People: Duchess Kate has ‘absorbed’ a lot of Queen Elizabeth’s lessons

Immediately following the Flop Tour in March, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge busied themselves by blaming their new staff, blaming Buckingham Palace and blaming the media for their rotten performance during their Caribbean tour. Kensington Palace communications staff blanketed the media to expound on the idea that Prince William believes that the days of “never complain, never explain” are over and that he will personally complain, explain, kvetch, whine, and throw tantrums whenever he wants. Post-Flop Tour, there was also a lot of talk about the newly invented “Cambridge Way” which involves more preening and less work. I bring all of this up because the Cambridge Way flopped as hard as their Caribbean Tour and now the Cambridges’ PR is back to “they’re just like the Queen” and “they completely embrace ‘never complain, never explain’.” People Magazine’s cover story this week is about just that.

As Kate Middleton prepares for her future role as Queen Consort, she’s doing so with the best model available: the record-breaking monarch, 96-year-old Queen Elizabeth.

“Catherine has learned by observing,” the Queen’s biographer Sally Bedell Smith tells PEOPLE in this week’s cover story. “She knows what resonates. She will have absorbed a lot from this Queen.”

Although they are separated in age by 56 years, the Queen and Kate share key qualifications for the job: quiet stoicism, unerring discretion and firm loyalty. Their opinions on contentious political issues are never heard; their commitment to the throne is unwavering, and their public images are tightly controlled. Kate also embodies the Queen’s unofficial motto for public life: “Never complain, never explain.”

Not one to hand down explicit “lessons,” it’s unlikely the Queen has ever formally tutored Kate, insiders say. Instead, historian Sarah Gristwood tells PEOPLE that the Queen may have approached her relationship with Kate the way she does with prime ministers.

“The Queen has always preferred to do rather than to say,” says the author of Elizabeth: Queen and Crown. “With her audiences with her prime ministers, if there has been actual advice, it would be a discreet ‘I think that went rather well’ rather than actual instruction.”

Kate is also a modern woman who is nonetheless amenable to the centuries-old power structure of the family business — otherwise known as the “the firm.” “It’s a personal willingness to conform to the requirements of the institution,” says Gristwood. “That sounds like an unappealing, unglamorous virtue, but it’s an important one if you’re going to be a successful cog in the royal wheel.”

Kate has even been inspired by the Queen’s style and regularly wears jewels on loan from the monarch. On royal outings, the Queen always wears bright colors so fans can spot her in a crowd — and Kate has followed suit. The Queen “has this definitive style, almost like a uniform, which also works for Kate,” a friend tells PEOPLE.

[From People]

Bedell Smith also says that William and Kate are “representing the Queen impeccably” and giving the Queen “hope” for the future of the Firm, and that the Queen believes that the Cambridges are “ready for their royal duties in the months and years ahead.” Doubtful. I mean, there’s a reason why the Queen won’t abdicate or accept a regency – it’s because she knows “après moi, le déluge.” It’s not just about Charles, although she does not believe Charles is up for the job. It’s also about William. It’s an open secret within the family that William doesn’t have what it takes to be any kind of leader or diplomat. As for Kate and her queenly preening and keening… yeah, the whole thing falls flat when you consider Kate and her mother’s campaign to smear and abuse Meghan. The wheels have come off this whole mess.

Photos courtesy of Instar, cover courtesy of People.

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88 Responses to “People: Duchess Kate has ‘absorbed’ a lot of Queen Elizabeth’s lessons”

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  1. Duchcheese says:

    Im buffled as to why all these pundits and psychophants keep talking about Kate as if she is going to be the monarch and not William, SMDH

    • Moxylady says:

      Has the Queen actually been a good leader / servant of her people? Genuine question. Because the best they seem to say about her is that she managed to not die for an impressively long time.

      • Carolind says:

        Up until recently, she has rarely rocked the boat. Whether that is all good though I have my doubts. I prefer Charles who does seem to care.

      • Lizzie says:

        Good question, but the point is moot because Waity will not be the queen only the queen consort after Camilla of course.

    • Swaz says:

      Because Willy and Katy is the blind leading the blind😳they’re both incompetent. They are so good at acting maybe they should move to Hollywood 😳 I guess this magazine cover was the reason why People Magazine had the exclusive about Pippa Middleton having a baby girl named Rose 🌹

    • Isabella says:

      And Camilla Is the next up , not her. She will probably be an old lady line Camilla by the time Charles dies.

