Kate Middleton visits Downton Abbey

Kate Middleton visits Downton Abbey

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, was out and about again today, March 12, visiting the set of the award-winning TV show, Downton Abbey, at Ealing Studios. Kate has been a fan of Downton Abbey for years, revealing in 2011 that she and Prince William were huge fans of the show. Of course, they seem to be huge fans of every television show of every actor they talk to, but whatevs. The Middletons toured the Downton Abbey set in 2011, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex has visited multiple times before (including last week), so now Kate gets to check that off her list. Except Kate didn’t get to meet the amazing Dame Maggie Smith, because she dropped out due to illness.

To begin her tour of the set, Kate received flowers from the little boy who plays George Crawley, Zac Barker. He was dressed like a handsome little gentleman, but he didn’t seem too thrilled with his flower-giving duties. Kate also met the creator, Julian Fellowes, and other producers, cast, and crew.

Kate touring the costume department at Downton Abbey 2

Kate toured different areas of production, including the makeup department, costumes department, construction workshop, and sets. She got to witness a scene being filmed, and even received a cake made to celebrate her visit. She unveiled a plaque to commemorate the visit and received a toy train for Prince George. Kate stayed for about two hours, half an hour longer than planned.

Kate receives toy train from Michelle Dockery
[Kate receiving the toy train from Michelle Dockery and Oliver Barker (Zac’s twin brother)]

Kate wore a new white coat that looks very much like her other new white coat from Max Mara, but this one is the Jojo Maman Bebe “Cream Princess Line Maternity Coat” (Β£69.00 – that’s so cheap by Kate standards). Kate wore a white dress underneath, but she never took off her coat, so no telling what that dress is. She has so many clothes.

Jojo Maman Bebe Cream Princess Line Maternity Coat

Kate’s accessories did not vary at all from yesterday. She went with the Stuart Weitzman Power pumps, Mulberry Bayswater clutch, and Annoushka pearl drops. Β Kate wore her hair down. Sad face.

Kate touring Downton Abbey set 1

Cake from Kate's Downton Abbey visit

Kate touring construction area Kate tours props department 1 Kate touring Downton Abbey set 4 Kate touring Downton Abbey set 2

Kate touring the costume department at Downton Abbey 1 Kate visiting ealing studios Kate touring Downton Abbey set 3 Kate tours props department 2


Link: Daily Mail.

Photos: Getty/Kensington Palace Twitter/Kensington Palace Instagram

92 thoughts on “Kate Middleton visits Downton Abbey

  1. Definitely a wiglet. I don’t mind, but I’d wish all the press would stop going on and on about her beautiful luscious locks. Wiglets and extensions. When you see her hair before the engagement and marriage, it was the same thickness as Pippa’s.

    I watched a special about Adele once, and she was cracking me up, showing everyone her “wiglet room” and talking about which were her favorites πŸ˜€

    Coat is pretty. But very basic. Maybe that’s what she’s going for.

    1. I actually like the coat by itself and kind of wish it weren’t maternity so I could wear it. On Kate it’s a bit boring since she has so many white coats, and just wore that new Max Mara one recently, but the coat isn’t bad. I wish Kate had added a pop of color or something.

      lol at Adele and her wiglet room.

      1. To me it looks identical to the pale blue Matthew Williamson she wore recently. I quite like them both actually, they’re both maternity coats and seem to fit and hang quite well.

        I’m thinking this outing was meant to be a treat for Kate. A reward for all the “work” she’s doing. It’s craziness how much she’s doing considering how far along she is. And the fact she’s lazy as heck.

        1. Just like Kate but the opposite way round!

          It probably wouldn’t take too much altering.

    2. I Agree. The gloss, thickness (weave) is part of the royal make over (and a copying of Jecca Craig from years ago). KM seem to had worship-like lookup to Jecca while speaking with her at events years before the wedding. Even her teeth was worked on.

      Her coat/s has gone from a tiny bump in the last two days – to a lot of material to show her as having a bigger size bump.

      I fail to see the use of tax payers funds for security, time to transport km to these waving events. C/Sophie was on HM business with the Mexican FL. If km forget she is pregnant (can bend and stand without discomfort) of the small size, then surely she is feeling great and should be at charities planning/meeting with staff to support the needy, seniors and others less fortunate – service and giving back.

