Sunday 4 December 2016

'We're supposed to believe Kate Middleton is just like us, but there's nothing normal about her'

Published 12/10/2016 | 11:28

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Carcross during the Royal Tour of Canada on September 28, 2016 in Carcross, Canada.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visits Carcross during the Royal Tour of Canada on September 28, 2016 in Carcross, Canada.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge arrives to embark the tall ship Pacific Grace in Victoria Harbour on the final day of their Royal Tour of Canada
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge looks on as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge fires an arrow during an Bhutanese archery demonstration on the first day of a two day visit to Bhutan on the 14th April 2016 in Paro, Bhutan. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, handle crab pulled from a trap in the water while fishing during a visit to Haida Gwaii in Skidegate, British Columbia, Canada, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, steers a tall ship in the harbour in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, October 1, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge watch dancing by the fireside during a Bihu Festival Celebration at Diphlu River Lodge on day 3 of the royal visit to India and Bhutan on April 12, 2016 in Kaziranga, India. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a week-long tour of India and Bhutan taking in Mumbai, Delhi, Assam, Bhutan and Agra. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince William and Kate Middleton's Royal India Tour Day Two: The Duchess, pictured with husband Prince William, donned an Emilia Wickstead cream dress, nude Mulberry clutch and matching 'Calice' heels by Rupert Sanderson.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte leave from Victoria Harbour to board a sea-plane on the final day of their Royal Tour of Canada
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge meet Prime Minister of India Narenda Modi in New Dehli, India. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - Pool/Getty Images)
MUMBAI, INDIA - APRIL 10: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge arrive for a Bollywood Inspired Charity Gala at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel during the royal visit to India and Bhutan on April 10, 2016 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at a children's party for Military families during the Royal Tour of Canada on September 29, 2016 in Victoria, Canada.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as she helms an America's Cup yacht as she races Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge take a Game drive at Kaziranga National Park at Kaziranga National Park on April 13, 2016 in Guwahati, India. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge views Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer at the Mauritshuis in The Hague where she visited an exhibition of 22 picture by Dutch artists loaned to the art gallery from the Royal Collection.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a First Nation cultural welcome in Carcross Commons, Canada, on the fifth day of the Royal Tour to Canada.
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, reacts while sampling food during the Taste of British Columbia event at Mission Hill winery in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the World Mental Health Day celebration with Heads Together at the London Eye on October 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge meets pupils in a wool class during a visit to the De Bouwkeet Work Space in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

I unashamedly adore Kate Middleton.

  • Go To

I don’t refer to her as the Duchess of Cambridge –a Duchess is stuffy, she’s unrelatable and she has definitely never been pictured in sequin hot pants on roller skates.

We’re made to believe that she is just like us, not quite “The People’s Princess” like her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, but she is proving to be the most effective tool in the royal family’s arsenal when it comes to improving international relations.

Even her husband Prince William recognised her unwavering popularity in 2014 when he met American designer Ralph Lauren and said: “You probably would far rather [see] my wife.”

The Duchess of Cambridge meets pupils in a wool class during a visit to the De Bouwkeet Work Space in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets pupils in a wool class during a visit to the De Bouwkeet Work Space in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Her effectiveness in boosting morale has become more useful than ever to modern Britain as it embarks on a “charm offensive after Brexit”.

She enjoyed her first solo royal engagement abroad on Tuesday – a quick flight to Holland where she met King Willem-Alexander toured the historic Mauritshuis Museum and met with local teenagers who are being taught practical skills in a bid to keep them out of trouble.

"When I met her I told her my hands were dirty but she still shook it and said ‘sometimes my hands are dirty too’," volunteer Richenel Lensa said after meeting the princess.

It's the kind of line we have come to expect from Kate as she, William and Prince Harry as the faces of the next generation of the royal family.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the World Mental Health Day celebration with Heads Together at the London Eye on October 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attend the World Mental Health Day celebration with Heads Together at the London Eye on October 10, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

The trio set up a mental health initiative called Heads Together which has brought together eight mental health charities and organisations to tackle the stigma around depression and other psychological problems.

And William and Kate in particular take these opportunities to discuss their children Prince George and Princess Charlotte to make them more relatable.

“Like most parents today, William and I would not hesitate to seek help for our children if they needed it,” she said in February with an honesty that is becoming trademark for them.

They are particularly keen to give their children a normal upbringing, but life in the royal fishbowl doesn’t allow much flexibility when it comes to controlling public interest.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at a children's party for Military families during the Royal Tour of Canada on September 29, 2016 in Victoria, Canada.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte of Cambridge and Prince George of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at a children's party for Military families during the Royal Tour of Canada on September 29, 2016 in Victoria, Canada.

They have George registered in a local €6-per-hour Montessori three days a week near their home in Norfolk.

However, their home is the palatial Amner Hall – a property gifted to them by the Queen after their 2011 wedding, which features 10 bedrooms, a tennis court, swimming pool and was subject to a two year refurbishment costing €1.7m to fit their needs.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as she helms an America's Cup yacht as she races Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge gestures to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge as she helms an America's Cup yacht as she races Prince William, Duke of Cambridge in Auckland Harbour on April 11, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are on a three-week tour of Australia and New Zealand, the first official trip overseas with their son, Prince George of Cambridge. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Not exactly the starter home of the average newlywed couple.

She wore a Zara blazer to a party in May? Underneath it was a €3,750 dress by Dolce & Gabbana.

And that party was at the Queen's 90th birthday celebrations at Windsor Castle.

During their recent tour of India, Kate was overheard affectionately referring to her husband of five years as “babe”.

In Canada, Kate and William were pictured laughing and lovingly gazing at one another as they toured the country together for seven days.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a First Nation cultural welcome in Carcross Commons, Canada, on the fifth day of the Royal Tour to Canada.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at a First Nation cultural welcome in Carcross Commons, Canada, on the fifth day of the Royal Tour to Canada.

And they earned praise from parenting experts for adopting the active listening parenting technique where they bend down to make eye contact while one of their children is speaking.

These trips create the best opportunities to portray the young royals as a “normal” couple – Kate might have looked carefree when she beat William in a boat race in New Zealand in 2014, but she’s doing it on a trip that cost an estimated $2m. 

Similarly, in the Netherlands, she was pictured boarding a commercial British Airways flight to London from Rotterdam, but she did it in a custom made Catherine Walker suit dress.

Earlier as she toured the Mauritshuis, Kate came face to face with the world famous Girl With The Pearl Earring painting by Johannes Vermeer, wearing a pair of her grandmother-in-law’s pearl earrings for the perfect photo op.

The museum's director Emilie Gordenker, remarked that Kate was already familiar with much of the artwork, which was on loan from the royal collection, from Buckingham Palace.

And yet again, your idea that Kate is just like us was brought back down to earth with a bang.

The Duchess of Cambridge views Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer at the Mauritshuis in The Hague where she visited an exhibition of 22 picture by Dutch artists loaned to the art gallery from the Royal Collection.
The Duchess of Cambridge views Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer at the Mauritshuis in The Hague where she visited an exhibition of 22 picture by Dutch artists loaned to the art gallery from the Royal Collection.

Online Editors

Read More

Promoted articles

Editors Choice

Also in this section