Kate Middleton says words at Fostering Network event, signs condolence book for Paris (updated)

Kate Middleton says words at Fostering Network event, signs condolence book for Paris (updated)

Kate said words. Much amaze. Such wow. No, seriously, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, actually said a few words before handing out awards at the 2015 Fostering Excellence Awards this evening in London. **Updated with link to video of her words**

Kate saying words at TFN awards

Kate said (transcribed from the video): “Good evening. I’d just like to say how delighted I am to be here with you all. It is wonderful to meet so many remarkable and inspiring people involved in the incredibly important world of fostering. And now, it gives me enormous pleasure to present the Fostering Achievement Award to Adam, Emily, and Sian. Congratulations to you all.”

Though Jason tried to convince us that Kate would be giving more speeches, I wouldn’t call two sentences a speech. This was politely saying a few words thanking her hosts, which is something she should be doing at almost every event she attends. But I will give her credit for actually saying a few words. We have been on her for a very long time to at least say a few words at her appearances and she finally did. So good job, Kate.

I have not seen a video of Kate’s words, but our (former?) friend Richard Palmer said Kate “looked more confident than in previous public speaking” and that her “confident public speaking style struck [him]” (link, link). So maybe she has finally gotten a speaking coach. But if Jason wants his promises not to ring false then Kate needs to give a full speech by the end of the week. I am honestly happy that Kate finally said a few words, and I know public speaking can be terrifying, but it’s been 4 1/2 years (!) it’s time for Kate to give full speeches.

UPDATE: Here is a link to a video of Kate’s words (she speaks from 4:40-5:08). Hm… I want to say it is a tad bit better than last time she spoke, but it’s still not great. I do think she seems more confident than she has previously, so I understand what Palmer was saying. But I still think Kate needs a lot of work. The head bob is still present and annoying, and she still pauses at odd places in sentences./UPDATE

Kate (Rebecca Deacon) also wrote a foreword to the awards program: “It is fantastic that we are all gathered this evening to celebrate fostering and the truly transformational care that is a lifeline to so many. The people we will hear about tonight are truly extraordinary and show how good foster care changes children and young people’s lives.”

Kate at TFN awards

The Fostering Excellence Awards are presented by The Fostering Network to celebrate the role of the fostering community in providing support to children and young people. Kate handed out the Fostering Achievement Award to three teenagers: Emily Bowyer, 19 (once an elective mute who is now trying to become a paramedic); Adam Howlett, 17 (who suffers from autism); and Sian Connolly, 19 (who overcame disruptive and anti-social behaviour). For more on all of the award winners, go here.

The Fostering Network works with fostering services and foster families from across the UK caring for children who are unable to live at home – often experiencing neglect and abuse, and/or witnessing domestic violence or substance abuse before being taken from their homes and placed with foster families.

This is the second time this year that Kate has visited The Fostering Network – she first visited back in January – which is more than I can say for some of her patronages (she hasn’t visited SportsAid once this year). I’m wondering if she will become patron of The Fostering Network in the near future.

Kate recieves quilts at TFN awards

Upon her arrival, Kate received quilts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte. The charity gives out similar quilts to all foster children. The note attached reads: “These quilts are often a fostered child’s most treasured possession.”

TFN awards quilts

Part of the event was a tea party where Kate met with the award’s winners and their families, as well as other children, and staff and volunteers from The Fostering Network.

Kate at TFN awards tea party 1

Kate at TFN awards tea party 2

Kate wore another new dress for this event. Having just announced a tour of India next year, Kate went with an Indian designer for the first time. I’m guessing this dress will make a return appearance during the tour next year.

While Kate went with a new-to-her designer, she went with an old-and-very-boring-to-her color: blue.

Kate went with Saloni‘s “Martine crinkle-effect dress” in cobalt from the Pre-AW15 collection ($789 at matchesfashion). She added an Alexander McQueen belt we’ve seen from her a few times, her favorite clutch of 2015 the black Mulberry Bayswater, her Catherine Zoraida “Fern Hoop Earrings” (£150.00) she debuted in September, and another new pair of black suede pumps (how many does she need?) this time from Gianvito Rossi (€ 510 at mytheresa).

The dress reminds me of both the Tabitha Webb dress Kate wore to the Charities Forum and the LK Bennett dress Kate wore to Wimbledon. All three dresses have a similar shape and sleeve length.

Saloni Martine crinkle-effect dress Catherine Zoraida Fern Hoop Earrings Gianvito Rossi black suede pumps

Kate wore her hair back in a braided knot with her bangs hanging loose. The rest of her hair was tightly curled into ringlets.

TV presenter Holly Willoughby hosted the awards, and like Kate, she chose a blue and black theme for her outfit. I wonder if this was a planned color-coordination or if this was a coincidence. If planned, that’s cute. If not planned, I wonder if Kate was upset.

Now, in the past whenever there is a comparison between Kate and another women the instant reaction (not just here but on other non-pro-Kate blogs) is that the other woman looks way better than Kate, pulls off the outfit better than Kate, accessorized better than Kate, etc. Well, I want to say before any of that happens that I actually like Kate’s dress way better than Holly’s, even with the ugly belt. Though I prefer Holly’s hair – less bangs trauma.

There was some wind.

Oh, BTW, Kate didn’t bother to turn to the cameras when she entered the building, and that upset some of the photographers. KP may have curtailed the press with their meet-and-greet, but the photographers are still pissy about things.

Tweets in frustration

Prince William and Duchess Kate visited the French Embassy in London this morning to sign the book of condolence for the victims of the Paris attacks last Friday. If you can’t read his handwriting, William wrote: “To all those who have died and were injured in the heartless attacks in Paris, and to all the people in France: Nos plus sincères condoléances.”

William and Kate signitures condolence book

PS. William, as President of the FA, attended the England and France football (soccer) match at Wembley Stadium this evening. William laid a wreath on the field in tribute to Paris. He was not scheduled to attend this match, but did so because of the attacks.

