Duchess Kate was keen to help out a university student with a crossword puzzle

During their trip to Scotland, the Earl and Countess of Strathearn did a walkabout on the campus of the University of Glasgow. I’m not going to lie, they got a bigger crowd than I would have expected. Lots of university students wanted to see them and William and Kate talked to a lot of people and posed for selfies and such. One student had a little gimmick for getting Kate’s attention: he asked her for help with a crossword. Was this a set-up? Yes. It was.

The Duchess of Cambridge showed off her puzzling skills yesterday, when she helped a student crack a crossword clue – and was reportedly ‘thrilled’ to get it right. Kate Middleton, 40, and her husband Prince William, 39, visited Glasgow during the first day of their two-day Platinum Jubilee tour of Scotland.

According to the Times, second year statistics undergraduate Jack Baird, 21, caught the royal’s attention when he waved a copy of the old puzzle in the air, and asked for her help with the one clue he hadn’t managed to answer. The crossword fan, who has been known to take the puzzles to nightclubs, was unable to answer a question about the Royal Family, so Kate offered to help him and grabbed the puzzle before being snapped studying it keenly.

The clue Jack was stuck on, seven down, was about the ‘sovereign’s annual allowance’, and contained two words of four and five letters. Jack said that Kate was able to succesfully provide the correct answer, which was Civil List.

‘She was very excited. It didn’t look like she was going to get it for a moment. I’m really chuffed. I’m going to frame it. She looked thrilled. I think she thought, “I wouldn’t live this down if I get this wrong”.’

[From The Daily Mail]

Imagine being a crossword puzzle fanatic and you don’t know “civil list”? Imagine using that as a gimmick to talk to Kate. I mean, it’s cheeseball, but he got his attention and so did Kate. I wonder how thoroughly coordinated this was. “Buttons, there’s a young man who will wave a piece of paper and you have to stop and talk to him so that we’ll get a ‘humanizing’ story in the papers.” Does anyone else think it was slightly shady that the answer was “civil list” too? Why not “eight letters, another word for sponger or leech.”

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110 Responses to “Duchess Kate was keen to help out a university student with a crossword puzzle”

  1. Harla says:

    The expressions are truly terrifying .

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Looks like fresh fillers with the bubble cheeks again and unnatural expressions.

    • Gems2712 says:

      Omg she looks EXACTLY like Amanda Seyfried’s version of Elizabeth Holmes here! Such an utter utter phony…

    • C-Shell says:

      That second pic with the gritted grin is making me anxious.

      • Elizabeth Regina says:

        Scary AF. Her right eye is practically bulging while her left her is squinting. That is so strange.

      • Rizz says:

        @C-SHELL: She actually has an underbite which she tried to hide. That’s why it looks like that.

      • Debbie says:

        The angles of the pictures taken make her look severe. Oh well.

      • SourcesclosetoKate says:

        She tries to hide her underbite but it comes out when she’s talking, that’s why she’s not pictured talking so much.

    • Gruey says:

      Yesterday Ramona Singer popped into my head as I looked at Kate.

      Yep. That’s what Kate has. Big Ramona Singer energy.

      • Ina says:

        She actually reminds me of a ventriloquist dummy with her exaggerated expressions. How apt.

    • Giddy says:

      Seven letter word meaning “fake teeth—-veneers”. Or Mummy says they are my “sparkle.”

    • Jan90067 says:

      Wait… what happened to the “I’m not *allowed* to take selfies” rule?? The one that seems to only have applied to Harry and Meg? Guess that’s on the crapper now that these two attention starved leeches are in major competition mode.

    • michyk says:

      i try to never really comment on her appearance, but lately it all just seems so crazy! the performative aspect of course, but it’s all just so exaggerated and over the top. i just don’t understand how she thinks this all looks ok? does she see the same pics we do? or does she just not care? i really don’t understand the thought process behind any of it.

    • Bethany says:

      She looks like Jack Nickelson in “The Shining.”

  2. Ariel says:

    Is she just getting weirdly over animated in her fake happy facial expressions- or are we just picking unflattering pictures. Because some images of her are unnerving.

    First noticed it years ago with her over-laugh- where she would laugh like whatever (mostly) Prince Harry said to her was the funniest thing she ever heard. It was weird.

