I’m not making excuses for her. She should be better at it. But just because she isn’t better at it, doesn’t mean she should stop all together.

    • Lemons says:

      Public speaking is a skill. Some people are naturally talented at it. Everyone works hard to achieve a level of competency. And this is truly not public speaking. She is reading a very simple speech. I don’t think she is mentioning any research numbers or espousing any complex ideas. She could have asked her team to create a powerpoint as a visual aid.

      But at this point in her “career,” she shouldn’t be hugging a sheet of paper to speak to an audience about a subject she knows so much about and that she is passionate about.

      • Becks1 says:

        If she was reciting a lot of data in this speech, and referring to statistics and specific facts etc, then I would have more sympathy for the constant looking down and checking her notes etc. I could see that being more intimidating.

        But she’s literally saying “addiction is not a choice” and then checking her notes again before saying “no one chooses to become an addict.” That’s not nerves, that’s not anxiety in public speaking ,that’s….not bothering to prepare.

    • Belli says:

      It comes across as though she’s reading the speech for the very first time at the podium.

      Maybe she is.

      • Chaine says:

        That’s what it seems like to me, too. Like maybe she read it on the paper to herself and made sure she knew what the paper said, but she did not actually read if aloud or practice it before coming on the stage.

      • Lorelei says:

        @Belli exactly…I am a terrible public speaker and I’d be anxious for weeks whenever I had to do it for my former job, which was a lot. And I don’t think I ever did “well,” lol, I was probably passable at best. But people were always super nice and understanding about it, because they could tell I really was trying my best, I wasn’t looking at my notes as if I’d never seen them before.

        The one thing that did help to give me even a little confidence was that I made sure I knew the material inside and out, even though I usually had notes in front of me. I knew that at the very least, I wouldn’t say something utterly nonsensical like Kate did with Jill Biden.
        Plus, I didn’t have to worry that if someone asked me a question at any point during the event, I’d be standing there petrified like a deer in the headlights because I knew enough about the subject to answer competently.

        Kate always seems *vaguely* familiar with the material, but she has basically been giving the SAME EXACT SPEECH for ten years. She switches a few words around, but it’s always essentially the same message, so it’s beyond me how she isn’t able to present it somewhat better today than when she first did it in 2012 or whenever.

        I generally try to give Kate a pass on this because I know how scary it can be, even with notes — and I was never being recorded like she is! Kate knows that the footage will end up online, scrutinized by tons of people. So this makes me feel sorry for her, but at the same time, it makes me question why she doesn’t practice her ass off until she can AT LEAST say a few sentences in a row without looking down. (And if she needs a Xanax beforehand, so be it! Some people need them any time they get on an airplane; there’s no shame if you feel like it helps to loosen you up a little. Whatever works, imo.)

      • Nic919 says:

        We need to stop giving Kate the benefit of the doubt that she is a serious person. She isn’t. She’s a shallow flake who dedicated her life to marrying a prince and now she’s faking her way to stay on the tax payer funded lifestyle. If she cared she would be able to give a speech off a paper without looking at it every 10 seconds.

    • Jaded says:

      That’s what irks me — I’ve known people with addiction problems that came from utterly normal families and had siblings who didn’t struggle with addiction, so the answer isn’t necessarily making sure kids are happy growing up. It’s a varied combination of nature vs. nurture. Sometimes a person with a genetic predilection to addiction doesn’t become an addict because of a healthy family life, even some therapeutic intervention if it is suspected. Another person could become an addict because of a traumatic childhood, but I’ve known people who have come through horrible childhoods with nary a problem. You can’t paint this issue with such broad brush-strokes. Each addict has their own personal story to tell.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        @ Jaded, yes! Thank you!! Anyone can become an addict, none of us have perfect lives no matter how we grew up, where or how our parents raised us.

      • Lorelei says:

        One of the main problems with it is that Kate gives the impression that she believes there’s only one “right” type of childhood, one that is exactly like hers was.
        So her speeches always sound sort of geared toward people with idyllic lives in the country, ones who have unlimited hours to lounge about and enjoy nature for long afternoons. When in actuality, that applies to maybe (?) <5% of British children?

        It’s illogical in the same way that she’s said as long as one has a healthy, happy childhood, they will avoid mental health issues in the future— ignoring the fact that her own brother has admitted to struggling with depression, and he had the same upbringing that Kate did, ffs. It’s as if she had her talking points set by then, and she wasn’t about to change them.

    • Chicken says:

      Yeah, I get that people get nervous, and some really don’t like public speaking, but you know what at least helps solve those issues? PRACTICE. I actually do like public speaking, but I still practice, practice, practice like it’s my job before I give a presentation or speech. Because it is my job, just like this is her job.