Link: Express.

Photos: Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal / Getty

135 thoughts on “Kate Middleton says words at Fostering Network event, signs condolence book for Paris (updated)

  1. I have to say that I really like this dress! The color is so vibrant and the fit is great, not loving the belt though and seriously another new pair of black pumps?! But, to me this outfit was a fashion win for Kate.

    Kudos to Kate for at least saying a few words tonight and wow I was stunned to see her standing on stage and not clutching her nether region. However, in case it was feeling lonely she did manage to keep her hands there for the rest of the pictures.

    So glad her and William took the time to visit the French embassy and sign the condolence book. However, it would have been better if Kate would have written a few words herself, to express her personal feelings instead of just signing under William’s post. Secondly, I really wish she would retire that suit as her condolence suit, she has plenty of black coats and dresses and this one is so old it almost feels disrespectful to me.

    1. I really like this dress. I would buy it for myself if it weren’t so expensive.

      I was wondering why Kate didn’t get to write anything herself. I don’t know if she was told not to or what, but I would have written something myself if I were her.

      1. I would hope that no one would have tried to prevent her from expressing her own feelings about this tragedy, but you never know. But if that’s not the case then that would mean she elected not to say anything and just coat tail on William’s words. Not sure which is worse.

        1. I noticed during Remembrance Sunday that Willem-Alexander wrote a message on the wreath and Maxima just signed her name to it next to his. It might just be normal protocol. I thought then that if I were in the position I would want to write a note myself. I also noticed that Kate didn’t even sign William’s wreath message.

      1. I wasn’t aware of this so thanks for sharing RT. I mean I sign our Christmas cards from myself and Mr. from Ca., but for something as personal and tragic as this event I would want to express my own thoughts.

        1. Lauri I do agree – I wouldn’t care for protocol in the case like that. She is the real person so she has a right to express her feelings of sadness just the same as her husband.

  2. Several things;

    1. I’m glad she said something at the Fostering event because I was already side eyeing her for simply signing her name to William’s words in the condolence book. Usually not a big deal, but after the big ‘Kate is going to speak’ article, it was a slap in that effort.

    2. Kudos to Rebecca/Jason for their words, written and spoken, at the fostering network event. At least Kate didn’t sound like an idjit this time. And whilst it still sounded/read like impersonal catch phrases, they didn’t use the words ‘hugely keen’ or ‘close to her heart’ or ‘William and I’. Three phrases that have taken to giving me an eye twitch because they seem to be the only phrases used in speech after letter after PSA.

    3. Look at her hair at the fostering event!!! No wiglet. You can see that it isn’t the thick thatch she’s been carrying around. Not criticising at all. Just pointing out her hair sans wiglet/extensions!!!!

    1. Herazeus, the lack of wiglet and extensions was so noticeable. I’m so very happy they ditched them, but I’m wondering how long that will last. What I would really like is for her to get a new person to do her hair. Someone who knows that they are actually doing. I like that it was pulled back, but those bangs were there as protective curtains. They should have been pinned back/incorporated into the braid in some way.

      But did you notice that she went back to her old fidgety ways with the hair? I wonder if the extra pieces kept her hands away from her head for fear that she would loosen something. That aspect alone makes me almost like them.

    2. Agree with you Herazeus.

      But at five years marry in… more than a few words is expected. I also did not like her look. I don’t see a royal at this award (the belt, and hair looks less than royal). She has abundance of resources for public appearances (without listening to ma), and has could look a lot better in a 500 pound dress and hair. Holly looked more royal than km, even her hair at that length looks good.

      And there is the ‘bored’ look at the French Embassy signing.

      1. dolittle i agree with you!
        after nearly 5 years of marriage and 10 of “stalking” she should do very very much more than 2 sentences.
        The dress isn’ t so nice to me, it looks cheap but what i dislike the most is the belt which has nothing to do with the whole outfit. She can’ t accessorize her outfits properly

  3. Finally, Kate says something. This should be the norm and not something we gush about like Richard Palmer. However, I’ll only believe her attitude to public speaking is improving if she becomes consistent. Regarding tonight’s outfit, fairly boring but that’s Kate.

    1. What gets me – is she was giving out an award. I’ve never seen anyone give out an award without saying something first. It’s like getting credit for tying your shoes before walking.

      1. Kate has handed out many awards, and has never spoken before handing them out. This is a first for her.

        1. That is just sad! That meant that she essentially was that girl we see at shows like the Oscars that does the handing out whilst the important people speaks.

          1. Exactly Art Historian. It wasn’t a speech, it was two lines and they were so basic. I’m glad she did open her mouth, but I don’t categorize this as a speech. Sophie gives speeches. Harry gives speeches, even William when push comes to shove. I’m glad she did it, but she’s got a long way to go.

          2. I agree! I also found it funny that she was clearly reading the speech off. That was more of remarks. In her position she should be able to say something that short and bland off-the-cuff. I’ve also always found her cadence a bit off when she makes remarks.

        2. Kate is like the girl on the show THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE: she has to dress “nicely”, remain skinny, wear extensions, not utter a word yet flip cards and grin like a maniac and all those add faces as the night/game progresses…

      1. Same here. Her speech today wasn’t that impressive, either. Until she gets that hair out of her face, how can anyone take her seriously.

    2. FIVE YEARS since her engagement announcement when she joined the inner ranks of the BRF and we are supposed to be thrilled at ONE PARAGRAPH?

      The babying of this woman is an embarrassment to the Royal family.

  4. I really like the dress but she almost ruins it with the belt. To me it doesn’t go well and spoils what could have been a great look. I’m thinking maybe a long, thin necklace would have looked fantastic!

