Kate Middleton plays drums at Anna Freud Centre Christmas Party

Kate Middleton plays drums at Anna Freud Centre Christmas Party

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, made a return visit to the Anna Freud Centre yesterday, December 15. Kate previously visited the Centre in September, so she’s visited a charity that she is not patron of twice this year – for reference, she has not even visited several of her actual patronages that much (she hasn’t visited SportsAid at all this year). I’m being nitpicky, though, this was a solid appearance for Kate.

Kate was visiting the AFC to join in on their end of term Christmas Party where she took part in a 15-minute long music therapy class where the group sat around in a circle playing drums. Because she was wearing a dress, Kate couldn’t hold the drum between her legs like the rest of the class.

Student Capone Duggan-Samuels who sat to her left said: “Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy for her to hold the drum properly because she was in a dress. She was holding it by her side. But she was making the right sounds.”

And the music teacher, Jude Winwood, said: “She had such good rhythm. She was thrown in at the deep end but I gave her a few clues, hand signals. She knew what was required of her.”

Kate talked about football (soccer) and which team is her favorite which is a shock to me since I didn’t know she cared at all about football let alone had a favorite team.

From the Express:

    “When she visited the same pupils in September, some of the pupils came away with the impression she followed the same team as her husband, Prince William: Aston Villa. But when Rjay Bryan, 8, chatted with her today about William’s support for Villa, the Premier League’s basement team, he then asked which team Kate favoured.
    “‘We high fived because she supports Chelsea and I support Chelsea. I love people who support Chelsea,’ he said.”

Part of the day’s activities included making paper hands which were put together in a collage on the wall in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Kate Middleton Anna Freud Centre Christmas Party
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

As we learned from her previous visit in September, the Anna Freud Centre brings knowledge from neuroscience and social science research to help children, young people, and families find solutions to their difficulties by putting the child and their family at the center of their own care. The Centre also teaches and trains a new generation of researchers and clinicians in the latest skills and tools to improve mental health globally.

Here is a video of Kate’s visit. She is still so awkward when hugging people (how hard is it to hug someone?). But at the end of the video she actually said a nice little thank you to the crowd.

At about 1:30 in the video, Kate says: “Thank you everyone. It’s been so fantastic to see you all again doing amazing things, so keep it up and have a really happy Christmas and thank you again for having me.”

I mean, it’s not a speech but it is “a few words” which is something I’ve been asking for for a long time. Improvement?

Kate repeated another dress from her 2012 closet, this time opting for her red, bespoke Alexander McQueen dress with flaps she first wore in June 2012 to the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant and wore a second time to the RADA reception in February 2014. I’ve never been a huge fan of the flaps, but I do like the color on her.

Kate switched up her accessories this time opting for her Stuart Weitzman Power Pumps and Mulberry Bayswater Clutch, and her Kiki McDonough “Lauren Yellow Gold Pave Diamond Leaf Earrings” (£2,200.00).

Are you guys coming around to Kate’s haircut? Because I’m really liking it. Especially when looking at the comparison photos from 2012 and 2014. I like the shorter hair on her.

In the photos below: Kate in 2012 on the left, in 2014 in the middle, and in 2015 on the right. I think I prefer the look in 2012 because she had better accessories – a nice brooch/badge and the red clutch and hat; plus I like the addition of the scarf.

By the way, Kate has not worn her nude LK Bennett Sledges in public since August 2014 at the WWI commemorations. They’ve been replaced by the Stuart Weitzman Power Pumps which Kate has worn about a dozen times this year. I don’t know what happened. Did she get tired of everyone going, “Ugh”, whenever she wore them, or did one of you steal them? Be honest.

I’m going to give Kate a solid C+ for this visit. It’s not super great, but there was nothing super bad – she seemed to enjoy herself, she wore a nice bright color for an event with kids, and saying a few words was a nice touch. A solid C+.

Here is another video of the group playing “We Will Rock You” on the drums.

By the way, while Kate was visiting this center, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall (who has been out of action for a while) was decorating her Christmas tree with sick kids. I’ll have that article tomorrow.

112 thoughts on “Kate Middleton plays drums at Anna Freud Centre Christmas Party

  1. Thank you for the detailed post. I liked that you explained the activities and included the bit about her not being able to put the drum between her legs like everyone else. How I wish she would find some nice pants instead of skinny jeans and wear them when appropriate. I do love this dress but do not think it was the best choice for a day with children.

    1. I so agree with you. Some nice black trousers and pretty silk red blouse would have been nice..or red jacket and white top for the holidays. Something along those lines.

      1. Snowflake and whiny Willnot are so insincere. They make no effort or concern as to the specific charity visit spending 1 hour at the individual charities – insensitivity to the visits for example, expensive wear to the prison and other meet greet events for kids.

        Nothing whimsical for kids holiday party (PG could have attended as well), and she could include a holiday brooch or scarf to go with this boring solid red. It’s as if she showed up just because she had to and cant wait to leave.

        1. I have plenty of complaints when it comes to W&K, but in this case I would like to point out an example in Kate’s defense.