      The fake turnaround smiles from ‘cold hard look away’ on Commonwealth Day, with POW and DoC is very insincere and no one is fooled

      1. Not worshiping Jecca IMO, but hopes to be like her to attract Will. Kate was for the asking, Jecca wasn’t in the bag- Will chose easy.

      2. I’m not sure I understand the correlation between Kate’s security detail and transport cost and Sophie taking the Mexican First Lady to the set. No doubt there were security detail and transport costs for Sophie’s trip – not just for Sophie (which she has whenever she’s working), but even more for the First Lady.

        1. I think she was saying that the security costs for Sophie were justified because she was on official business with the Mexican First lady. But with Kate, today was basically just a personal visit so Kate could visit the set of her favorite show. Therefore it shouldn’t count as an official engagement and taxpayers should not have to pay security costs. At least I think that was the point DooLittle was making.

    3. Okay, I guess I still don’t think it is a wiglet. It looks like her natural hair. Has there ever been evidence of it being fake?

        1. I’m guessing a lot of deep conditioning and some weave? If you look closeup, even in her pictures now, her hair isn’t so thick. It just looks like that because they curl it and shape it.

        2. I am an educated, professional woman and my fascination for this sort of royal minutiae is my silly little secret. Perhaps I wouldn’t care so much if I felt the duchess (and her husband) “worked” a little more than a few hours a week and didn’t eclipse other British royals (including those more than twice their age!) who seem to put in the hard yards for little recognition.

          I think the duchess does use hair extensions, despite palace protests that the seemingly moveable scar is the result of a childhood operation:


          There is much chatter about it on Royal Dish:


          (scroll about one third of the way down the page)

          The scar moves about (thanks again Royal Dishers)

          even to the other side of Kate’s head:


          Look at the white ‘V’ between Kate’s ear and her hat: to me it looks very much like the “scar” in the Clarence House photos.

          Thank you KMR: this site is well researched and written. I look forward to reading every entry and comments from your readers.

          1. I agree with you, Erica! I am also a career woman with several degrees. I’ve been a royal watcher since 1981 and love it. This is escapism at its best. I love KMR because everyone can voice their opinions without being attacked. She has a well written site with beautiful pics.

            Thanks for those pics about Kate’s hair. And yes. It is a weave. It’s either a sew in or glue in. And it isn’t good. Any hairdresser worth their work would have them blended in much better than that. You can blend it with human hair and never know the difference. How do I know? Well, I’ve rocked a piece a few times in my life.

  2. Now, this ensemble needed a Pop of Color.
    So white (or, is the dress cream). So bland, so boring!
    I’ll hand it to Jason. He has her out and about. Still, I’d love to see Kate (and William) really get behind a cause, or two (or, more) and do some “real work,” educating the public, inspiring others and actually helping someone or something. I know she’s pregnant and soon to be a new mom again, but I’m tired of all this light weight stuff from Will and Kate.

    1. Yeah, set visits are fun, but it’s just fluff to pad the numbers.

      To be fair, William is trying to educate the public and inspire others with his wildlife thing, he just sucks at it. He only does things with it a few times a year and when he does he and his team frame it wrong or he shows some sort of hypocrisy and it ends up making him look bad. If Kate wanted to, she could really get behind a cause (children’s mental health?), but she chooses not to and her team are not pushing her or doing anything to help her really. Both Will and Kate need a whole new team of people to really shake things up and get things done and make them actually look good.

      1. Not to be argumentative, but how do you know her team aren’t pushing her or trying to help? I cannot imagine that her team is ignorant of the perception, by some, of Kate being a work shy, dim witted, shopping, vacationing mummy’s girl. The number of people holding those opinions is growing, not decreasing. That has to be a concern, because ultimately, it makes them look bad too.

        1. William has made it clear in multiple interviews that he doesn’t listen to advice and will do the opposite of what people say. If advisors are saying work more, they’d be ignored or fired.

          There have been rumors for a few years that William plans to dramatically downscale the number of engagements that royals (meaning he and Kate) do. Sources or spokespeople have said things like they are attending separate events to split their influence (ie. excuse for being lazy and Middleton dropping out of the Ralph Lauren event).