    • Lucy says:

      I think it’s both. We wouldn’t have the pictures if she wasn’t over compensating for her frozen forehead though 😁

      I don’t normally comment on her face work or study it, but even I can see there’s a whole lot of botox, at the very least, on her forehead.

      A few months ago (I think around Philip’s memorial oh God that was last spring), someone posted a Twitter link to a video clip of her early reacting to Tour de France racers. Like, the crowd is looking one direction, she turns to the camera (opposite the crowd), and freeze poses. The crowd turns her direction and she’s perfectly posed. So we know she practices her expressions.

    • Lucy says:

      Found the link! I texted it to someone who follows none of this, she was like WTF.


      • C says:

        To be absolutely completely fair, and I am doing so begrudgingly, I believe this was the moment in 2014 where Mark Cavendish crashed and that’s why she froze for a second, and everyone then looks in that direction.
        Not saying she doesn’t practice her expressions, and yes she looks like a maniac most of the time, but in this particular instance I think that was it? But maybe I’m wrong.

      • Becks1 says:

        If you look at the video, what’s so off isn’t just that her face freezes (but I’ll argue that in a moment during a race when someone falls, you don’t freeze in that expression, you would expect something else from her, some movement or expression) but her hand itself freezes. Her whole body ceases movement for a few seconds and its clearly so a photographer can get the shot.

      • Nic919 says:

        A normal person might have been surprised about the shock of the crash, but then they would turn to the person next to them and see if they saw it as well, not freeze pose with mouth open and hand in the air.

        It’s not the first time she’s done the freeze pose thing. The media just happens to cover for her because this would be seen in a lot of videos.

      • WallOfFire says:

        Oh. My. God. What an absolute shameless freak.

      • Jais says:

        Yeah, this video was when I really realized how farcical some of these expressions are and why they feel so out of context.

      • BothSidesNow says:

        Yes, given as the years pass, I think she sets up a photographer in the crowd and instructs them to take her photo, though photoshopped first before release. As for when she is in a crowd, she has the eyesight of an owl or eagle….she smiles directly at the camera.

    • Sue E Generis says:

      She’s just slowly losing her mind.

  3. Eurydice says:

    Eight letters – Parasite.

  4. Eggbert says:

    She “has been known to take the puzzles to nightclubs” …… give me a break.

    And the Botox is really making her left eye look deranged.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    You really do choose the best pics.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Yes, Kaiser is a genius in her photo selection, hands down!! They always make me chuckle!!!

  6. Becks1 says:

    Not gonna lie, when I saw the crowds, my first thought was, “omg I bet they are offering free food.” When I was in college and law school, that was the best way to ensure a crowd – free food before or after an event, lol. Maybe that’s more a US thing though. I just can’t imagine that many Scottish college students are that excited about seeing W&K.

    ETA for the crossword puzzle, it was definitely a set up. If it was an old puzzle (which I guess it has to be to include civil list and not sovereign grant, right?) then no one else for the past however many years could solve that for him? It seems off so I’m definitely thinking set up.

    • equality says:

      Could have been solved with a simple on-line search if nothing else. The puzzle was on his phone after all. So pretty much a set up or somebody really desperate for attention.

    • Jane says:

      There are crowds because teaching has finished for the year and there is nothing scheduled except revision sessions and exams.

    • BeanieBean says:

      He already had ‘civil’ and two of the four letters in ‘list’ (there’s a photo on the web). There’s no way he needed help with this.

      • Becks1 says:

        Maybe he’s just not that good at crossword puzzles 🤣

      • BothSidesNow says:

        No, it was a set-up for certain. It’s not foreign for them to create set-ups, re: that football star during their Caribbean Disaster Tour.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @BeanieBean, thanks for sharing that because reading the article I was wondering if they were really trying to sell the idea of Kate solving a stand alone on a crossword puzzle. My initial response was: what letters are filled in already. My Dad was a crossword puzzle enthusiast. If he was stuck on something (I personally believe he pretended to be to engage in different intellectual conversations and wanting to see what his begats knew).

        It’s a set up for sure. My snarky self is hoping the student did it on purpose….like, see, we are paying for you,..acknowledge it with this “puzzle”.

        I’ll admit, when I read the bit about the puzzle containing 2 words of 4 & 5 letters it felt/read very odd.
        ‘sovereign’s annual allowance’ + Kate + 2 words=9 letters=Gurny Grin.

