Duchess Kate at SportsAid athlete workshop

Duchess Kate at SportsAid athlete workshop

As Patron of SportsAid (since 2013), Kate Middleton attended the SportsAid athlete workshop at the GSK Human Performance Lab yesterday, November 12. The Duchess of Cambridge was there to see thirty 16-20 year old athletes take part in a series of scientific assessments on respiration, temperature, power, cognition and body composition designed to help them reach their goal of attending the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, or the Paralympic Games in PyeongChang in 2018. Paralympic wheelchair athlete David Weir CBE attended the workshop as did Olympic swimmer Keri-anne Payne, who gave a mentoring session.

SportsAid Kate at workshop group photo
[Nathan Gallagher/SportsAid]

SportsAid helps the next generation of British sports stars by giving them financial support and recognition during the critical early years of their careers. These athletes are typically aged 12 to 18 and are among Britain’s brightest hopes for future Olympic and Paralympic success. Some past SportsAid athletes include Rebecca Adlington, Jessica Ennis, Bradley Wiggins, and Mo Farah.

The GSK Human Performance Lab is a world class science facility focused on applied and discovery research, combining GSK science expertise, external advisors and cutting edge technology to deepen the understanding of human performance.

SportsAid Kate at workshop 1
[Kate with sprinter Shona Richards; Nathan Gallagher/SportsAid]

From the Daily Mail: “The Duchess of Cambridge couldn’t help laughing today, after realising that she had been attempting to have a conversation with a young athlete who was wearing heavy-looking mask and unable to speak. Golfer Emma Allen, 17, from Southampton, was one of a group of athletes to be put through their paces in front of the Duchess as she toured the GSK Human Performance Lab in Brentford. Realising that Miss Allen was unable to reply, a clearly amused Duchess burst into laughter before getting the explanation she was looking for from one of the lab staff instead.”

SportsAid Kate at workshop 3
[Nathan Gallagher/SportsAid]

I have no idea what that mask does, but just from looking at the photo (above) I know there is no way Emma Allen can talk while wearing it. Plus, she’s on the bike. Whenever I’m doing hard cardio at the gym, the last thing I want is to be forced to try and talk to someone. I think it was pretty thick of Kate to think Miss Allen would even be able to have a casual chat while she was undergoing that performance test. I mean hell, even if she could talk through that mask, her speech would be intensely muffled. So dumb.

After her performance assessment, Miss Allen said of Kate, “I know she is very sporty and loves her hockey. It’s wonderful to have a figurehead like her for me, especially as a girl.” Seriously? Having the likes of Jessica Ennis and Rebecca Adlington to look up to – who actually went through the same program – doesn’t work better?

Is it just me or does Kate look like a demon in this photo? Like, there is so much darkness around her eyes, but then there’s the bright white right in the middle. It gives a demon-esque vibe.
Kate Middleton meets SportsAid athletes
[Clarence House Instagram]

Kate was asked if she wanted to try one of the exercises the Lab offered which tests mental agility, and she said: “Finally, something I can do while I am pregnant!” Because apparently she has been unable to exercise due to her second pregnancy. I know that women can exercise while pregnant because there are pregnant women who exercise at my gym, but maybe Kate’s doctors told her she couldn’t for some reason. But it’s kind of a d-ck thing to say when you’re at an event with at least four people in wheelchairs. Girl, pregnancy is not a disability. It’s not the end of the world that you can’t exercise like a mad woman during your pregnancy; I’m sure you’ll be back to exercising in six months, calm down.

The cognitive tests, preformed by neuroscientist Barry O’Neill, involved tapping colored circles on a large screen, with four rounds of increasing difficulty – these included pressing one color and not another, and ignoring verbal instructions designed to confuse while pressing the buttons. Afterward, O’Neill said, “She actually did very well for a woman of her age. I’m not being rude, I must stress, but your reflexes do decrease every decade you age.” Lol. If he told Kate that, I hope he was more finessed about it than he was when telling Rebecca English.