  10. lanne says:

    It’s been 10 years. Why hasn’t she taken some lessons? Doing speeches is part of her job. When Meghan starts giving speeches again, it’s going to be a stark comparison, and the words “outplayed” will be said more and more. If Kate had any brains at all, she would realize she’s going to be compared to Meghan for a long, long time asnd get to work. People would LOVE to see Kate rock a speech. The first speech she absolutely rocks, she’s going to be praised to the rooftops. If she IS competitive, why doesn’t she take the challenge?

    Once again, Meghan’s presence in the royal family could have elevated the lot of them. Kate had so much more to gain from allyship, if not friendship with Meghan. She would still have the higher rank and the upper hand. But idiots are running the asylum. It’s morons, all the way down over in royal land.

  11. Seaflower says:

    The photo of her sitting down and gesturing with her hands, all i could think of was the Star Wars character Nien Nunb.

  12. Chana says:

    Addicts have higher rates of childhood abuse and childhood ptsd, there’s a documented connection. I think I read this is especially true for adolescents who have substance abuse issues. So she’s not wrong, I don’t think it’s fair to say that’s not how it works at all. But I don’t think addiction can be neatly attributed to just one thing, to just chemicals or just trauma.

    She also might not be talking about early years, root causes can just be mental health issues in general. Either way I didn’t get the impression she meant people from single parent households or something frivolous like that.

  13. Myra says:

    I don’t know why I’m getting such a Meghan vibe from her hair to her outfit. I’m probably seeing things. She would be taken much more seriously if she did more awareness raising on addiction throughout the year, rather than a one-off scripted speech every year.

    • Pao says:

      Not just the hair and the outfit. The speech gave me a meghan vibe too. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again; if they could wear meghan’s skin they would

      • Lorelei says:

        I don’t care enough to actually take the time to do this, but it would be interesting to go back and see if Kate EVER uttered the word “compassion” pre-Meghan.

  14. Kfg says:

    I don’t think her speech writers did enough research. Addiction, since the opiod epidemic, has been discussed as a MH issue linked to trauma. But hey if your parents are rich and loving during the airly yares then you won’t be an addict or have MH issues right?

  15. canichangemyname says:

    I personally don’t have a problem with her (or Meghan – I like them both just fine!), but I know she’s not well-liked here. But am I missing some subtext? Honest question. Of course, she didn’t write it herself, but I didn’t find anything wrong with it. I actually found it more in-depth than most of the quotes I see from her? As someone who has struggled with addiction, I say similar all the time. No, I didn’t wake up as a kid and think, “That’s a problem I want to have!” It’s taken me a LOT of therapy and deep-thinking to work through where the issues came from and how to work through them. Whoever wrote her speech, I found it very on-point, at least these quotes her. But again, there could be subtext I’m not seeing. And it’s early and I’m still sleepy LOL

    • Becks1 says:

      That’s why Kaiser said this is one of her better speeches, but it still feels very surface level considering Kate has been “learning” about this issue for 10 years.

      Like there is nothing in depth here, nothing to connect with. She doesn’t say, “for example, I met a young woman who experienced ABC as a result of various issues like XYZ, and with the help of Forward Trust she was able to learn to do 123 and now she is getting her master’s degree in sociology” or something.

      These are clearly just talking points given to her and that’s all it is to her.

    • Maria says:

      This is a topic that’s really important and she has the power to do a lot of great work regarding it. Which we know she won’t. All she’ll do is make a speech that someone else wrote and she won’t delve further. With her power and platform, that frustrates me, personally.
      I feel the same when the other royals make similar speeches about similar subjects.

  16. WithTheAmerican says:

    Wow! The charisma!

    Just kidding.

  17. Sigmund says:

    I admit, I get sort of tense when people start talking about addiction, especially when they don’t seem to really know what they’re talking about. Kate definitely doesn’t. My dad was an abusive alcoholic. And while his alcoholism wasn’t a choice, per se, there are plenty of choices he made that are on him and are his responsibility to own, even if they stemmed from his addiction.

    I definitely feel like Kate is portraying a very simplistic view of a complicated issue. Which isn’t surprising, as she approached the Early Years the same way.

    • Becks1 says:

      Hugs Sigmund. I think that is why I take this topic personally – my sister was mentally ill and was an addict, and she died at 37 as an indirect result (or direct I guess, depending on how you look at it.)

      I’m all over the place emotionally as a result when it comes to addiction, and I think its why Kate’s comments here (and with Early Years) just rankle me so much.

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate just tries to fake her way through serious issues and she sounds like an empty shell. And ten years later she will never improve because she does not have to. Kate cares about tennis and sometimes gardens because they are easy things she can show some interest in. Anything of substance is behind her ability and they need to stop pretending that there is anything to her beyond buttons and wiglets.