  2. C says:

    So I guess she’s still just trying to harp on the “future queen” thing regardless of how hollow it is at this point (I dislike Camilla but the derangers fury at her being named future Queen Consort is satisfying, lol).

  3. Becks1 says:

    She always wears bright colors except when she’s copykeening her SIL and wears head to toe neutrals. And for someone who never complains, she sure runs to the press a lot.

    Anyway, LOL, we’ve seen this story in People mag before. Pretty much the exact same thing (remember the cover story from 2-3 years ago where they photoshopped her so much she looked just like Princess Mary of Denmark?) I guess its just rinse-recycle. Do people understand though that her role will be more similar to Philip’s and not the Queen’s?

    • Chloe says:

      Her role won’t be much different than it is now. So what exactly is she STILL preparing for?

    • Nic919 says:

      Kate is like the queen in that she stays silent when her husband cheats on her. That’s about the only thing they have in common.

      In fact it’s pretty insulting to compare her to the queen because the queen actually took her responsibilities seriously and did that in her 20s. Was she the best parent? Not to our standards, but no one can accuse the queen of just spending all day shopping and getting her hair done. And while she isn’t the best at speeches she isn’t a complete mumbling mess who can barely read cue cards.

      And that’s not getting into the fact that she is only the consort not the future monarch.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        @Nic I came to say the same! What she’s learned is to keep quiet while her husband is pegging.

        Oh, and how to dress like she’s the same age as the queen.

      • Both Sides Now says:

        @ Nic919, that is exactly what KKKhate is doing!!! She is turning a blind eye of his many escapades as she is with the children….

        And KKKhate isn’t going to be Queen as it is, so what would TQ be teaching her? Absolutely nothing…..

        I would also like to add that TQ doesn’t think very highly of KKKhate so this story is absolute nonsense.

    • equality says:

      She forgot to wear those “bright colors” at H&M’s wedding also. At least Cam has enough sense to realize that she will be the consort and not an actual monarch. I don’t think Kate has worked that out yet.

    • Lizzie says:

      Clearly I’m no expert but the only role I know of for queen consort is counselor of state. The rest is fluff and pr.

    • Ginger says:

      It’s their typical bi yearly “Kate is ready to be Queen” cover story. Yawn.

  4. Belli says:

    “Kate learns by observing.”

    Well she sure as hell doesn’t learn by doing.

  5. Jais says:

    Haven’t even read Kaiser’s article yet bc that cover just took me over the edge.Huge face of Kate and the queen while Nettie Nichols is relegated to a small pic at the top of the cover. GTFOH People.

  6. TigerMcQueen says:

    So, I can see the quiet stoicism, unerring discretion and firm loyalty (to her own interests) in the face of a sham marriage and Will’s cheating. Mutton Buttons’s commitment to getting that crown is definitely firm. She’ll never divorce Will unless he forces it IMO.

    • Both Sides Now says:

      @ TigerMcQueen, let’s be certain that when that happens, which it will as Baldemort can not stand the sight of her, he will dispose of her the minute his ducks are in a row. Charles will be thrilled with wife #2, as the Meddlings are much too out of control.

      But this bit in People is another puff piece that has been playing out since ‘17. Nothing new to see here.

    • TurquoiseGem says:

      So Kate has “…unerring discretion” does she?

      The word discretion must have changed its meaning while I wasn’t looking……
      Why is this mag like the RR in this case? Acting like rough, uncultivated unaccomplished Kate is this pearl of a demure, refined, elegant lady. As if there aren’t images aplenty out here of this woman here in the UK and abroad in an official capacity representing her country, with her hemline flapping upwards towards her hairline and her “underneath” out of doors.

      Yet we have mainstream White media acting as if none of this matters, as if her behaviours are to be indulged and/or ignored and a blind eye turned to their constant fake flattery and false praise of this woman. One who is wholly unsuited to and wholly unsuitable for her current Royal position let alone any more senior ones! I had to wait until I had calmed down before typing this…..

  7. Ciotogista says:

    Kinda weird that the Queen is her role model for being Queen Consort. Those are actually very different roles.