          They want to influence from the top (have the Foundation take credit for others work while they hide in the country and never do anything), but not show up and do the regular royal engagements. His new wildlife charity is the same – merely latching on to dozens of existing wildlife charities under the royal umbrella so William can claim all their work as “his”. The way they’ve tried to co-opt WWTW, Invictus, and Sentebale have shown they’ll take credit for others work and do nothing themselves.

  3. Would it kill her to consider a scarf or, heaven forbid, a nice pin or brooch? That’s not limited to HM or Camilla. But then again her hair would get caught on it, so I just answered my own question. And is it sad that the more I see of her, the less I want to see of her? She doesn’t seem to be learning from past mistakes and missteps, she just keeps stomping on through.

      1. I don’t think Lisa was implying HM or Camilla should lend Kate a brooch, but that Kate should take a leaf out of HM and Camilla’s books and wear brooches (her own brooches).

    1. Brooches would be an excellent accessory for her, but you’re right her hair would get caught in it most of the time since she wears her hair down so much. I wonder if she has any nice brooches? We’ve seen a few, but not many from her.

  4. Dame Maggie Smith is amazing! I’m sure that Julian Fellowes created the Dowager Countess specifically for her. He wrote the script for the fantastic “Gosford Park” where she pretty much stole the show.
    Incidentally, he has also written a novel titled “Snobs”. πŸ˜‰

    1. I love Gosford Park!! I can watch time and time again and never get bored with it. Dame Maggie is so suited for these parts and if Mr. Fellowes did create the Dowager Countess part just for her, then my hats off to him, he’s a genius!!

      1. Gosford Park is a wonderful movie – with so many strong performances, but Maggie Smith takes the prize! I lover her line “There’s not a snobbish bone in my body!” Lol.

          1. Julian Fellowes has stated that he wrote the parts of the Dowager Countess for Maggie Smith, The part of Bates for Brendan Coyle and The Earl of Grantham for Hugh Bonneville. They are all perfect for their parts but I have a soft spot for Maggie Smith. I would love to know what the Dowager Countess thinks of all the fly ups that The Duchess has.

  5. I would have loved if Dame Maggie Smith were there. She is a phenomenal actor.

    Kate didn’t look that bad. I like the coat, but she does need a pop of color. Orange, grey, teal something. It makes her look basic when she wears no colors. A low pony or half up or down would be nice. Her hair looks heavy and just a mass of hair. And yes, that is a weave. And not a good one at that.

    1. How about a brightly colored or patterned scarf to pull her hair back? That’ll kill two birds with one stone, solving the hair problem and an accent color.

  6. I quiet like this coat!! It think Kate look very pretty today, though I would have styled this coat with colorful pumps. I think the coat in and of itself is so nice. But it looks like every other coat she owns. At first I thought it was the cream coat she wore last month. Why buy a new maternity coat so late in your pregnancy? It makes no sense to me. And a waste of money

  7. Kate looked beautiful!! Love the coat and absolutely love the hair!!! 100% the hair is all Kate!!! George gets another gift….I mean really. It may be more appropriate that the gift is a check to The Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.

    1. I have to disagree on the hair. She’s got some kind of help going on there. It was never that thick in her pre-engagement days and it’s not because of the pregnancy.

      1. Kate has been photographed more times than we can count. If she had “help” there would be pictures. If she can be photographed with her dresses/skirts blowing in the wind, she would be photographed with hair clips/extensions blowing in the wind as well!

        1. I know the Palace said it was a childhood scar. Kate has worn her hair back since, and I don’t recall ever seeing that scar again. Does anyone else remember seeing it since? Since it was so obvious that time, shouldn’t it still be obvious?

          I guess now I am torn on if her hair is natural or not…

          1. Okay, nevermind, I just went and looked at some pictures. You can see the scare in different photos, it is just not as noticeable. So, I do believe Kate hair is natural. She has curl hair which makes it thicker. Some women are just blessed with naturally thick hair and I think she is one of them.

          2. My2Pence, I’m with you. Her hair is not that thick on its own. There’s just too much difference in pre marriage and post marriage pictures. Look at the picture of her after she had George and took the trolley ride with the gray hair showing. Limp and thin until she had it done. (and I mean done) No reason to turn it into a war, some will always believe that it’s real and that’s what she’s paying good money for.