        (To be fair William is doing the same with the environment issue. He just isn’t as awful with the speeches)

      • Lorelei says:

        Jesus Christ Becks, I am so, so sorry.

      • Jaded says:

        @Becks1 – How awful. I went through a similar thing with my sister who suffered from personality disorders and addiction (which is frequently a part of personality disorders) and she died at 41 of alcoholism and EDs. I find Kate’s dialogue completely facile and only covers the bare minimum. It angers me that she gets all this fawning attention for what? A poorly annotated, and overly simple speech which she could barely read through. I know you feel the hurts as much as I do when you read this crap, and I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Beana says:

      Thank you for articulating that, Sigmund. My mom’s alcoholism was definitely triggered by her childhood, but her choices – to hide it, to be in denial, to cut us off when we confronted it, to put her grandkids at risk – well, those were choices. Seeing her flick her hair and try to simplify it all makes me want to burst into flames.

  18. Digital Unicorn says:

    The Meghan cosplaying is strong – Keen’s hair seems to have suddenly gotten longer. She has also recently started wearing hoop earrings. But we should not be surprised – she cosplayed so many other women to get where she is (Diana, Jecca etc..). Her stalking of William is well documented.

  19. OriginalLala says:

    *sigh* another “speech” filled with platitudes and no substance. Why bother having a royal patron, they don’t seem to bring much to the table…. Addiction is such a complex and complicated issue…it’s not solved by happy childhoods, or rich parents

    • Amy Too says:

      Her speech didn’t add anything to the conversation. She could have been reading off of a flyer for this patronage, it was so surface level. For a keynote speech, it sounded more like a very quick elevator pitch for why this charity/program needs to exist. Something that you would tell a potential donor to get them in the door so they could actually hear the keynote speech and learn more about what this specific program does and how it’s helping people, and what’s new in the world of addiction research and treatment. This was like the back of the book synopsis for what a keynote speech should have been.

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      William and Kate (especially Kate) don’t make speeches to help these organizations. They make speeches to appear to be working, and to make people think they bring something of worth to the issue (which of course they don’t). It’s always to benefit their OWN public reputation, and it doesn’t matter how little it actually contributes to the issue. The royal stans think Kate is soooo concerned about childhood, and William is sooo concerned about bullying, but in the end, what tangible things have they done to help? But it doesn’t matter, because they are playing to their base.

      • Nic919 says:

        Exactly it. Kate DGAF about any of these people and their peasant problems. That’s why her few speeches are shallow and half ass.

  20. Cate says:

    I don’t really see this as a heavy copy of Meghan. Kate had worn this shade of red before Meghan came on the scene (think the last Jubilee boat ride), and I cannot see Meghan wearing this style or skirt at all. Is Kate copying Meghan more in general? Absolutely. But I don’t see it much with this look.

    Interesting the contrast with the outdoor and indoor photos, I am guessing it is harder to photoshop the outdoor ones or something? Her hair is looking absolutely fried in the outdoor ones, she really needs to give it a good chop.

    • Becks1 says:

      …..Meghan has worn this style of skirt before on a few different occasions.

      • Cate says:

        Okay, guess I was forgetting them. I associate Meghan’s skirt/dress style with pencil cuts rather than flowing but that may be due to my own preferences as much as anything!

    • L4frimaire says:

      What this look reminded me of was when Meghan wore that pleated, orange Preen dress for one of her final royal appearances. She also had her hair side parted with that outfit. It was a high necked dress, but had flowing pleats. Not a direct copy but that’s what I thought of. Also, as others have pointed out, all of a sudden turtlenecks everywhere after certain people wore them a few times in NY, and even her accessories are mimicking Meghan’s. When has she ever carried a binder to events to show she is “ working”?The blatant copying had really gotten out of hand, and it also shows that their main focus is on Montecito.

      • Lorelei says:

        @L4Frimaire, it reminded me of the camel one Meghan wore once with a black turtleneck, because I remember thinking it was very Carolyn Bessette Kennedy! And that Meghan totally pulled it off. It wasn’t quite as pleated as Kate’s, but close enough.

  21. Sure says:

    Saw a little bit of footage of K actually speaking with the small group shown in the @KensingtonRoyal clip and I struggled to understand what she was saying. It took me back to that farce of a round table which Jill Biden was forced to endure for K’s PR campaign. With or without a script K comes across as unprepared which just reinforces her image as an idle, frivolous airhead.