When O’Neill told Kate that Jensen Button, 34, had completed the tests flawlessly, Kate said: “It makes you wonder whether he is a good driver because he is so sharp mentally or whether the years of driving have honed it. It’s remarkable that people haven’t really thought before of working the mind and body as one. This could be used in so many environments, even in an office. It is absolutely fascinating.”

That’s actually a pretty good response. I mean, it at least acknowledges that the man was a racing driver and what the Lab’s intentions are. It’s not super generic and not super stupid.


Kate wore another new dress for yesterday’s event, the Goat Vreeland Dress in Iris, a deep plum color (£450.00). She also wore new boots, the HalfNHalf Stretch Rider boots by Stuart Weitzman for Russell and Bromley (£395.00) – these have a much lower heel than she usually wears, only 1.25″, which is awesome, I love seeing Kate not tower over people in 4 inch heels plus a 1 inch platform. Kate carried her Stuart Weitzman Muse clutch, and wore her sapphire and diamond earrings (Can I just call them the Diana earrings? Writing out “sapphire and diamond” takes so much more time). She wore tights again.

No skinny jeans!! Thank god. This outfit isn’t my favorite (kind of boring), but I have to say that this is a great outfit for a sports event. This outfit is a nice casual dress and nice flat-ish shoes, complete with tights so nothing inappropriate could possibly be showing. It’s not too informal like her horrendous skinny jeans and it’s not too dressy. The dress is still ridiculously overpriced, but whatever. This is how Kate should dress for a sports event, rather than subjecting us to her thigh gap in too tight skinny jeans.

Goat Vreeland Dress in Iris Stuart Weitzman HalfNHalf Stretch Rider
[goatfashion.com; russellandbromley.co.uk]


By the way, SportaAid’s SportsBall is November 27 this year. I wonder if Kate will attend. She attended last year’s SportsBall.

Kate Middleton at SportsAid workshop Kate Middleton at SportsAid workshop 2
[Clarence House Twitter]

Gallery with more photos: @TeamSportsAid and Nathan Gallagher/SportsAid
Athlete workshop sign for Kate Middleton SportsAid Kate at workshop 4 SportsAid Kate at workshop 2 SportsAid Kate at workshop 5

45 thoughts on “Duchess Kate at SportsAid athlete workshop

  1. Another outfit I hate.

    The dress is nothing exciting and those boots are hideous, the heel is too chunky and an awkward height and it makes her feet look massive and disproportionate to the rest of her.

    I wish she’d do something different with her hair, having it down all the time is so fucking boring.

    1. I’m just glad she didn’t wear those horrible Wedges of Doom again. But totally agree about the hair.

  2. Has she ever worn wide-leg jeans or trousers in public? I ask because I’ve only seen her in tight, skinny jeans, but jeans with a wider leg can be just dressy enough for occasions like these.

    1. I cannot recall seeing her in a nice trouser since the wedding (or ever, actually). I’ve seen older photos of her in normal jeans but only skinny jeans since the wedding. A nice trouser-like jean would be great for an event like this.

      1. Oh I so agree. I do wish the British royals would give trousers a try. The other royal women wear them and they can be very elegant as well as absolutely eliminating the “Marilyn Monroe moments”.

  3. Wonder why they won’t let her exercise? That was an interesting comment to make and you’re right a little rude considering there are people there in wheel chairs. No heels was a good thing. The dress was boring to me and the hair was more of the same, but it looks like the extensions are back.

    1. Why do people think she has extensions? You don’t think she just has naturally thick hair? It could be growing faster too due to pregnancy hormones. I am just curious why people don’t think its her natural hair?

  4. “It’s remarkable that people haven’t really thought before of working the mind and body as one. This could be used in so many environments, even in an office. It is absolutely fascinating.”