        2. 100% Natural! She was so stressed waiting on PW she had unhealthy hair!!! IMO, her hair is natural. It is obvious she is taking care of it and it is being looked after by a professional!! Your last picture really proves the point healthy hair vs unhealthy hair!

          1. I will happily give her credit when it’s due, but she has to earn it. I actually really liked her at first, but a combination of things made me start to question her. I would love to be able to come here and compare her favorably to Leti and Maxima and Victoria. Even with Sophie, Camilla and Anne, but she just doesn’t give you too many chances to do that. She’s got a long road ahead of her and hopefully she’ll get better. She just seems to have a really wide learning curve.

          2. My problems with her relate to her work ethic, poor on-the-job performance, her pathetic William-related choices, and her ridiculous wardrobe. She does not work hard, do a good job, have a healthy sense of self, or dress/style appropriately for her role.

            I become critical when people insist she is as tall as his mother, a natural unadorned beauty, who is all legs. No, she isn’t. Why center solely on what she looks like and how she dresses? Why not value her for what she does? Oh because she does next to nothing.

            I suspect that if she was considered less physically attractive, she wouldn’t have so many fanatics defending her so passionately. Sad but true, many of her fans seem to value her more for looks than for her self or what she does.

            People who adore her for her looks are doing her no favors – because her looks are false. Like her for the way she is, the reality and flaws and all. But why insist upon liking her for physical attributes that aren’t true?

      2. Carole is helping her. I think it’s quasi-creepy how much Kate has brightened up now that the umbilical cord is back in place.

  8. Today, I am in agreement with most of the other commenters. I thought Kate looked nice today, not wow but nice. I do see, however, where she could be greatly helped by a stylist. Someone to help her pull her looks together, coordinate accessories, hairstyle, etc… and really make her look great. If Tash is still acting in that capacity then I have to say she isn’t doing the best by her boss. Of course it could be that Tash is making great suggestions that Kate just isn’t taking. A bit of the Wills “I know best syndrome” maybe.

    It seems to me now, looking back, that Kate has always suffered a bit in the fashion department. Pre-engagement she wore what most young women wear short skirts, tight dresses, fun costume jewelry, boots with skirts, etc….nothing wow just typical of her age and the time period. But since becoming a royal and especially since becoming a mother I feel that she is struggling to find her fashion identity, is it yummy mummy, matronly mother, too tired to bother or a combination of the three? She wore that baby blue mullet dress (which I liked) that had some va voom and then the next time wore dowdy, black lace. To me Leti really has a great sense of her fashion identity, when she is wearing something business or something sexy, she always wears something, some piece that pulls the look together and presents a cohesive, signature look. I hope someday Kate will find someone and allow that person to guide her in her fashion choices to create a great signature look.

    1. Lauri I couldn’t agree more with you! Leti always seems to nail her outfits. I know it was not like that in the beginning for her, but she figured it out and always looks spot on. She would be a good person for Kate to look up to. Sometimes the transition from 20’s style to 30’s can be difficult. I am still trying to figure it out exactly as well πŸ™‚

      Kate supposedly enlisted a stylist help shortly after college. She wanted help look appropriate after college and not just dress like a young girl, but more sophisticated for her age. This was all due to be photographed more and being more involved in William’s life. So, if she had help before, I am not sure why she won’t get a stylist help now. I wonder if she does think she doesn’t need it, kind of like with her makeup (which we all know she could use help with). Maybe she has come to believe her own hype about being a style icon and therefore thinks a stylist is not needed?

      1. Hi Overit,

        I’m still struggling with the 20’s to 50’s style lol πŸ™‚ I did visit a department store, on my 50th, that offers a free appointment with a stylist. It was by far the best thing I’ve ever done and the most fun I’ve had shopping. I still email/call her for fashion tips and she frequently sends me things or makes suggestions. While I don’t hit the fashion mark every time I feel much more confident about my fashion choices. Also, in deference to Leti I’ve been working more on my posture and found that correct posture really does make a difference not only in how I look but how I feel.

        I had heard the same thing about enlisting a stylist after college. It would be a great idea for any woman making major (or not so major) life changes. Unless of course a woman already has great fashion sense or has already found her signature style. Oh, to be so lucky πŸ™‚ But you might be right, she’s believing her own press.