  22. Miranda says:

    This sort of oversimplification is a pet peeve of mine, and with good reason: My mom came from an affluent, two-parent family (neurologist mother, cardiologist father), attended one of the best schools in NYC, and went on to an Ivy League university. She died of an overdose when I was quite young, and had always been so secretive about her drug use that not even my dad knew until a near-miss landed her in the hospital, so we can’t ask her and will never be sure exactly what was behind her addiction. But the few close friends who did know that she had a problem have said that she often talked about the enormous amount of pressure her family placed on her, how she felt that she had to be everything to everybody. With that in mind, her friends believed that her drug use was actually CAUSED, at least in part, by her privileged upbringing. And cases like hers aren’t exactly rare. So when people make oversimplifications, as Kate did, they’re skipping over a depressingly large number of addicts who need just as much help as an addict who is homeless and penniless. Addiction doesn’t run a background check. It doesn’t care about your childhood and education. It doesn’t have access to your bank account, nor does it look at your credit score.

    • Cee says:

      Miranda, first of all I’m sorry for your loss, especially the way it happened.

      What you have described has been my experience with addicts I know. A friend of mina begun doing drugs when his mother died, suddenly, when he was 17. He now uses hard drugs. He comes from a loving, 2 parent, affluent family.

      If we keep linking drugs/addiction to poor people (“they need to escape their reality!”) then we will never be able to put a stop to this decease (addiction). You can also be addicted to other things than drugs – alcohol, gambling, food are all addictions. I channel the pressure I feel (in a way, your mother’s experience mirrors my own) with food because I am so scared to try any kind of drug and know my life could be easier for it. Because I am scared of being dependent, I choose not to go there.

    • Nic919 says:

      I’m sorry about your loss but appreciate that you shared your experience. That alone is more helpful than anything Kate has done on this issue.

      There is also the elephant in the room with Kate herself likely experiencing some sort of issues despite the privileged upbringing as she has been shrinking before our eyes for a while.

    • Lorelei says:

      @Miranda, oh I am so sorry. But I agree, for those of us with any kind of personal experience, it’s tough to listen to Kate repeat platitudes that oversimplify the issue to the point where it’s almost offensive. And exactly what Nic said about the elephant in the room; imo it can come across as patronizing for Kate to speak about this topic, all things considered.

  23. Amy Bee says:

    I thought the speech was weak and the usual from KP. As I said yesterday I thought she could have said a bit more on the issue. It’s clear her staff did as little research as possible and for a Keynote speech she could have have had a more passionate stance. She needed to say something that grabbed the headlines and gave attention to cause. All we got were pictures of her in her red outfit. According to the fashion bloggers, Kate wore a skirt from Christopher Kane and a Ralph Lauren top. Yesterday I said she looked OK but finding out that it wasn’t a dress has made me change my mind. It was too much red and the skirt was too long. But the best part was KP posting a picture of Kate pretending to work on her speech back stage. That was hilarious.

  24. Cee says:

    wtf psychiatrists, psychologists, scientists, heck even teachers/professors and social workers have researched and linked root causes for addiction.

    I can’t believe how ill prepared she is. It’s like she can’t even meet professionals to learn more and then speak.

    • Chrissy says:

      Exactly. Why is she trying to reinvent the wheel? There is ample research about addiction and its causes out there and all of it carried out by university-affiliated researchers with actual educational credentials and gravitas to be taken most seriously. Then Kate comes along, with her Art History degree, her useless title, her taxpayer-subsidized army of nannies and fake accent, and, with only a half-assed preparation, pretend to be some expert on addiction issues. After 10 years, she should be embarrassed enough to do better, but unfortunately she won’t even try. Embarrassingly bad.

    • Greywacke says:

      It may be obvious to you, but not to others. See “marehare” above. Her opinion is very common among people who don’t pay attention to/or know about the research. The “just stay no to drugs” campaign of the Reagan administration did more harm than good, but the research hadn’t quite got to the level that helps us understand the true nature of addiction that we do today. So while it probably made no sense to Kate’s audience, it is a soundbite that may actually surprise people who think otherwise, especially among royalists and W&K Stans. Ideally, it will get them to rethink their opinion.

  25. Onomo says:

    I swear at one point it looks like the people in the room all exchanged looks with each other, like “dear God, is her understanding that elementary?”

    Any cbers from Portugal? I read that they have made significant advances in dealing with addiction – decriminalization, medical and therapeutic treatment, and finding purpose and community connection, but I am afraid I don’t know much beyond that. But it’s been very successful for them in terms of relapse rates.

  26. Mimi says:

    As a daughter of an alcoholic I can’t stand when ppl talk to me about addiction. Go away

  27. Amy Too says:

    This part:

    “We can all play our part in helping this work. By understanding, by listening, by connecting. So that together we can build a happier, healthier and more nurturing society.”