    • Amy Bee says:

      In January, the press was saying she was like the Queen Mother.

      • GuestWho says:

        …an alcoholic, kleptomaniac, racist? Sounds about right.

      • L84Tea says:

        @GuestWho, the QM was a klepto? I’ve never heard that.

      • Jaded says:

        @GuestWho — it was Queen Mary who was reputed to help herself to the items she fancied when she visited the homes of the British aristocrats. There are many stories about her visiting homes of the British well-to-do, admiring family treasures and letting the hosts know she would be “pleased to receive the item as a gift.” The alcoholic racist bit, though, is spot on.

      • GuestWho says:

        Thanks ladies: I mixed up my cartoonish, old-lady villains!

    • L84Tea says:

      Good point!

  8. Sumodo1 says:

    Good gawd this article is out of touch with reality. Borrowing jewelry is now a virtue. Ugh. I don’t know how this passes for a cover story for People magazine.

  9. Christine says:

    Her face in the pink dress….your photo selection remains fantastic!

    • IForget says:

      HAH literally. Every manic, exaggerated, ridiculous face I see of hers, I try to mimic, to see what I would look like. I can’t always do it, but if I can, I legit scare myself. Why can she only guffaw? Is it the fillers/botox/injections? I don’t know. But it’s wild

      • Lady D says:

        Someone here described that picture of her in pink as a pair of confused pups eager to please on their first day of training school. Every time I see that picture of them, I laugh all over again.

  10. OriginalLaLa says:

    I wondered about this new round of blowing smoke up Kate’s royal arse, as appeasement because of the viral #PrinceOfPegging situation?

  11. Amy Bee says:

    Which part of Kate is modern? They keep saying she’s a modern woman but everything about her screams 1950s.

  12. Jane says:

    I’m a white woman and I feel unwell looking at her because she embodies some of the worst traits in my fellow white women, from shaping her life around the stalking/marrying of a wealthy man to weaponizing racist stereotypes. Any journalist free of the need to sell papers and of palace access would easily write a takedown of this unkind woman.

    • Nic919 says:

      Kate is basically the modern version of the plantation owners wife. Wearing stolen jewels isn’t going to erase that stain.

      • Moneypenny424 says:

        @Nic damn, you’re on fire today and speaking every bit of the truth!!

      • Both Sides Now says:

        Yes!!!!! This ☝🏻☝🏻☝🏻☝🏻☝🏻☝🏻

        @ Nic919, you are on fire today!!!!

      • Christine says:


      • Deering24 says:

        Nic919, damn straight. She’s Django Unchained’s ghastly Miss Lara-Lee, putting a sick-sweet image and vicious smile on a corrupt, rotting institution.

  13. Mary Tosti says:

    I’m going to give myself an eyeroll injury.

  14. Tessa says:

    The queen was said to have asked what Kate did during the years after Kate got her degree the queen has the work ethic Kate sorely lacks I will not be buying people magazine

    • Nic919 says:

      I believe the quote was “but what does she do?” After years of being done university and kate doing nothing but attend clubs and go on holiday.

  15. aquarius64 says:

    Damage control from William’s trend on Twitter.

  16. swirlmamad says:

    All this tells me is the new PR guy is earning his keep. Cleanup in Aisle 6 — when we start getting the Saint Kate mag covers and stories, you know the sh*t is hitting the fan behind the scenes.

  17. Tessa says:

    What did the queen think when Kate had fashion shoots at Philips funeral Kate is going to be consort not monarch so she is not the queens successor

  18. Over it says:

    Well I guess just like the queen, mcbuttons also looks the other way while her hubby pegs along. Like the queen she too is stuck in the stone ages.
    As for never complain, never explain, B please. You are explaining and complaining all the time to any media outlet that will do your bidding.
    One more thing, Betty is the actual queen, William will be king. Kate, let me tell you this slowly so you can keep up, you will be nothing more that Willy public appearances decoration. They to get people to pay Attention to him when he decides to work and absolutely there to be molded into whatever the firm wants you to be. However you are good with that because you and your mom would do anything for that crown and title.I don’t know how she can have a daughter and not try to be a role model for her.

  19. Tessa says:

    Bedell smith slammed Diana who had a work ethic and dedicated to charities and praises workshy stepford kate

  20. Eurydice says:

    Who can I sue for whiplash? The Cambridge Way led to a dead end, didn’t it?