    Well, I can’t call that a speech but she did say a few words. I agree with KMR it is the LEAST she can do at every event. Honestly it probably took her longer to walk to the podium than to say those two sentences. That puff piece in the Sunday Express made it sound like we were going to hear Kate’s voice, her thoughts, her passions (Jason’s word not mine) and I didn’t hear that today. Over promising and under delivering will not be good. Last thought: Normally KMR posts or links to video of Kate if she speaks and maybe it is too early but I don’t see it in this post. I really wanted to see if I saw what Richard Palmer saw. If not, I’m losing a ton of respect for that man.

    1. I didn’t even think about adding a necklace to this outfit. I’m so used to her minimalist look in jewelry, but you are so right a necklace would have been perfect.

    2. I haven’t seen a video of her two sentences. I would also like to see if I see what Palmer saw, but none of the royal reporters have posted a video of that moment, KP did not post a video of that moment, none of the articles have a video of that moment, and I can’t find it on YouTube either. If I find one, I’ll update the post.

      1. KP would be eager to share the video with the world if the “speech” was as good as Richard Palmer is claiming. I call BS. It’s nauseating the way Mr Palmer is gushing over Kate uttering two sentences. He’s tone has changed dramatically since the KP meeting. What a sell out!

        1. I completely agree. He have away his journalistic integrity when he accepted the glass of lukewarm cava that evening.

    3. Agree, Klein. What she gave was some vague, noncommital words. Nothing that extended beyond generalized platitudes – and whoever wrote that verbal thank you note needs to cut down on the adjectives. Just piling them on doesn’t make her sound “passionate” about the cause.

      However, it is a start even though it is rather sad and very embarrasing that it has taken this long to get her to speak. Now, let’s see if she’ll actually do a proper speech at some point.

  5. Finally! I wonder if tonight’s color might also have been picked since it is a bright color- not black- for a children’s event and the length is better for bending over to speak with children. I feel like a sugar- almost- since she spoke too. Kudos to her.

  6. She has spoken!!! I can’t believe it!
    I’m actually happy about that. It was not a speech were just remarks.
    I liked the hair and the dress but that belt…
    I personally liked Holly’s look better, the dress was lovely.

    There is a link to ‘her’ remarks, she starts around 4.40min:

    Even though I liked she said something for a change she still needs to be more eloquent, after I listen to it I found myself not having a notion of what she said at all, due to the pauses she makes.
    There are specific parts in a sentence one can stop to breath and read the rest of the remarks/speech without losing yourself but especially without losing the people listening to you….With Kate is like she reads a sentence and there is no connection between the words.

    Is better than before but not the groundbreaking improvement the PR machine promised.

    Question: Is it just me or has been almost two years since Kate spoke publicly (through speeches/remarks) in UK? She made the video yes, but the last speech was the surprise one in Australia over a year ago…

    1. Thank you for the link, Snowsie! I was looking everywhere and couldn’t find one.

      The last time Kate made remarks in the UK was at the NPG gala in Feb 2014.

    2. Thanks for posting the link. As suspected Richard Palmer over exaggerated the awesomeness of her “speech”. I see no improvement in her delivery and it definitely was not worth a tweet. But then again, I think we were all shocked that she actually muttered something. Keep it up Kate, you can only improve the more you practice! I think she did great with the small-talk meet and greet at the start of the video. She handles herself gracefully and seemed interested in being at this event.

      1. I actually do see a small an improvement. She did seem a bit more confident than before. But her delivery is still utterly terrible. That head bob is so constant that it is annoying and very distracting. And she still pauses at odd places in her sentences (“it is wonderful to meet… so many remarkable”). Palmer commented on her confidence, not the length of the speech or her delivery. So I actually see where he is coming from. She was more confident with these few words than in her pre-taped videos from earlier this year. But again, her delivery is still terrible.

        1. I don’t see why she needed a piece of paper for 3 sentences. She obviously can memorize things since she tried her hand at acting for awhile. She could have easily memorized 3 lines and then delivered them without awkward pauses/stilted sentences. She did look more confident, but it wasn’t a full speech so that might have helped. Small steps to improvement, but I think Palmer needs to stop the ass-kissing by praising her so much. He lost a lot of credibility in my eyes. It is sad that she speaks so little that the media is now fawning over 3 sentences.

        2. Have you ever seen the Queen give a speech? She keeps her head down, reads the words from the page in droning monotone while occasionally glancing at the audience. The Queen doesn’t care about flow or engaging with anyone.

          I don’t care if Kate ever gets better at giving speeches. I do care that she’s got nothing of substance to say. Like, there’s no *there* there. She’s a lightweight. There is no fixing that.

          1. Yes. I’ve commented before that I am shocked the Queen is not better at speech-giving after all these years. I sometimes wonder if we are too hard on Kate given the horrible example HM sets in terms of her speech-giving quality. But I do think Kate could be so much better. If Kate needs to read from a paper without ever glancing up in order to not… pause randomly and to actually give an informative speech, then so be it. But as of right now she’s not good. You know what would do Kate a world of good? Prompters. I’ve seen Harry use them at certain events. Kate should make sure that she has them whenever she gives a speech. She can read off the prompter instead of the paper and she could keep her head up the entire time to prevent the bobbing and the random… pauses. She wouldn’t even have to memorize anything, she could just read the entire speech directly off the prompter.

            Edit: I just rewatched the video of Kate’s speech and there are prompters on the stage in front of the podium. Kate could have used those instead of her paper. She should have used those instead of her paper. She could have prevented all the bobbing and pauses if she had used those prompters.

          2. King Willem-Alexander is a terrific public speaker and he has some great speech-writers. The speech he gave at the State Dinner in Denmark this spring was incredibly well-composed, both in style and content. I really enjoyed how that speech was crafted.

            QEII’s speech-giving is horrible – and she loses her audience. Since this is an important feature of her office, I’m surprised that she doesn’t give it more attention.