    Really, Kate? This is the first time and place you’ve ever heard of this idea? So all of those decades of mind-body research and combined cognitive/physical therapy magically never happened? Especially the pioneering research being done with wounded vets?

    p.s. And what exactly does she know about what happens in an office?

    1. Ma has office staff, she’s seen them so she knows really well what it’s like to work in an office.

      Yeah, that comment while intelligent for her wasn’t the wisest statement she could have made. It’s like she’s just seeing that information for the first time in her life, but considering she spent most of her 20s in the snow globe world called Williamville it wouldnt’ surprise me.

      1. I also like the “snow globe world called Williamville”–I think it’s very accurate!

        And her comment is definitely one that’s smart on the Kate scale–but that’s not saying much for the rest of the world. The work that’s being done is great, but it has precedent.

        1. Thanks Lauri and ABKM, it’s just where I think she lives. It’s calm until Willie throws a fit, then the snow flies and everyone gets covered until it all calms down again. And it seems like she’s been isolated away from the real world but it’s all her own doing.

      1. That would be a good guess, given her horrible posture, but she’s done yoga for years. There was a story going around that someone had stolen a digital camera out of Pippa’s unlocked car. On the camera were photos of Kate Middleton doing yoga naked.

  5. Great to see that Kate wore the appropriate attire for this appearance! I am somewhat confused about the discussion around Kate’s comment about exercise and how it offended people in wheelchair in attendance??? From my understanding the people in wheelchairs are Paralympic wheelchair athletes. They, like any other athlete, would understand Kate’s desire to exercise and stay fit. Maybe I am missing something here??? By the smiles on Kate’s face and her level of engagement, it is clear she was in her element.

    1. If anything, I can imagine the Paralympic athletes not being sympathetic because they’ve found a way to stay active and fit in spite of their circumstances. Maybe an eye roll behind her back.

    2. In the room, there are people missing limbs and have overcome this disadvantage to compete at a high level. Kate’s statement implies being pregnant is a disability that prevents her from doing anything – which is not true. She said this in the presence of people who are examples that you can compete no matter your circumstances. It is a stupid thing to say – that you cannot exercise because you are pregnant. Zara Phillips was on a horse right up until it got uncomfortable for her.

  6. I was just so thrilled that she didn’t wear the DSJ (dreaded skinny jeans)or the Wedges of Doom that she could have worn a gunny sack and I would have been happy!! This outfit was nice, nothing wow but nice. However, I really don’t like two tone boots, I don’t know why just don’t. But it was nice not to see her towering over everyone in those ridiculous Wedges of Doom. I have to say I frequently laugh at pictures of her and Willy standing next to other members of the royal family or just about any one else, they simply tower over them!

    I am all for calling her earrings “Diana’s earrings” instead of having to type out sapphire and diamonds…

    Is anyone else tired of her walking, standing, etc with her hands clasped in front of her?? To me it conveys the feeling of being ill at ease and unsure of yourself. I tried one time to walk with my hands on front the way she does and it really pulls your shoulders forward making you look hunched, plus it’s super uncomfortable. Every time I see her do this, which is all the time, I have to restrain myself from yelling Stand up straight for gods sakes.

    1. Oh my gosh, it drives me nuts!! I don’t know why she can’t just hold them on her sides. I think she just doesn’t know what to do with them. You think she would have better posture-I’m sure she had lessons on it and yet she doesn’t. 🙁 I think she wears heels so much to help with her posture-they naturally make you stand straighter.

  7. Good morning. This is only my second time posting, but I’m a long time lurker. This look has me scratching my head. On paper, it should be a home run. The dress is great. I really like the dress (both on her and if I could justify that price for myself). Except, I think it’s time she thinks about maternity dresses. It’s pulling up in the front something fierce. I think it might be the boots and her hair. Preaching to the choir here, but a pony tail would be perfect with the dress and the event.