    So we’re still just learning and listening? We can’t take any action yet? You don’t have a project you’d like to launch here? Maybe some kind of fundraising for this group so they can have more counselors or group meetings, or even something like a survey or checklist we can fill out to see if our drinking or using has become problematic during the pandemic? Maybe something with your brand new research center like a study about risk factors in early years, or a study about what kind of drug education actually helps people make better choices about using/drinking down the road (for example, we had the DARE program in the US which is basically akin to abstinence only sex Ed and it wasn’t helpful)? You’re not going to refer us to anywhere we can learn more or get help? You’re not going to tell us how we can get involved with Action on Addiction? Do they need volunteers? Money? Could you maybe set up a connection between this patronage and another of your patronages so they can work together—could one of those museums you like to go to host a viewing of art about addiction so people can understand and connect in a profound way? Could the baby bank help new mothers in recovery who are struggling financially so that’s one less burden/stressor that could push them towards a relapse?

    • Chrissy says:

      You listed many great ideas, Amy Too. So many of them would segue nicely with her supposed interest in her own patronages. Why is no one on her team making pro-active suggestions linking initiatives with what Cannot is already invested in? Probably because they don’t really care about making a difference. They need to hire you, Amy Too!

    • Becks1 says:

      Yes, this is and has always been a huge issue with KP and the cambridges – they go on these visits and there is usually very little information provided about the organization (although they have gotten better about that post Sussex) and little information about how you can help the organization.

      These questions you have should not be questions after their patron visited and gave a keynote address.

    • Lorelei says:

      @AmyToo EXACTLY! Those are all such good ideas. But sadly, I think Kate will be on her deathbed and still be “listening and learning.”

    • Jaded says:

      You’d think she’d have a GLIMMERING of understanding having a brother who has suffered depression on and off over the years, but no. Apparently she’s missing the empathy chip as well as ANY desire to dig below the surface and understand that merely mouthing platitudes does NOTHING to shine a much needed light on addiction research and treatment. God she’s such a moron….

  28. Lexistential says:

    SNOOZE. Seriously. I can’t with her. She shows up with a speech written with superficial understanding, nothing in collaboration with established experts or research, and consistently poor delivery. You’d think Meghan’s shadow would have inspired her to really compete and try being better than her at speeches and public presence (and beyond cosplaying her), but no. THIS is the FFQ, folks.

  29. Willow says:

    It’s hard to convey knowledge, understanding, empathy about a subject you have never studied or something you have never experienced. Instead of being a keynote speaker on this subject, she should be introducing the keynote speaker or presenting donations or awards.
    She can be a keynote speaker for other subjects, being a parent to small children, photography, or…
    …whatever the reasons for her problems with giving speeches, then don’t do that at all. She could still attend events, but interact in a way she’s comfortable and good at. I mean, the reason she’s there is to bring positive publicity to that organization so why aren’t they arranging these events better? I really feel bad for the taxpayers supporting this because their money is being wasted.

  30. Cg2495 says:

    Dang her unphotoshopped pics looks rough. Jealousy is a biotch and is destroying her and TOB.

    End of rant 😆

  31. Sue E Generis says:

    Thank you, Kate, for this startlingly original and incisive observation. It will be such a valuable addition to the discourse as no one, as yet, had ever realized this./s

  32. Cate says:

    If I was the queen I would be forcing a haircut on this infantile idiot. Shaking around that limp curtain of hair in a professional setting shows how utterly void of work ethic she is. To treat something as important as addiction with continued flippancy shows what an empty sociopath she is imho.

    I expect all the hard workers at this charity and beyond are seething at how unprepared she is. Your important life’s work and the focus is pulled by a tottering airhead using this occasion as a fashion show. Unbelievable.

    She can’t be stupid. Yes, you can skate through a BA with relative ease but you have to have SOME sense to make it through the courses.

    • Keri says:

      Yes. She is that stupid. She was known for copying other people’s school work in college. There’s a reason she’s called copy Kate. It’s not just for “Single White Femaling” Diana and Meghan.

      She exclaimed, “How interesting!” when it was explained to her while on a tour that a child in India was purposely maimed to be more effective at begging. Her other gems, “Can you test the smell by smelling it?” And who can forget that she asked if they still made Faberge eggs? She was an art history major. The bar is set so low for her and yet she still manages to fail spectacularly in every way.

  33. Bethany Karger says:

    Do you think she feels her delivery is good? Perhaps she does and therefore doesn’t believe that improvement is necessary.

    • Cate says:

      Personally – I think she believes she’s the Virgin Mary, second coming and mother Teresa in one package. She thinks her s**t doesn’t smell. She will continue to not care about her performance unless she is seriously scolded, and who’s going to do that? I don’t know what would get through to her. Banning access to Charles’s credit cards would be a start. She might start finding empathy and a real interest in something other than herself if she’s forced to address her shortcomings instead of covering them up with a fifty-fourth blue coat dress

  34. smee says:

    Did these two just discover turtlenecks or what?