          3. Is it possible because QEll is ‘The Queen’ (century old traditional Monarch), HM do not look up – similar to protocol in greeting/touching/ handshake…

        3. King Frederik IX was older than Elizabeth II and he was a much better (and rather funny) speaker – so the whole head down, droning on is not really “protocol”. She isn’t a very good public speaker. Not everyone is good it and that’s ok but we should en allowed to be critical. I sometimes feel that one isn’t allowed to critical of QEII on many forums – and I really feel that hampers the conversation because not everyone has the same opinion. I posted an unfavorable opinion on QEII here and got a rather nasty response. It kind of takes the fun out of participating.

          1. That’s upsetting. I remember an interaction where QEII was criticized and others were not happy about it. I don’t remember who was involved. I hope it wasn’t me who replied in a nasty way to your QEII comment. I actually don’t think QEII is that great a Queen. I can respect her place in history as the longest serving monarch in British history and I can respect her dedication to her role, but I think the way she has handled a lot of things over the years is not good.

          2. No it wasn’t you. I just felt that not all opinions are entirely welcome (through no fault of yours).

            My opinion of QEII is not very favourable but I don’t appreciate being ripped to pieces because other people don’t agree so I generally keep my peace even when people act like she can do no wrong. I don’t understand the veneration of the Queen Mother either since from what I’ve read she wasn’t a particularly pleasant person. Seeing that video clip of her heiling with gusto didn’t give me a favorable opinion either.

          3. Arthistorian, I completely agree with you. QEII is terrible at giving speeches. I can only listen to a few sentences before falling asleep. So bland and just generally dull. It’s funny because we all think Kate should use her resources to become a better speaker, I wonder why QEII didn’t? I wonder if it was partly her generation of actually believing the class system of royals being better and therefore she does not have to improve? I just get the feeling from her that she probably thinks her speeches are just fine, which as a Queen, they sadly are not.

          4. The Queen’s personality is to be passive and conservative with a small (c). Keeping the royal show on the road after the Abdication. Accepting the advice of her courtiers. Partly it is sadly a function of her limited education. If anyone gave you a nasty response, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was me b/c I love the Queen. Frankly if I had been a 24/25-year-old aristocrat in Britain in 1947 with a country residence and horses, the Queen would have gotten a proposal.
            Interestingly a man proposed what you all suggest in 1957, when it was considered scandalous. His name was John Grigg, the 2nd Baron Altrincham (he disclaimed that title under the Peerage Act of 1963 and became John Grigg). He wrote of the Queen, then on the throne for 5 years: ” ‘ Like her mother, she appears to be unable to string even a few sentences together without a written text…The personality conveyed by the utterances which are put into her mouth is that of a priggish schoolgirl, captain of the hockey team, a prefect, and a recent candidate for Confirmation.’ ” He also called her speaking “A pain in the neck.” He was slapped in the face on the street by a member of the League of Empire Loyalists for that remark.
            Princess Elizabeth was tutored at home by her mother, who only believed Elizabeth and Margaret had to find a husband like she had. According to Marion Crawford, the later ostracized governess of Elizabeth and Margaret, the future Queen was “hopeless” at math, disinterested in most literature and passable in music. She was tutored in constitutional history by Henry Marten, the Vice-Provost of Eton College (very close to Windsor Castle), who often forgot he was teaching the Princess and would address her as “Gentlemen; and her father. But b/c of her generation, she was frankly quite poorly educated. I have no problems admitting that, b/c it’s true. Most of the British royals, even the handful who have received degrees from university, are poorly educated compared to their Continental counterparts. She is not intellectual.
            It is interesting that she’s so hesitant in public speaking but I think that may be for two reasons:
            1. She sees public speaking as another duty and so just does it dutifully to get it over with.
            2. She may worry that putting emphasis on certain words or using a certain inflection might make people (especially journalists) put an interpretation on her words that would cause controversy.
            Since the Queen is supposed to be neutral (or a cypher if you wish), ANY remark she makes that touches on anything political is taken very seriously by the press and Establishment.

            It should be said that the Queen relies on tradition and the advice of her courtiers, whose job it is to preserve the institution of the monarchy–and their own jobs–at all costs. If they really felt William was not doing his duty, they would have him tossed out of the line of succession so fast the papers would reel from it.
            For example, when Diana died, the Queen was at Balmoral during her summer break. She felt that Diana was no longer the Princess of Wales and therefore the Spencers’ problem, not her’s. She didn’t realize how many people believed Diana spoke for them, had soothed their pain and given them a feeling of color in an otherwise dingy world. Since there was no precedent at the time for a royal funeral for a former royal, she was caught flat-footed.
            The interesting thing for me is that I, as an American, personally feel more able to express critical views of the royals without censure b/c I’m in a country that broke away and I have that impulse in me. But the more I’ve read about the Queen and the royals over the years, the more fervent a monarchist and “fan” of the Queen I’ve become. I personally find it very curious for myself.
            Anyway as a fervent, avid, die-hard true Blue with a capital “B” monarchist (for Britain) I have no problem with criticism of the Queen as long as it is constructive and you remember: It’s “ma’am” as in “jam”, not “marm” as in “farm.” 🙂

          5. @ArtHistorian: The Queen Mother is venerated? I don’t get it either. As with QEII, there are certain things she’s done that I can respect, but for the most part I am not a fan of her.

          6. Seth,

            It was you but I didn’t want to name names in my initial post and I don’t want to stir up an old controversy. However, I really don’t think that it is up to you to define how we are allowed to criticize QEII.

            I’m sure she’s a very nice lady but still I find her to be an passive, uninspiring and unimaginative monarch, which isn’t necessarily is due to the constrictions of a constitutional monarchy as other European monarchs have proved. She has not been a bad monarch, she’s been adequate – she often gives the impression that she’s doing her duty because she has to, nothing more. Another problem is her passivity, which has failed to face problems within the family that has affected the institution badly – not until she was forced to by dire necessity. To use a building/restoration metaphor: you can stopper up the holes and cracks but the structure has still been weakened.