    I love the part about how TQ approaches Kate like she does the prime ministers – a once a week meeting with no advice or instruction. Basically, not a care if Kate does her “job” properly and, at the same time, zero family feeling. And Kate has to “conform to the requirements of the institution” while wondering about her husband’s various affairs. If Kate weren’t such a horrible person, I’d feel sorry – but she chose this and must think wearing a crown is worth it.

    • MF says:

      I love the part about how TQ approaches Kate like she does the prime ministers – a once a week meeting with no advice or instruction. –> This part cracked me up. The Queen doesn’t want to actually spend time with Kate or talk to her, much less mentor her.

      • SuzieQ says:

        “Not one to hand down explicit ‘lessons,’ it’s unlikely the Queen has ever formally tutored Kate, insiders say.”

        LOL. The Queen clearly can’t stand Kate, so why would she formally tutor her?

        And I hate this view of women needing to be quiet forces, rather than outspoken people with strong views.

    • Sunday says:

      Right?! This just makes it all the more obvious that the Cambridge Way was William’s temper tantrum following the criticism of the disastrous Caribbean tour, while this is Kate’s PR machine sticking to their original script. You can always tell whose PR guy is doing the spinning based on the particular flavor of garbage being pushed.

      • Deering24 says:

        SuzieQ, it’s the old “hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” crap repackaged. Women should only wield power way behind the scenes. Blech…

  21. The Duchess says:

    I find it funny how Kate has tried for years to draw comparisons to a woman who can’t even stand her guts. Kate is desperate for the crown and she wants it now… I wonder why?

  22. Izzy says:

    Nichelle Nichols was out there breaking barriers and she’s relegated to a footnote in that rag, meanwhile this mediocre white trash gets the cover. SMDH.

    • Southern Fried says:

      It’s infuriating.

      • Both Sides Now says:

        It truly is. Nichelle Nichols was such a dynamic force! The fact that NASA recruited her to drive up applicants was a fabulous idea and they reaped her representation of her ground breaking role.

    • Christine says:

      I could not agree more with all of you if I tried. Nichelle Nichols’ life story deserves to be heard, and not as a footnote.

      We just watched you dummies redo a balcony appearance because Kitty shoehorned Willnot out of the photo with the queen in the first version. Please tell me more about how crucial Kitty is to the future.

  23. Dee says:

    Believe it or not, she IS learning from the Queen. She used TQ’s “Diana playbook” for getting rid of the “popular usurper” against Meghan:
    Ice her out, and perhaps get your family to do so as well.
    Use the inner workings of the palaces against her, and surround her with suspicion and hostility on all sides.
    Discredit or scoff at her work, give it some time and then copy her.
    Make repeated public signs that you want her “gone”.

    See? She’s learning.

  24. Southern Fried says:

    Sorry, folks, but trying to be like Elizabeth in these times is hardly a worthy goal. Kate is useless, willfully ignorant and will only hurry the demise of the monarchy.

    • Granger says:

      This. The queen’s way of queening worked beautifully in the post-war years when people just wanted stability and a few fancy-looking figureheads to look up to/emulate. Nobody wants that anymore — but Kate (and William) are oblivious. They think it’s clever to act like the monarchy is still stuck in the 1950s — “oh it was a simpler time, let’s go back to that.” NO. It was a time when racists could shoot their mouths off without any repercussions, when women were just supposed to look pretty and stay quiet. Why do these people seem to believe this is the model everyone is looking for???

  25. GamerGrrl says:

    Every time I see that picture of them in the car, I think it’s from a Sacha Baron Cohen movie.

    • Southern Fried says:

      Lol, very well could be. Those two are breathtakingly stupid. Kate grinning in that pic and PWilly trying to appear kingly.

  26. Well Wisher says:

    This is the predictable response to recent address to the United Nations on Mandela’s Day.
    The older members of the Sussex house hold were both invited and spoke at the U.N.for a worldwide audience.
    The only other person of the Royal Family to also address the U.N. was the Queen.
    So to come up even in the insane one-sided competition is to make aspirations to be like the Queen, so maybe, just maybe some of the queenly magical dust will rub off and the future QC will trump Princess Henry of Wales.

    The other recent comparison in the competition was about good parenting jogged by the July 4’s intrusive pics of the Sussexes.