    2. I agree about Letizia. The few mistakes she makes are when she tries to do frilly. She needs a classic/simple style.

      Bad frilly dress here

      I’d put this in the back of the closet

      I like her other red dresses, but this one is too much. Either the shaggy skirt OR the lace top, but not both.

      1. Thanks for sharing these pictures, My2Pence. Eek, those green dresses are horrible, I can’t believe the posters on that site loved them. I did like the red dress but on the whole I agree with you, Leti looks much better in a classic slim style.

  9. KMR – Sky News reported that this wasn’t Kate’s first visit to the set of Downton Abbey – that all the Middletons had a private visit last year. Bit disingenuous of the palace/press to position this visit as the first time Kate’s met all these folks. And ill-timing to do it right after Sophie and the first lady of Mexico. All those quotes about how exciting to have a royal visit – when a royal visited the week before. PR buddies are working overtime.

    1. I saw the same thing, the Middleton’s visited last year but there was no mention of Kate being with them. Some misunderstanding on someone’s part.

    2. I agree that is it is very bad timing to do it just after Sophie has done it. And Sophie has made a few visits and there was nothing like the fuss that Waity had.

    3. I have a friend working in television drama production. She says there are short deadlines plus it’s really expensive filming especially a period drama with lots of costumes. To stop for 2-3 hours just so Kate could come for a tour must have been very expensive. Sophie was escorting the President of Mexico’s wife. She was there for a reason. I think Kate’s tour was just a costly boast to her ego. She can barely visit her charities, let alone stay a hour. This is not how a real duchess would act. A real duchess, even if she has married in to the family knows her responsibilities. Kate does not.

      1. To play devil’s advocate: why did the First Lady of Mexico take a tour of the set? Seems really random and like she just wanted to visit the set of her favorite TV show.

        I have no idea why the First Lady visited, or if she’s ever seen the show, but any set visit like this seems fairly self-indulgent. It’s not like the First Lady was promoting anything, the visit was technically private (even though they released a photo). It won’t count toward Sophie’s year end numbers.

        Sophie has visited before and it’s been on behalf of one of her charities. If I remember correctly, the charity and DA or some of the cast were teaming up for something.

        But any set visit where they just tour the set and there is no charity involved, seems self-indulgent, no matter who is visiting.

        1. I think the arrangers of this visit probably took into account that she was a former actress and might like to visit the set of their most popular exported show. Expensive visit for the show and not a charity, but appropriate for the person involved.

          1. Not to be argumentative, but I would say Doctor Who is a more popular exported British TV show than Downton Abbey. Doctor Who has also been on the air way longer (literally over 40 years longer) and is more well known than Downton Abbey. That’s not to say that you aren’t right that the First Lady may have visited DA because she is a former actress (I didn’t even think of that), but I don’t think DA is the most popular British exported TV show. DA may be winning awards, but the cast aren’t doing a world tour ahead of the new season (as DW did ahead of the premiere of the last season). Of course, this is coming from a ride or die Doctor Who fan, so there’s that. lol

          2. Not doubt Dr. Who is more popular. But Downton can kind of be seen as a soap opera of sorts and she was a soap opera actress. Also, it could just be that Downton was in production at the time. I don’t know if Dr. Who is filming right now.

          3. Doctor Who films in Cardiff so it wouldn’t exactly be an easy trip to pop in and visit the set for an hour.

            PS. Not to be nitpicky, but as a Doctor Who fan I’m totally going to get nitpicky right now, lol. The “Doctor” part of Doctor Who is the main character’s name: The Doctor. So one shouldn’t abbreviate the Doctor part of Doctor Who.

          4. I’m so sorry (throwing myself on my sword) no offense meant, just my fingers doing the walking on the keyboard.

          5. My point was that Kate was there to please Kate and there was no other point to the visit.
            It did show that Kate will stay on a visit if it is something she is interested in.
            Every time she visits a charity and has Rebecca write something about the charity being her passion is rubbish. this trip shown, with her visit to DA, that if something is her passion then she can make herself pay attention (and not look blank) and stay the full time allocated. The rest of the time it is just words with no meaning behind them. That girl really is a legend in her own lunchtime!