            My judgement is most certainly coloured by a comparison of QMII as well has her father King Frederik IX ( I’d also like to add the Dutch king to this list), who have shared much more of themselves with their people, who have so very clearly expressed how she views her role as both a privilege and a great responsibility. She is, IMO, the best monarch Denmark has had for centuries and since her accession the approval rating for the monarchy has risen 10 % and there is a genuine, widespread affection for her. Having lived in England, I was actually a bit shocked that so many of the people that I came in contact with didn’t give a toss about the monarchy, the BRF or QEII.

            I think that the BRF is hopelessly out of step with reality. For now, they live off QEII’s longevity and the general shortness of memory among the populace and press (as well as a general apathy towards the institution). Longevity tends to make people more forgiving – just look at the example of Queen Victoria! She was a terrible monarch but towards the end of her reign everyone had conveniently forgotten that. I think the BRF is going to face some very difficult challenges when Charles ascends the throne, one of those being William since he is so obviously reluctant and has developed such a bad relation with the press, which, frankly is a ticking timebomb. Another problem is very likely going to belated after-shocks from the War of the Waleses. The problem, as I see it, is the tendency to passivity and an avoidance of confrontation until it is almost too late. Prevention is better than damage control.

          7. Well that is upsetting to find out ArtHistorian, not from your end but mine. I consider you one of the closest allies of mine on this site and I sincerely apologize to you if anything I wrote previously went too far over the top. As I wrote, I’m not surprised it was me b/c as I also wrote, if I had been a 20-something aristocrat in 1947 Britain, King George VI would have gotten a marriage proposal from me on behalf of his daughter.
            So again I’m sincerely sorry for any defensive and/or hostile comments that I made to you regarding the Queen. And you’re completely correct about Queen Margrethe II vs cousin Elizabeth. The former has given sit down press interviews (Right? I don’t know) while the latter could barely tolerate awkward small-talk with Rolf Harris while he painted her portrait. I think it’s a function of her shyness and passivity as we’ve discussed above. I’m sorry if I give the impression I’m some mad monarchist who doesn’t tolerate dissent; rather the opposite, I only fell in love with the Queen after reading about the royals for years.
            If I say something on here that is impolite to you ArtHistorian, please TELL me. Sometimes I don’t know when I go off the rails and I appreciate being gently brought back on track. I won’t take offense, I promise.

  7. This is start for Kate. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a speech, but she did okay. She does need to learn how to connect with the crowd and make it “flow” better. I am quite pleased that she tried. It will become easier once she does it more.

    She did look nice. I like the dress, but she needed to add to it. It was not the type of dress that can stand alone. I want to cut her bangs and get rid of the panda eyes. Her braid looks like Char grabbed a fistful and knotted it up.

    As far as visiting the embassy, it would have been nice to see her wear something different. She wears that same suit when she goes to an event like this. She wears the same suit with the same styling when she signs a condolence book.

    I can only imagine how some sites will be waxing poetic over her right now.

    Thanks, KMR! Hopefully this will be the start of meaningful work for her.

    1. This is a start for her, but for someone of her age who has been to Uni and I am guessing who had to do presentations at Uni it was not flash. There was no inflection ( not sure if that is the right word) of different words. The Congratulations to the winners was given in the same tone as the rest of the speech, where as I would have thought it would have been better to go up a bit in tone for that ( of course I am in no way an expert on these things). I did not hear as many nerves in her voice as before and I was very happy to see her crouching down to talk to the people on the table. However to me it seemed as though they were not all that thrilled to be talking to her. But this might have just been me.

      1. It did seem to me from the photos and video I saw that the people she talked too weren’t super thrilled to talk to her. I saw one photo where the girls she was standing behind were kind of giving her an annoyed face.

        1. Take a look at the blonde woman sitting at the table while Kate is standing talking to them. The look on her face just says, “really, who cares.”

        2. KMR I agree.

          Even at the table km reaching over to shake hands (I found strange and lack royal protocol). The people at the table did not seems impress ‘a royal’ near. Km snowflake seem to getting as good as she gives (nothing!) – no respect.

      2. Inflection and intonantion are incredibly important when it comes to public speaking because that is the way you emphasize the important aspects of the content you’re delivering.
        I’ve done a lot of public speaking as a museum guide and you use intonantion both for emphasis but also as a way to connect with the audience.

        1. Absolutely. Sometimes the inflection and intonation can get you in trouble, b/c people take things from what you say that you didn’t mean. Or at least, it happened to a guy I knew who once worked in a house museum… lol.

      3. Been away from this site for way too long. Trying to read all the entries and comments. Missed you all.

        I agree that this is a start for Kate. Opening words, then hopefully, an actual speech.
        For someone who fears public speaking so much, I guess starting her off this way is beneficial. I do think she needs coaching on her delivery, though. Glad she went ahead with this, however.

        Public speaking is most people’s greatest fear. Yet, people practice, get help and do it. And, no matter how many times one has to give a speech, the nerves still creep up. One just takes a deep breath and plunges in and once you start, the panic subsides. Usually!

        I agree that the blue dress was pretty, but needed some accessories. Don’t like the bangs. They drag her down.

        Also concerned that Kate could not have written her own words of support and sympathy to the French people Everyone I know wanted to say something, do something to send support.

        Wishing those who celebrate Thanksgiving a Happy one. Wishing everyone, much happiness, health and good fortune as we approach the end of the year and the beginning of a new one. I am grateful for the support and kindness expressed to me on this site. Thanks, KMR, for another great post.

    2. “Her braid looks like Char grabbed a fistful and knotted it up.”