  35. nina says:

    I am more concerned with what happened to her face. Why is it so bumpy like melting wax. Possibly overuse of botox, the angle of the pics or not the usual pics by her favorite photographer. So this is her real face without facetune ?

  36. Amy Too says:

    You know, I just realized I have no idea what this charity/program does. And since I just listened to Kates speech, which she was chosen to give because as the FFQ she would bring more publicity to the patronage and hopefully garner more support for it, that’s a really bad thing. I get that they do Addiction. But are they a 12 step program? A rehab? Medication assisted recovery/detox? Counseling/group therapy? Do they help people who are in the current crisis of using every day (are they a hospital/detox center?), or is this like an outpatient continuing care sort of place where you go after your 28 days for continued counseling and help staying clean? Does it do all of those things? Is it a place that you call and then they network you to a different place that can help you? Are they a research center trying to figure out best practices for treatment and/or underlying causes of addiction? I have NO IDEA. I have no idea how to support them, how to take what they’re doing and implement it somewhere else, or what to use them for if I need them. I feel like that’s a huge problem if I have no idea what this place does after listening to a keynote speech given by their patron.

    • Lorelei says:

      Kate could be so much more effective, and happier, imo, if she stopped trying to be something she isn’t. She is not an intellectual powerhouse, or someone who excels at planning major, long-term initiatives… and that’s FINE! She doesn’t have to be.

      There ARE things she excels at, but she seems to think those are only suitable as little side engagements, and that she needs to have a major, “important” cause in order to be taken seriously. If she put all of her time and energy into participating in outdoor activities with children at as many organizations as she could — sports, but also things for children who aren’t necessarily athletically inclined, like camping, gardening, and in the wintertime, baking or photography-related projects — I can envision a scenario in which she could be well regarded and popular (not Diana-level, but no one is Diana-level) if she embraced what comes naturally to her.

      We hear a lot about her passion for photography, and they make sure we know that she took the beautiful photos of her own children that they release. It could be incredibly meaningful if maybe she went to elementary schools in underserved areas and took photos of children whose parents have NEVER been able to afford to purchase professional pictures of their children, even the lame ones everyone has taken at school?

      It just seems like neither she nor anyone who works for her has a shred of creativity, and that she views a lot of those child-centric activities as beneath her, because they’re not “academic” enough. If she felt confident enough to simply be herself, she could be really successful. imo

      • Tessa says:

        I don’t think Kate has any real great talent to take photographs of schoolchildren. It would also require permission from the parents and they might not feel comfortable with Kate taking pictures of their children. She also mugs too much around the children.

      • Amy Too says:

        I think the school portraits thing is a good idea. It’s something repetitive that doesn’t require her using her brain overly much or thinking outside the box, and it can be scaled up to become something huge if she wants to. It could be her “thing,” her big project that gets her out there and makes a difference: no one is going to be mad about getting free portraits of their child (or family) shot by the future Queen. She could do family portraits that highlight people who are making a difference, or struggling with something like addiction or mental health struggles, or even just poverty as a nice gesture for them. Perhaps people would be open to having their photos included in a book with their story that she can sell to raise money for charity? Or if that’s all a bit too personal, what if Kate took pictures of celebs and sold the book with all the pictures in it? Who is going to say no to her? Especially if it’s for charity? What if she went to towns or cities that are struggling after the pandemic, or for other reasons like jobs leaving, and she photographed the town and some of the local “celebs” like the cafe owner of the dog groomer who specializes in poodle cuts or whatever else, and she had a whole series of books about various towns that would help bring interest and tourism to the town? Each book would have proceeds going to a charity that is specific to what that town needs. She could do a lot with photography and it wouldn’t require her to pretend to be any smarter than she actually is. She doesn’t even have to be a great photographer really.

        I mentioned before on another thread that she could do a “become a mentor” or “get out and coach” campaign where she does something like coaches a kids’ soccer team or becomes a troop leader, or teaches photography lessons, and then other people could be inspired to do the same sort of thing, which would creat these community connections and opportunities for getting outside and learning and being surrounded by a great social structure that she’s always going on about. She doesn’t have to solve addiction by doing some kind of huge study on the underlying brain chemistry/social/nature vs nurture reasons that people become addicted. She can do the small things that we know help people to have overall healthier childhoods and community connections, that give kids a safe space to go and mentors to talk to.