    1. That is a load because I’m American and I knew about the show before she opened her mouth about it. She’ll be walking on water next.

      1. I can’t believe she gets credit for American’s watching Downton. Such B.S. It was popular here before she said anything. Why do they always feel like kissing her ass?

    2. I’m American and I learned of Downton Abbey completely independently from learning about Kate. I learned of Downton Abbey from the show being nominated for awards and such, and from E News talking about the show and the cast. Kate’s “stamp of approval” meant nothing since I didn’t even follow her much when I learned of DA.

    3. I am Canadian and I’ve heard of DA a long time ago. Just that I didn’t have time and cable to follow the drama.

      I used to tune into Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery on PBS every week. I love British dramas and comedies. Upstairs-Downstairs, Keeping Up Appearances, Are You Being Served and oh ..Benny Hill :)))

      1. We’ll be hearing she can turn water into wine soon.

        I’ve been watching Masterpiece Theatre and all British productions here in America since time immemorial, and never needed viewing tips from the Duchess of Cambridge. They need to get over her!

  10. this is perfectly timed. Downton Abbey is just finishing up in America and we all know how “popular” Middleton is in America.

  11. She looks so genuinely happy to be there and interested and excited by everything people are showing her/doing for her. She stayed a half-hour longer than planned.

    Aren’t her other visits usually only 30 minutes to an hour? And doesn’t she always duck out as soon as she possibly can? AND doesn’t she always look palpably bored or disinterested or bewildered?

    This was so obviously something she requested that she get to do. It’s just so juvenile and pointless, I don’t understand what the new PR guy was thinking.

    1. It is interesting that at yesterday’s engagement and today’s, Kate spent longer than planned but normally, as you pointed out, she rarely stays more than an hour tops. I wonder if Jason has had a word with her about that. It will be interesting to see if any of these changes continue long term or are they a one off.

    2. Yes, she really seemed to like the DA set visit. It would be super cool to visit the set and get a tour and meet all the people involved. I’d be excited and smiling, too. Yes, she usually only stays 1 hour tops, so it’s odd she stayed so long. Of course not odd since she was clearly enjoying herself. This visit really does seem random, especially since they announced she’d be there only days after Sophie visited. It would have been in the works for a while before they announced it, but the timing of the announcement seemed odd because of Sophie’s visit.

    3. 15 minutes at a hospice for dying children. 2 hours as a fan getting a behind the scenes tour of a tv show. This tells us her priorities.

        1. She needs to visit her charities and stay there for a decent amount of time to give them the exposure they need, not at a hit television program that already has all the publicity it needs. So self-serving and self-indulgent.

  12. Where were all the actresses with their costumes? I am a retro/vintage chick and I LOVE the 20’s fashion. So I was hoping to see DA’s costumes, I don’t care about Kate. Did they deliberately keep the ladies away so the spotlight wouldn’t be stolen from Kate?

    If I were the Duchess, I’d make it fun by coming to the set dressing a la 20’s. Her coat is not bad. I like it. So tie the hair up, add a cloche hat, a pair of red mary jane, and oh ..gloves. But then it’s me. I’d jump at any chance of dressing 1920’s style.

    1. That would have been awesome. But Kate is way too “safe” to dress up in a theme.

  13. I have to wonder if Jason was a Ma Middleton hire? Kate is be promoted and in the limelight heaps but what about William? He is the one in line to the throne, not Kate. I feel it’s like we’ve had too much Kate for a reason, what is being hidden? Or is Jason working on promoting anything to make the Middletons look better… Oh Kate works so hard! Yeah, right!

    1. I’ve been thinking the same thing. Why are we seeing so much of Kate and virtually nothing of William? The obvious is because she’s going to take an extended maternity break, but I have a feeling there’s something else. To quote one of my favorite How I Met Your Mother episodes, “Where’s the poop, Robin?”

      1. Cathy and Maggie:

        Interesting. The Middleton Family hiring Jason and making sure Kate gets top billing.
        Where, oh where, is William?

        1. And where is the support for William. He is the heir not Kate so Jason should be supporting him first. Or is Kate getting so ott at the moment he will do anything to keep the peace until the baby comes?

        2. I would guess William has been off doing something naughty, and they’ve used Kate to cover for him.

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