      I’m hoping Kate gives a speech today at the Place2Be event. I was not expecting her to say words at the Fostering event but I was sort of hoping she would at the P2B event. She surprised me with these words, I’m hoping she steps up today, too.

      Re that polka dot suit. She’s had that thing for, like, 10 years or something. And she wore it to the last condolence book signing she did in 2013 for Nelson Mandela.

  8. My first reaction to the outfit was ‘not that ugly belt again….I saw a picture of Cary mulligan in the same dress without the belt she looked wonderful.

      1. I agree, the dress looks much better with a belt, just not that one. Doesn’t she have a black belt with a bow on it?? That would have looked a bit more polished.
        In any case, I thought she looked great, and happy to see her putting her money where her mouth is, public speaking wise. More, more!!

      2. Ugh, that belt, it needs to be set on fire, it was too heavy on the outfit she wore it with the first time round and (to me) doesn’t go with that blue dress either.
        But hey, on the bright side, she spoke 🙂

      3. I agree. I think the dress needs a belt or some accessory. But this belt is really ugly.

      4. Her choice of belts and shoes shows really shows just how limited she is when it comes to fashion. She is not a style icon. Style icons can put on a pair of jeans and a ratty old t-shirt, accessorize them and make it look like something from the pages of a fashion magazine. Kate just wears the jeans and a ratty old t-shirt with her moccasins or her dreaded wedges and we’re supposed to fawn.

        For all of the money she spends on clothing, there is no reason her “stylist” Tash should not be making recommendations for accessories to use with these dresses in the future to change up the look and buy them at the same time. That way they’ll be stored with the dress or cataloged or something so they know their options. As for her shoe game, I don’t care how much they cost or that they are coming from different designers/makers they are the same darned basic design time after time after time. I would not begrudge her a pair of cute shoes and a necklace (that is bigger than a dime and/or has some color) if she’d just pair them properly with her outfits.

        It’s almost as if someone has told her that she only needs to put on a dress, heels and let loose that mane and she’s fine. Because everyone is there to meet her, not her clothes. Sorry, wrong and until she steps up the speech giving it will still be all about the clothes and hair.

        1. As someone else has said earlier, in another post, if Tash is still styling Kate then perhaps Tash should stick to opening the mail and making coffee/ tea.

  9. Okay, I have to comment. Am I the only one bothered by the fact that it took them so long to visit the embassy? The attacks happened on Friday, and today is Tuesday. It is like they waited until they had a day of ‘work’ to give their condolences, when they would already be out and about. It makes it seem like they waited for a day that was convenient for them and only went because of their sense of duty. Maybe I am reading too much into it. But I just feel like if they were sincere and truly cared, they would have gone to the Embassy sooner to give their respects to those who lost their lives. I know if I had been in their position I would have.

    1. I too was bothered by their delayed visit to the French Embassy. They only visited today because I suspect they just arrived in London for a week of engagements. This visit to the embassy was definitely an after thought for the Duke and Duchess.

      1. Interestingly enough, she seems to get a shade toastier each time she steps out in public. Prepping for some beach, somewhere

    2. Much as it pains me to do this, I may have to defend them here. As a member of the federal government, I can attest to the fact that much less severe security situations put embassies on alert. I’m sure the French embassy was crazy-busy on Saturday and Sunday, and they didn’t even have time to host the Cambs. Then they had to make sure it was secure enough for them to come, given their high-profile status. It may very well be the embassy didn’t want then until today.

      1. From what I’ve read – the condolence book was actually at an ambassador’s office in Kensington Palace – they had to move the book over to the Embassy so that they could get pictures of Will and Kate visiting and signing the book – it was for staging purposes.

        1. What gets me is that Kate looked totally disinterested, it could have been the photos were taken at the wrong moment? I hope so.
          If the book was moved for a staged signing then she could have looked engaged?

          1. It’s funny you mention that, Cathy. I stopped short of asking how bored Kate looked in the first Embassy photo I posted. I chose that photo specifically because Kate looked so bored in it.

      2. If that is the case and to security – Willnot was the royal who made no bones (in your face) stand out comments on the Game – a royal with all the RPOs and extra security added for his protection, compare to the rest of us.

    3. Has Harry signed the book? Has Sophie? I don’t think either of them has even signed let alone in a timely manner.

      1. If it was at Kensington Palace then they may have signed it, we just are unaware because it wasn’t publicized like William and Kate’s show.

    4. I do kind of have to defend them here. When did the Prince of Wales visit the French Embassy in India? When did the Duke of York, the Princess Royal, visit the French Embassy? I can only presume that the Embassy of a major ally is already a highly secured area. It is across from the Kuwaiti Embassy, which I would think would be a significant target, and it is barely a mile to Buckingham Palace. Why are we singling them out?

  10. I like her dress – yes I really do but still Kate is in her safe fashion zone – the same silhouette, same sleeve length and same usual color -blue … and wait … of course black pumps and black clutch plus extra black belt. Ladies I do understand that black is the safest and universal color for accessories but please NOT AGAIN !!! My first impression was – nice dress, but as far as I like her dress I couldn’t be more bored – it’s like I’ve seen the same look on her hundred times already – if you know what I mean.

    As for her speech – two sentences are very little but again this is huge step forward for Kate and it finally proves that she is not mute and she can read. Congratulations for her – I am really impressed, so impressed that I think I don’t need another proof for at least 6 months (because I believe it is gonna be so long before we hear something from her again)

    One last thing – I saw the short video coverage when William and Kate are signing the book of condolence for Paris victims. Is it me or anybody else think that Kate should write something more from herself than just simple put her name under what her husband just wrote? For me it was awkward moment – she just quickly signed her name and because it took only few seconds she started to read what other people wrote – so strange thing to do like she couldn’t even find few words of sadness or grieving in her.

      1. Yes. For Max: Depending on the time of day maybe a black hat as well. Definitely a brooch. Black gloves probably. That’s her style. This shape of dress is not Leti’s usual style.