    • PrincessK says:

      Absolutely it was a set up. I cannot believe how desperate they are getting to build up Kate. This little sketch was planted. Do they take us for fools? This was a set up to counter criticism that she is not very bright and unable to find projects she can master. How come William wasn’t asked to help? This is something that Royals would normally ignore and never do. Was a Times reporter on hand to record and photograph this? From day one when they were engaged William has had to defend her lack of interests and purpose, apart from of course setting her cap at him. This is why when she says anything in public he puts on such a serious face to make it appear that his wife is saying something really profound.
      The Palace aides need to get back to the drawing board because this latest stunt was ridiculous, they have clearly learnt nothing after the Caribbean Calamity.

  7. MrsBanjo says:

    This is just sad.

  8. Cel2495 says:

    Oh my! Her manic expressions are horrible! Why she can’t see that? No one has told her that she looks deranged every time she does that ?

  9. The Duchess says:

    This woman has entered the ‘Get Out’ phase of her life. These smiles are getting tighter and tighter, and I fear one day her mouth will fail to close. Does she realise that everybody is laughing at her and not with her?

  10. janey says:

    I’m sure this has been said elsewhere but she looks like a member of the clergy

    • L84Tea says:

      She looks like the blue version of Bev Keane from “Midnight Mass”. Yikes…

      • Harper says:

        I had successfully forgotten about Bev Keane but now I am going to have nightmares about her again from hearing her name and remembering her. Kate should stop with the clerical “fashions”.

      • L84Tea says:

        Sorry about that, Harper. Bev gives me the creeps too!

  11. TL says:

    It seems they are trying to make her appear smart. This is not the way to go.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      @TL, it’s all they have to work with. Silence & pretense. Kate cannot speak worth a damn unless edited. “Can you test the smell by smelling it’, ‘giving tools to babies to raise their babies’ and the whole thing about someone graduating with an Art History major asking about Faberge Eggs… lol, you’re right it’s not the way to go.

  12. Miranda says:

    Credit where credit is due: if that student genuinely does take crossword puzzles to a nightclub, that’s a decent, inoffensive chat-up strategy!

    Also, Kate’s face is beginning to resemble those masks from The Purge.

  13. BlondieR says:

    I 100% do not not believe that she knew that.

  14. Beverley says:

    Lawdamercy, William truly despises Kate. He can’t even pretend.

    • L84Tea says:

      And if it isn’t contempt (who are we kidding, of course it is), it’s also distrust. It’s like when you’re sitting beside someone you know and they’re speaking to people in front of you, you will generally look in the same direction as the person who is speaking. But when you don’t trust that person, or rather don’t trust what will come out of their mouth, you tend to look right at them almost bracing yourself. That’s what I feel like William constantly does when Kate speaks. He’s waiting for her to say or do something ridiculous because he knows she will.

    • Nic919 says:

      What makes it worse is that the contempt is toward someone he has known for two decades. Not a random person on the street but his spouse.

      That he can’t be bothered to conceal his contempt toward her really shows the underlying disdain. That has to exhibit itself in other ways in front of the kids too.

      • Beverley says:

        Their children must feel that something is “off” as well. Kids are so perceptive.

    • Listerino says:

      Am I the only one who thinks she looks like Ace Ventura with that grin in the first photo? Lol

  15. C says:

    Crazy eyes!

  16. Dandun says:

    i love how the daily mail reports is as”Kate offered to help him and grabbed the puzzle before being snapped studying it keenly.” the keenly reads like a little dig!

  17. Brassy Rebel says:

    I have no idea what the problem is, but this woman is not well.

    • TurquoiseGem says:

      It looks like whatever has been brewing beneath is now revealing itself more and more on the outside. Something is really not right……

    • Mrs.Krabapple says:

      Do you think she’s heading down Charlene’s path? I know they chose this life, but I still feel sorry for Charlene as she cannot seem to even pretend to be happy anymore (and I think Albert is controlling her and I’m not sure she is making her own decisions).

  18. Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

    Crossword puzzle, civil list, Jason Knauf plant, whatever let’s get to the real story: WTH is going on with this woman’s face?