        By trying to *look like* she’s doing this really heavy hitting work in the background just so she can avoid doing actual bread and butter type engagements, she seems to be making everything so much harder for herself. The PR that is needed to spin everything she does into this huge, smart masterpiece must be exhausting. Having to come up with these big pretend ideas and then having to come up with “valid reasons” for why results keep getting pushed down the road must be tricky. Forcing herself to do speeches and round tables where she constantly looks super ignorant must be embarrassing for her—or at the least it can’t be fun and fulfilling. Just drop the charade and do something simple that you might actually enjoy. No one is looking for Kate to be a super intellectual with a huge research center behind her. That’s what “the men” do in this family. They need her to be the personable, relatable, more fun one that comes out and smiles at babies: the nation’s mom-friend.

      • Nic919 says:

        Kate doesn’t care to actually help people. She just wants the illusion of it. So I wouldn’t overthink ways for her to help others. She will never do it.

      • aftershocks says:

        @Lorelei said:
        “It could be incredibly meaningful if maybe she went to elementary schools in underserved areas and took photos of children whose parents have NEVER been able to afford to purchase professional pictures…”

        Some of your ideas seem reasonable, but I don’t think this idea would work. First of all, Kate doesn’t need any of our advice. Secondly, Kate is not interested in taking pics of other people’s kids. She’d be utterly bored with doing that. She probably majored in art history, with a photography emphasis because she had to major in something, and it was a process of elimination. Plus, because Will’s initial major was art history which he sucked at and hated, so he ended up in geography in order to remain at St. Andrews.

        Why give Kate advice? Let Kate fail, let her get smacked by karmic comeuppance. Even if her handlers do come here to get ideas, they will obviously use the ideas surreptitiously, and ensure that Kate gets all the credit, particularly if anything good comes of using CB posters’ ideas. LOL!

        The best way of implementing what you suggest, btw, is having actual professional photographers go into such classrooms as volunteers to take pictures at the end of term or something like that. Kate could serve as do-nothing figurehead of the project, just as she did with Hold Still.

        I wonder why some of us seem invested though in giving Kate any credit, much less any sympathy. She’s a selfish, mean girl. And, she’s also addicted to copying Meghan!

  37. Hell Nah! says:

    Note reader reads notes. Flips hair. Fully satisfied with her performance, she heads home, calling to an end another hard day at work.

    Geebus, abolish the Monarchy already.

  38. Nyro says:

    Say one sentence, look down at notes. Say one sentence, look down at notes. And over and over and over again. This woman is supposed to be representing the British Head of State and yet she’s so bad at one of the most important elements of the job, that she wouldn’t be able to pass a typical public speaking project in the average American 8th curriculum.

    • Gingerbee says:

      The young princesses of Spain and Belgium puts Kate to shame. Even though I do not speak their languages, Princesses Leonor and Elisabeth, are comfortable with public speaking.

  39. Bendy Windy says:

    First of all, a “keynote” speech needs to be longer than one minute. Second, I also noticed that early year speak.

  40. Queen Anne says:

    I saw the clip of the speech and there are words I couldn’t understand her say. The family should make her take speech lessons. She is an embarrassment. Also, i think she needs a slip or some static cling under this skirt. It seems to be clinging and dividing between her legs which doesn’t have a good clean look to me. I don’t like the skirt myself, would have preferred a slimmer shorter skirt but at least make sure it isn’t clinging up your legs. And stop with the hair flipping. 20 years of hair flips. Get it cut if you can’t control it.

  41. Steph says:

    Omg, that clip was terrible. I think she did see a speech coach but took things too literally. The majority of the clip were those ridiculously long pauses.

    • Queen Anne says:

      I think the speech coach taught her to speak posh lol. She really needs to learn public speaking. Not many people enjoy it, but if you have any kind of career or charitable work, you usually have to do it. I am retired but as nervous as I was, I had to do it. And it was always long and very detailed but I would practice and go over and over it. Then take questions. It does get easier.

      • Steph says:

        I’ve seen a lot of people say she tries to be posh but I don’t really understand what that’s supposed to sound like. I don’t have enough experience hearing various British accents. I understood her this time. She wasn’t mumbling. She just isn’t a good public speaker. To me it came off as, not to so much that she didn’t go over her notes, but that she didn’t care about the topic. Anyone who has took a glimpse into addiction study could have said what she did do the fact that she couldn’t get through half a sentence without reading her notes says she’s never actually cared about addiction.

  42. Marivic says:

    She looks geriatric. Only 40 but is well into old age. Horrible skin.

  43. phlyfiremama says:

    I’ll be the cynic here: this is foreshadowing for TOB when he gets caught at his next affair, and needs to use the old “sex addict” excuse!! #CallingItNow

  44. tamsin says:

    I don’t think what I saw in the clip was so bad. She spoke clearly and slowly, and does sound like someone who has taken speech lessons and told to not speak too quickly and pause effectively. However, the effect of the speech is flat, because there is no passion or earnestness behind the presentation. And was there a telepromter there? If Kate had to use a teleprompter, I think she would struggle. And she obviously doesn’t know her speech well enough to stop looking down at her page every sentence or so. She could have memorized that particular part of the speech and tried to speak from the heart, instead of appearing performative. And I can’t help but think of how Meghan was treated by the persons who seek to be patrons of mental health organizations.