  11. Another boring blue dress, with regulation black pumps. Dress looks kind of cheaply made to me. I give up as far as her style is concered, this is as good as it will get for her. No imagination, no accesorization….just a void. Also, that hair with those short pieces flopping around…ugh!!! I think she looks like a mess.

  12. I actually like both outfits! I must be getting soft in my old age. I thought the blue dress was cute, well-cut, and appropriate for the occasion.

    I really like the black suit as well. I could see myself wearing that to work, with a slightly longer skirt and something higher up underneath the jacket. It was fairly appropriate and, I thought, flattering for her.

    And she spoke words! Yay :). Maybe she and Charlotte will learn to speak at the same time.

    The past few weeks represent an unprecedented amount of “work” for her, no? I suspect we have a big vacation coming up.

    On a shallow note (the one I hit most often, heh), she is looking so darn old, isn’t she? Her skin is terrible; she looks like a 50-year-old who’s lived a rough life. I guess smoking and sunning really do you in.

      1. I’m not keen on the suit after seeing an old photo in daylight. The polka-dots are not a good look on this kind of suit. The darker indoor light works as a camoflage but in the harsh light of day, the outfit has a rather childish vibe. Personally, I prefer this kind of suit to be monochrome, which can then be spiffed up with accessories.

  13. Totally off topic, but I just saw the sweetest pictures of Charles and Camilla on their Australia/ New Zealand trip. They are at the Mt Adelaide lookout, and they are both in ” summer whites ” and matching sunnies. They appear to be having a great time and Camilla looks absolutely wonderful.

  14. I feel the bar has been set so low for her that we have say “Good job!” just because she gave a couple sentences. At one point, people just need to stop babying her and say, “Kate, we’re not gonna settle for just okay. Please put more effort into your work.” BTW, is her suit the same one she’s had years ago?

  15. So I watched the video from the FN event and she looks rather good interacting with people. She is definitely more confident and relaxed – she also didn’t smile like maniac which is real improvement.

    BUT as for her speech – Do you really think, that we can call it such a huge breakthrough that she read two sentences from the paper? I am afraid, I am not that easy to impress

  16. I agree. There is absolutely no “improvement.” This is a gal who is almost 34 years old, a university graduate, who could have been preparing FULL-TIME for 10 years. She never worked a day in her life! What was she doing those years besides servicing that man at his every whim? I know it may sound rather crude…. but really, what was she doing? She could have spent months at a finishing school in Switzerland, worked with voice coaches, speech coaches, acting coaches, fashion coaches, history coaches, you name it! She could have spent every day in museums or academic institutions or even video libraries watching how other royals comport themselves. The arrogance is astounding.

    And the more I see, the more I realize how desperate and clawing the Middleton family was/is to not have encouraged her to better herself in any way. It’s obvious they thought she would best serve them all by being merely a barnacle.

    She doesn’t impress AT ALL. I honestly read out loud better in the second grade. Doesn’t she know that you take a deep breath and read the words until you see punctuation? What 35-year-old doesn’t know that you pause where you see a comma? And then pause again for effect at the end of a sentence? This is third-grade stuff, folks.

    Poor on every front.

    1. I don’t think her pauses have to do with her breath. I think she pauses when she looks down at her notes because she doesn’t have her speech/words memorized and she loses her place when she looks up from her notes to speak. So when she looks back down she has to re-find her place in her notes and that’s why she’s pauses.

    2. When preparing a speech it is a good idea to plan for the pauses and mark them in the manuscript. At least until you are confident and experienced enough to do it automatically.

  17. Oh and one more thing!

    In the video, where she’s presenting the awards, I noticed she FIRST shakes the hand of the recipient and THEN hands them the award.

    It struck me — I’ve never once seen an award been presented this way nor have I received on in this manner. The honor is receiving the award! The person bestowing it should hand it first and then, as a congratulatory gesture, extend his or her hand to you.

    I suppose she thinks the recipients would RATHER shake her hand than receive the award for their accomplishments! I makes me laugh out loud! Either that, or she really has no clue and just is going through the motions without any thought whatsoever of how the recipient would feel or just plain proper protocol.

    1. Well, to be fair to her, when Kate presented the sports award she handed Jessica Ennis her award first, then went in for the handshake, and by that time Ennis had changed her focus and completely ignored Kate’s handshake. It was very awkward. So maybe Kate learned from that experience to shake their hand first and then give them the award.

  18. I remember reading some where that every member of the BRF has a set of clothing specifically set aside for mourning purposes. They are carried with them when the travel as well. This is probably Kate’s designated mourning attire.

  19. Three sentences! WOW! When three sentences is now a speach, the bar has truly been set low for her. The saddest part is that this is the best she has done in at least two years. The last time she spoke or something was 1,5 to 2 years ago. Do I remember it correctly?

    1. Exactly. This was not a Speech.

      Princess Sofia, Sweden on Global Child Forum gave a Speech.

      It’s an insult to hardworking, dedicated royals, to us and more so to professionals for this 34 year old – 5 years (royal training?), to say otherwise.

  20. From the video clip of the tea, it seemed like she was really trying to engage the people she met. I liked when she crouched down at the table to talk to the one girl. Too bad Kate thought the one guy was the girl’s dad; that was awkward.

  21. I am glad Kate has at least said a couple of sentences. She has to start somewhere. As long as she isn’t stuck at a couple of sentences for the next few years; I will give her credit for trying. She won’t improve unless she starts somewhere and continues forward.

    The belt looks like a bad afterthought. Also, at least she remembered to wear black to the French Embassy.

  22. I just wanted to comment about the two quilts Kate received as gifts for Prince George and Princess Charlotte. Perhaps, there is someone who reads the blog who can identify the type of quilts given by the Fostering Network.