    What’s strange is that Kate thinks these pictures look good!! Otherwise she would stop overemoting.
    Like the whole point of any of this “royal work” is to be photographed and then stare at the photos with Mummy Carole. And she thinks, “Bang on. Definitely better than she-who-must-not-be-named. Right, Mum?” when she sees her manic toothy IT-like grin and jacked-by-Botox eye.
    Ugh, I’m being so mean: Kate’s outfit was lovely and I hate myself for wanting that blouse. While it does age her a bit, her straight hair is very sophisticated on her. (Ugh even when I try I can’t do it all the way)

    • BeanieBean says:

      From the What Kate Wore website, the blouse is made of ‘triacetate/polyester blend and lined in 100% viscose’. The sound of that just makes my skin itch. Sure you want that blouse? All up close around your neck & all the way down to your wrists?

      • Queen Meghan’s Hand says:

        HA! Nope. Thank you very much to bring me back to my senses.

      • PrincessK says:

        Oh dear, I cannot bear synthetic clothing materials. I used to have skin issues and ever since then it is cotton and linen all the way for me.

    • KFG says:

      She’s desperate. Like she sees how bad all of this is. Chuck NEEDS Harry and Meghan to keep his crown. Billy is the heir. Her family doing all that shes the savior bs has now pissed all of them off. She isn’t liked by any of their set or class. She’s dim and incoherent. She is the scapegoat. She’s doing her best to try to be an asset, but doesn’t have the desire to actually do the work or try.

  19. Merricat says:

    Lol–that’s all I have for this one.

  20. Well Wisher says:

    If the eyes are considered the windows of the soul, what are the soul condition based on the second and third images of Kate?

    Why are they so much attention for a “bread-and-butter”?
    Too many Rota, too little royals?
    No interesting Royals, so the next best thing??

    • Well Wisher says:

      Line 2 – soul’s instead of soul
      Line 5 should read as follow:

      Why are the so much attention for a bread-and-butter visit???

  21. Layla says:

    Did anyone else spot the two rat tabloids in their helicopter door?there’s no way these two hypocrites didn’t know about the smart campaign. No way!

  22. Sunday says:

    “See Harry and Meghan? We’re smart and popular, too!!!!”

    Every single thing about this is staged. The crowds, the crossword, everything.

    • PrincessK says:


    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Yep @ Sunday. All staged. Okay, I’ll be fair. There might be a few people there out of their own genuine accord/affinity to the BRF or curiousity. I’m sure there were protests about the Cambridges visit that have not been shared. Yea, they are pushing hard to make it seem like Kate is intelligent. *cough* It’s why the BM/RR;s pretend to not have access to Meghan’s NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY grades. I’m shouting NU because I know people that went there. And, the level of intelligence is amazing. It’s not weak minded people being asked to do a ‘thing’. It’s people that can walk the talk. Apparently, lol, the BM/RR’s never took the time to investigate what it takes to graduate from the university MEGHAN GRADUATED FROM. I haven’t read anywhere that Northwestern U. was going to to do everything they could to make sure Meghan didn’t leave because it would be a hit on themselves. Apparently, making sure the FFK & FFQC, got passing grades was important. Neither have shown anything that they’ve been higher educated. Northwestern U. is currently ranked globally #24, St. Andrews #342,

  23. GreenEyes says:

    I just can’t get past the constant crazed look upon her face anymore..

    • Jaded says:

      She almost looks like she’s *on* something, some kind of medication to rev her up. Combined with too much botox she looks like her face is going to take flight.

  24. Digital Unicorn says:

    Actually the civil list for the RF was abolished in 2012 and replaced by the Sovereign Grant (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_Grant_Act_2011). It’s basically a single simplified and combined ‘civil list’ payment from the gov to the RF.

    • SAS says:

      How old was this crossword?!?!

      What a silly stunt, at least it’s a harmless one this time.

      • Christine says:

        LMAO!! You just proved the lie, I cannot wait for whatever cover up is coming next. I swear on my life, they are going to hork up, “George loves old crossword puzzles!!”

  25. nina says:

    That last picture. she looks like she could do with a few meals. She is way too thin for her height and body frame. Does she even eat?

  26. Harper says:

    I’m calling it now–this crossword stunt is Phase I of trying to position Kate as brainy and an academic. Meghan’s intelligence is one of the last aspects of her that Kate hasn’t copied yet.