    1. Hi Maggie,

      I’ve notice that effect many times on dresses Kate wears, longer in the back and shorter in the front. I think part of the issue is when she is standing still she tends to lean back at the waist which of course drops the back of the dress. Her posture hasn’t been at it’s best for a while now and I hope she works on it at some point.

        1. Yeah and rounds her shoulders. There is a picture of her walking with the Queen during a Jubilee appearance in Leicaster, she is walking with her arms at her sides, head held high, shoulders back and I thought she looked so confident, at ease and very sure of herself, her best look ever regardless of what she was wearing. I don’t know what’s happened since then but I really hope someday she can get back that self confidence and assurance, as it’s her best look yet!!

          1. I wish I could see what picture you were talking about.

            Its sad I just watched a video of her outside the hotel the night before the wedding and she is talking to some gentlemen. She still has bad posture, however, she is so animated and genuinely excited. She just looks great from how joyful she is. Sadly, she dos not seem like that anymore.

  8. Thinking about Kate and her engagements, I’m reminded of a quote from Mineko Iwasaki’s memoirs of her life as a geisha in Gion in the 1960s and 1970s:

    “After lunch, Auntie Oima or Kuniko handed out the assignments for that evening to the assembled geiko [geisha]. Then the women ‘got to work’ researching the people they would be entertaining that evening. If one of her customers was a politician she studied the legislation he was sponsoring, if one was an actress she read an article about her in a magazine, if one was a singer she listened to his records. Or read his or her novel. Or studied the country the guest came from. We used all the resources at our disposal to do this. I spent many an afternoon, especially when I was a maiko [apprentice], in bookstores, libraries, and museums.”

    Kate has easier access to infinitely more resources and infinitely fewer constraints on her time than the geiko Iwasaki describes. They were doing this kind of research every day to make sure that they would have a way to engage with the people they saw in the evening. If they could do this, why can’t Kate?

    1. I always thought (and maybe I’m completely wrong) that all members of the BRF are presented with information about where they are going, who will be there, what they do, what to expect, etc. and if you’re diligent and do your homework you won’t come off looking like such a half wit. Being the geek that I am I would do more research on my own (or have my assistants find it for me) so I’d have my bases covered. I’d also want to know the weather forecast and have a backup plan for the wardrobe should that change. But then again, I guess I’m asking a bit too much from an expectant mother. And judging from her informed and witty small talk and looks of interest she’s been expecting for the entire 3 years of her marriage.

      1. I would have done my research, too, Lisa–I love knowledge, and Kate is given the opportunity to see so many interesting places. I’d want to go in knowing as much as possible so I could learn even more once I got there.

        Dag Tagart, unfortunately, I think that’s what it comes down to. It makes me sad, not that I ever expected much from Kate.

  9. I think we were spared the wedges because she doesn’t fit into her skinny jeans anymore. Not that she has given up the Barbie Look for good. We’ll see those stupid things again. Those wedges are so inappropriate at sports events — what sport involves high heels? It was probably explained to her that you can not wear regular heels in a sports facility as it ruins the floor – which is why we saw a flat boot heel.

  10. Why does she wear inappropriate shoes when she knows she will be doing activities and then wears flats when she knows she can’t do activities? It makes no sense to me…

  11. I chuckled at the throughout the post especially with pregnancy is not a disability. Pregnant women are encouraged to exercise. Exercise helps ease the delivery and pain. Maybe she had orders from the doctors.

  12. I was surprised at being able to.see her true height. Wow! She is not am tall as many blogs claim. She is AVERAGE height. Not towering close to 6 ft.

    1. I believe she is really only 5’7 or 5’8 at the most. She wears on average about 4 inch heels so everyone things she is super tall. I believe she wants people to think she is super tall.

  13. Finally her hair looks good again. Her first hair stylist was so much better. Apparently he squeaked and they fired him? The second hair stylist styles her without enough volume and her hair often looks flat. But here the new person nailed it, she looks like her old barbie self albeit very pale and a bit more tired

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