    I don’t do this type of work, but know some friends who do charity sewing and knitting. I have heard of men and women who donate the fabric, quilt batting, thread ect. for quilts and the yarn for knitted goods. These items can get quite expensive. Then of course, the amount of time to put quilts together can run into many days, weeks and months depending on the design and size.

    I just hope Kate appreciated the quilts given to her for the children. The men and women who donate their time and money to provide children with a new gift made with time and love, deserve to be admired. I hope Kate recognizes their efforts.

  23. Greetings Everyone,
    Well it is another day and another PR snow job.

    As I logged into my PC to get to my email there was an article (sort of) showing middleton giving a speech at Place2B – well 3 sentences and all that was discussed after that headline of “… GIVES POWERFUL SPEECH” and the Yahoo/Press system had it in Capitals – the commentators then gave a lengthy run down on what she was wearing, who made it etc..

    And this is supposed to be kate’s great speech making effort?

    I am not buying it, not what they are selling and as for the look and it was SAVAGE on her face as bill signed the condolence book for the Paris Attacks, that is the exact insensitivity that I had mentioned seeing before. It truly looked as if her and bill had one hell of an argument and she was peed off. Could be wrong but the last time I saw that look was when Prince Harry, bill and kate went to that event where middleton looked like thunder (a film event, day time, in a blue floral dress recently). It is the same face there as in the photos shown above.

    Baby curls now? She is being praised for getting dressed and having her makeup troweled on and 3 hours with the hairdresser, as well as having her clothes picked out for her and being driven to and from events.

    As for the “turn away from the camera debacle” well that is really going to work isn’t it?

    Really beginning to think that she has been seriously told off by Her Majesty, or the PR team have let rip about the shocking work ethic and all round prima donna behaviour so much so that middleton is now taking it out on the very people she relies upon to make her look good.

    This is now well beyond a joke and I do think that middleton and her surly husband have been ‘carpeted” so to speak because the looks and attitude speak volumes.

    Hope this post does not upset anyone but it is my straight up assessment, and as I have said many times before, middleton is vapid, self centred, self indulged and could not give a toss about others.

    Thanks for mentioning KMR that you have also been abused or hammered on that Lola site. Good to know. Obviously pretty much like the Daily Mail and other outlets – unless you bow and scrape to the Lamebridges then expect the wrath of the devotees on your back.

    Pretty hideous here at the moment – whole Nation is shocked to say the least about the passing of one of our sporting giants. A good, kind man, with his faults but like Prince Harry, he turned his life into something he could be proud of.

    I have just been reading my issue of the Royalty Magazine and they have certainly given a carefully worded “warning” to bill and kate of their obsessive press blackouts and the “stern warnings…” and the naming of the Countries who respect (I just was absolutely horrified to see it) their way of doing things. However the author of the article said one way of dealing with the taking of photographs is to not be so precious about the odd ones that are taken, mainly quit with the threatening to sue and shutting down the critics by giving the public more regular photographs of the kids then they would not have throw their toys out of the cot every 5 minutes.

    Other than that I am pretty underwhelmed by kate’s so called speech and what she had to say was lame. Again – new clothes, baby style hair do, scowling looks, vague and would rather be somewhere else springs to mind.

    Have a good evening/day wherever you are, take care of yourselves and each other.

    Kind regards

    1. Please don’t confuse the Place2Be speech with the Fostering Network words. The P2B speech was over 3 minutes long. The article you read may have only quoted a few sentences, but the full speech was over 3 minutes.

      1. Greetings Everyone,

        Just read your comment KMR and would like to clarify this matter.

        I was not in any way confusing it with the Fostering Network speech. The clip and comments were in response to the Place2B speech. No mistake.

        Whether or not the speech was 3 minutes or 3 lines – the television presenters in the video clip attached had about 3 sentences or soundbites, with a large Capitalised Headline – …. POWERFUL SPEECH and then they described what she was wearing, who made it, that the neckline was embellished and so on.

        Again, I would like to reassure you and anyone else who think that I am mistaken unfortunately that is the clip that was shown and only that.

        It seems somewhere along the line there seems to have been some confusion or misunderstanding over comments over the last couple of days or so – that is why I was very careful to mention only what I saw, nothing else.

        I hope this clears up any confusion.

        Whatever the content of the speech, who wrote it, how it was spoken is not the point that I have tried to make.

        Obviously my observation has made other commenters either upset or think I was confused, that was not my intention and makes me really worry now whether or not saying what I think, as I see it is worth it at all.

        I saw the link to the Place2B speech, and the headline attached, checked it out and commented. This is my perspective and I really thought this was a safe place to actually say what I thought.

        My words may come across as too straight to the point however it is my point of view and just as I respect everyone else’s I would have thought that we can all be afforded the same courtesy.

        It is now well after Midnight NZ time – but I wanted to clear up any misconception that I had mixed up the two speeches.

        Have a good day/evening everyone – take care out there.

        Kind regards, always.

        1. You can say whatever you wish, within reason. Obviously within the comment policy guidelines.

          I was confused as to whether you, in the above comment, were meaning the Place2Be speech or the Fostering Network speech. Because the Fostering Network speech was only three sentences while the P2B speech was over 3 minutes.

          As for the TV and articles only quoting a few lines of her speech, well that’s unfortunate. I understand with TV that they have limited time and can only show so much, but I do think it’s unfortunate to spend more time on what she’s wearing than what she said. We’ve spent so much time waiting for her to give a speech that it seems wrong to not quote as much of it as possible.

          Take Care, wildrose.

  24. Oh, heck. I bought virtually the same dress in navy from my local Meijer (anyone else here from the Great Lakes region?) for $18 on sale a couple months ago. I wore it for engagement pictures, too. I just hope that the ardent Kate fans I know don’t think that I’m copying Kate!

    1. royals that was a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing it with us. It’s always nice to hear about the good things people do for each other.

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