  27. Jay says:

    In order for this stunt to land, shouldn’t it have been a difficult question about an influential theorist in early childhood development? You know, Kate’s “passion project”? This kid is just a hustler, no different from dudes who would ostentatiously bring Camus to the bar and sit there pouting, hoping to be asked about it.

    Like, why remind everyone in Scotland that the sovereign still gets their hard-earned money in exchange for sending a couple family members for drive by visits. Don’t give away the whole grift, guys!

  28. Laura D says:

    I’m not her biggest fan but, at least she’s finally getting out there and doing some “work”. Not too sure about the outfit though. I like the individual pieces but, somehow or another she hasn’t made it work. Probably need a different colour to break up the mis-matched blues.

  29. Cessily says:

    It was a totally set up and choreographed skit for the cameras and rats to catch and make a story from.

    Side note I personally cant stand her blouse with that priest collar.

  30. Rizz says:

    I have my theory. She peels her eyes like that when she’s talking because her forehead and eyebrows are frozen with Botox so it’s the only way she can express herself. The gaping mouth is probably for the same reason or she’s trying to look friendly (but looks like she will eat someone instead). Why doesn’t she observe how Meghan smiles when out in public since they’re now rivals. That’s what she should be copying.

    • The Duchess says:

      She can’t do that because her face won’t comply with it. Meghan showcases relaxed, warm and welcoming smiles. Kate has pumped herself so badly with the botox, there’s no chance in hell she could pull off the same expression. Her face would droop badly and we all know she can’t be caught on a bad camera angle.

  31. Over it says:

    Her forehead doesn’t even flinch. I feel like Kate needs a Botox intervention and a over expressive facial reaction intervention. If she looked at me like that I would ask her flat out what the f is she on?

  32. aquarius64 says:

    All of this is performative; the Keens are copying the Sussexes…again, trying to show the Sussexes aren’t needed. The warm and fuzzy tour in Scotland doesn’t erase the widely reported three country Caribbean screw up. As H of S and spouse you have to be real to people that don’t look like you to be effective and they aren’t.

  33. Rizz says:

    The problem with that is that Kate will never be able to fake the natural sunny charisma that women from L.A. have.

  34. one of the marys says:

    Has she worn this type of (Meghan) outfit before? One colour palette, separates, long flowing open coat? That’s what jumped out at me.
    I agree with the poster above who interprets Will’s attention as not trusting her to behave, who knows maybe she is on something

    • Becks1 says:

      She has done this before – she actually wore black pants with a blue turtleneck and I think this same coat at some point over the past few months, and there have been a few other monochromatic looks that stand out to me. The basic combo idea of trousers/blouse or turtleneck/blazer or overcoat is FINE and one that she should have been doing for years, bc it would have allowed her to build up a wardrobe of nice, quality items that could be mixed and matched etc.

      But, when I say “before” its all definitely a Meghan copy. We never saw her in these kinds of outfits before Meghan. Jeggings, yes, leggings or athletic pants, yes, but very very rarely professional trousers like these. (I’m saying “very very rarely” so someone can’t come and “well actually” me lol.)

  35. EllenOlenska says:

    Great word to choose to remind all those students that if they stay part of the UK they’ll be paying for you and everyone you and Baldy spawn forever…

  36. KFG says:

    Can’t wait for Scotland to declare independence after this trip

  37. MangoAngelesque says:

    Manic MadEye in full effect again… I would love to see life-action from these photo moments, just to see the stop-action claymation-effect movements she affects to get them. If she looks this crazy in a photo, imagine when she suddenly froze in these expressions for several seconds so the cameras could focus…

  38. Deering24 says:

    Ye gods, she is really going full-tilt “Stepford Smiler.” These pix are really starting to creep me out, and I’m a horror-flick veteran. 😳😳😳


  39. Christine says:

    Oh, the Windsors are pathological at this point.

    The obvious plant, and the fact Cannot only kinda knew the answer, even though that is where her money comes from, unless it comes from Chuck. They are locked and loaded for young England.

    I have no words. Yes, continue to fake answer, fake questions from a crossword puzzle. That will make you exactly as relatable as Harry and Meghan, to the youth of England.

    I opened this article, thinking there could be no possible way this was related to Harry and Meghan, but no.

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