    It is what it is.

  27. Linney says:

    Why is the Kate PR Machine so desperate to push this narrative? Kate is the future queen, the savior of the monarchy, the key to its success, the queen’s protege, etc. Why is there so much focus on her instead of William? It has to be because she is desperate to secure her place. If everything was going great in Keenland, there would not be this frenzy to show how amazing and indispensible Kate is. And based on comments when Kate is out and about, I doubt many people in that country are thanking their lucky stars that Kate will one day be queen….

  28. nutella toast says:

    “Never explain” isn’t the virtue they think it is. It means they don’t have to explain suitcases of cash, sexual violence, sex trafficking, blatant racism, making First Nations people carry them around on bamboo thrones and/or bow to them, stolen jewels, stolen art, stolen artifacts…I mean, some things need explaining. It’s just a “dignified” way of saying “I’m too rich and white to answer to you”.

    I also think they see an “opening” with Charles and his suspish cash. They think they can jump the line with the right fluff pieces.

  29. BeanieBean says:

    So Kate ‘absorbed’ lessons. Sure, it would have to be passive learning otherwise she’d have to make an effort. And what she ‘aborbed’ appears to be superficial: wear bright colors & borrow the jewels of a 90-something. Oh, and don’t speak up. About anything.

  30. equality says:

    So TQ is “discreet” with the PM. She just says “hello” and laws automatically get changed so that the RF are exempt from them.

  31. Harper says:

    But will People run a correction article once the separation rumors hit the states?

  32. Lizzie says:

    I think the takeaway from the article is the queen rarely meets with, talks to or in anyway interacts with Waity. Waity is inspired from far, far away, lol. I know the queen make the comment before Will and Kate married about ‘what does she do?’ but it’s been over a decade and the queen is still frosty. Wonder what went down that the queen has never warmed up to Kate.

    • Cairidh says:

      In the first years of their marriage it was said the queen kept asking Kate to work more, and Kate refused, and William would side with the queen…. The Queen was and is probably horrified at the lack of work. And the time Kate decided not to go to see the Irish guards on st Patrick’s day because she didn’t want there to be the expectation she would go every year… “if I keep going every year, they’ll expect me to go every year, so I’m not going, to make a point that they shouldn’t expect me to go” (not a Kate quote but that was the gist of it) probably nearly gave the queen and all her old skool ladies in waiting a seizure.
      Same for the flashing.

      • Lizzie says:

        Thank you for reminding me of the flashing, lol. There was a torrent of those flashing pics with #katemiddlebum on twitter a week or so ago.
        How does one have the nerve to marry the heir to the crown and yet refuse a request from the queen? Appalling.

      • Feeshalori says:

        Ugh, Kate refusing to attend a yearly event because she doesn’t want people to have expectations of her attending every time is not a reason, it’s an excuse. And so disrespectful to the Irish Guards as well. If the Queen et al were flipping out, l wouldn’t blame them. I remember the year when she didn’t show up with that feeble excuse and went shopping instead and even I was flabbergasted at that.

      • Deering24 says:

        Man, if Meghan had pulled this stunt…😳😳😳

  33. Jean says:

    Non article! Why the need to keep promoting nothing of value, talk about their actual work if indeed they do any and stop this nonsense

  34. The Recluse says:


    “Apres moi, le deluge.”

  35. HeatherC says:

    Nichelle Nichols has a tiny corner while we get a retread of “Kate is ready to be queen!”

    Nichelle Nichols who was a trail blazing, ground breaking, barrier breaking force of nature.

    She’s a legend.

    GTFOH People.

    (I’m a huge Star Trek fan, I met her at a convention when I was a young teenager, she couldn’t have been sweeter or more calming to a star struck kid fan girling)

  36. SourcesclosetoKate says:

    Have the royals bought people magazines, do they pay them or something? Kate’s “Never complain, never explain”…r i g h t…except when it comes to using Botox.

  37. Tan says:

    Perfectly bland bint dress pretty – makes up stories of her husbands family respecting her isn’t the homerun that the People thinks it is.

  38. Aiglentine says:

    Oh, not Silly Biddy Smith. She wrote a hagiography of the Queen that was about 300 pages too long. She loves Ronald Reagan and the Queen and hates Diana. Not subtle at all.