  45. Pamplemousse says:

    I read the comments before I realized there was a clip, and… did I watch a different video? I was expecting a fidgeting, nervous, stumbling mess from the way you guys described it. The only thing I can really fault is that she glances down a lot, but she’s speaking clearly and at a measure pace, making eye contact with the audience, keeping her hands down, etc. Heck, if I had just heard the audio I would have thougt that it was a voice over for a commercial.

    As far as subject matter expertise goes, Meghan gets the same heat– a lot of the Meg haters rag on her for speaking very generally on a number of subjects that she has no true expertise on. The defense there is that she’s raising awareness and amplifying the voices of the experts, which I generally agree is a good thing to be doing. I just don’t see how this speech is any different.

    • april says:

      Agree

    • Nic919 says:

      Looking down at your page every few seconds is bad. And after ten years of this job it’s not acceptable to give a keynote speech and have to glance down so much. She clearly didn’t read it very much prior to giving it. People in the audience would have been bored minutes in. Just because it’s not as awful as her Pakistan mess doesn’t mean it is a quality speech. She remains bad at giving speeches when you compare her to anyone with even average skill.

      And is kate is focusing on experts then which ones did she highlight in this speech? What about the KP child care research centres. That isn’t centring experts there either. The speech said nothing.

      • Pamplemousse says:

        It’s objectively not a bad speech. Sure, she’ll never be a compelling orator, that’s not her forte and for some people nerves will always be a factor. But if looking at her paper too often is all you can find to complain about then… people need to get a grip and stop being so hyperbolic about everything she does.

    • Steph says:

      I disagree with you. You can’t just say this is not her forte. That’s like me applying for and accepting an electrical engineer position even though my degree is in biochemistry. Then when I can’t do the job brushing it off as it not “being my forte.” She spent ten yrs applying for the job and has been on the job for an additional ten. She needs to get it together. And there’s a reason the clip is less than a minute long and has all those cuts off her not giving the speech. She’s terrible at this and has no excuse.

    • aftershocks says:

      @April & @Pamplemouse, well you tried, eh. There are no similarities between Meghan and Kate in anything, especially not in the sphere of speeches and speechgiving!

      Meghan writes her own speeches, and she knows how to deliver them with skill and resonance. Meghan often speaks off-the-cuff, straight from her heart. Meg also knows how to adequately prepare to give longer speeches before important audiences.

      See Meg’s U.N. speech. See her 2018 speeches in Australia and New Zealand. See her wonderful 2019 speeches in South Africa. See her more laid-back speech launching the Together Cookbook reveal. Look for young, 13-year-old Meghan’s valedictorian address to her classmates in middle school. Meghan is passionate about her humanitarian work, and she truly cares about other people. These are all huge differences which make any comparison with Keen Lamebridge, a useless time-waster.

      But yeah, you tried.

  46. Tessa says:

    She should have dressed appropriately in a business suit not that bright red skirt and sweater.

  47. Athena says:

    Hasn’t it been reported that Kate smokes. Isn’t that an addiction? And if she was a smoker and stopped wouldn’t that be something to share.

  48. Kyle Owens says:

    @pamplemousse. I wasn’t aware that was a criticism of Meghan since it’s well understood that she speaks primarily on women and girls issues, something she has been involved in all of her adult life, and with covid she and her husband seems well aware and deeply concerned about the inequities in treatment. In addition unlike the other Duchess she generously supports those issues she advocate for.

  49. christina says:

    She can’t win.

  50. Jan90067 says:

    I don’t think she was going “nude”. She was going camel tone, to match the little Meghan-style handbag she carried.

    That said, while I liked the color and the intent of the (copied) outfit, the skirt could have lost about 6″ and been a lot more stylish. She also could’ve used a long necklace with it.

  51. Amy Too says:

    She’s wearing Meghan’s nude shoes. Copy Kate couldn’t figure out Meghan was wearing nude-for-her-skintone shoes so rather than copying the feel or the concept or the style, she copied literally which is so kate. I don’t think Kate “gets” clothes and I don’t think she can “see” style. I don’t think her mind works in that abstract, artistic kind of way, which is weird because 1) most people can figure out clothing and have preferences and style even if it’s not a fashionable style, and 2) she was a literal art history major but she doesn’t get art and can’t think with the creative side of her brain. Everything is so literal and earnest and black and white with her.