          I took part in a Head Start (in the U.S. a program for young children) Christmas Shopping Spree. All the donated items are either brand new or look brand new. The children come in with a shopping list for family members and go around with a volunteer adult while the child picks out their gifts. The program ran for 4-5 hours and was staffed by volunteers from a local church. It is an exiting day for the children.

          I was the only one to dress for the holiday. One of the Head Start teachers said the kids could not stop talking about my sweater. In honor of the kids, I wore the most ‘fancy’ (i.e. gaudy) Christmas sweaters I could find. I don’t have children but, the rest of the women were all mothers. While attire was never discussed, I was surprised when I showed up to find I was the only one dressed like an idiot. I thought all the women would have worn something cheerful.

          It was a church event, so I didn’t think I wore something inappropriate, but perhaps I went too far. No criticism came my way, but some may have worn neutral clothing to not put the emphasis on Christmas.

          1. I think it’s cool you wore a holiday themed sweater and it surprises me that none of the other volunteers did. I specifically remember teachers and such wearing festive sweaters and tops around holidays back in the 90’s when I was in school and I enjoyed it as a child. Looking back it was a nice touch. I find the little things stick in kids heads and a holiday sweater around the holidays is perfect when dealing with kids for a day.

      2. The black pants and silky red blouse suggestion, with maybe a pussycat bow, would look really really good on her. I have a feeling she likes to showcase her ripped calves, though, so the only pants she would consider are the skinny jeggings. Prove me wrong, Kate!

      3. Ths is another example of not having the advance team research the event enough and pass the info on to Kate. If they knew she’d be drumming, and asked what that would entail, it would have been a no-brainer to advise that she wear black “trousers” and, then, of course, a holiday bright red or green blouse.

        Oh, well, I quibble. At least, she wore a festive color when visiting the children and she did look as if she was into the event. I will agree, she is still not comfortable hugging people. Strange, but true.

        There is one photo of Kate with her new hairdo, in which she bears a remarkable resemblance to Karen Allen, when she appeared in Raiders of The Lost Ark. When was that film made? That surely dates the new haircut, but I still think a shorter look like this one, is much more suitable for Kate.

        I think it’s a plus that she is so intently visiting the Anna Freud Centre. It must be doing work that she finds important. I, for one, appreciate the fact that the care of children with anxiety, depression, etc. needs to be given as much positive exposure as possible. Nice job for that, Kate.

        1. When I said that it was strange that Kate didn’t seem comfortable hugging, I was thinking back as someone in another post said, to the days when she and WIlliam were in school, or in their early dating years, when they were constantly shown with arms around one another. Guess, that would not seem so appropriate today, but she does not seem to be touchy feely sort. Nothing wrong with that, it just seemed she was more so years ago.

    2. Whilst I fully understand what ‘pants’ are to Americans my English brain is having a little giggle about how much Kate might love an Englsih pant (underwear) suit….she’s not done any flashing for a while. I think it must be HM who bans trousers because none of the Royal ladies wear them in public. But it Kate can wear the dreaded skinny jeans why not smart trousers? Another thing Leti can teach her.

      1. LRB: me too.

        i always have to do a mental shake to remember that Americans say pants to mean trousers where we mean underwear.

        Mind you, given What Kate has flashed, she really could use some pants – British meaning 😉

          1. Well Jen we Brits would call that underwear thongs which would have a totally different meaning to the Aussies!! But we too giggle at the name Randy particularly in relation to Williams Uncle Andy …

      2. Lol! I totally go between using trousers and pants when writing or speaking but yes, pants is very American lol. Americans say trousers but it is more used by older people.

        1. I say pants to refer to the entire group, whereas when I say trousers I mean a specific type of pant. Jeans can be pants, but I don’t consider them trousers. Dress slacks can be both pants and trousers. Usually when I say trousers, I’m talking about some sort of nice slack – either a casual khaki, or a dress pant.

          1. I say trousers in general when discussing any time of pant, rather than have people confuse them for something else like panties. I know I’m weird though… 🙂

    3. Completely agree, Accentbeach! She is thin enough that she could easily find a pair of nice fitting black pants. She would look great in them. I think it would be more appropriate for events with children and would add some much needed change to her wardrobe.

    4. I agree about the trousers/pantsuits. I doubt it’ll ever happen, though. Queen Carole came out in gross and inappropriate skinny jeans for that brief post-engagement interview. Like mother like daughter. They both see value in displaying their legs in those disgusting crotch-grabbing jeans. So I doubt we’ll ever see Waity in classy trousers….especially as she ages and might not feel as confident about other bits (eye bags, jowls, short hair, etc).

      1. She would have looked good in the red pants she likes to pair with her “sailing” outfit, and couple them with a nice sweater and holiday brooch or scarf. I think Kate is overlord of her gams and needs to give it a rest–we know you’re skinny girl. Stylish doesn’t have to equate to sexy. She looked overdressed for the event. Interesting that she relaxed to give an impromptu speech; so there’s hope she’ll do more going forward, because familiarity helps the butterflies of public speaking go away, and lets the emphasis on good works be the priority.

        1. Sunny, your last sentence rings so true: when press coverage focuses more on the event then Kate, she will know she has done a good job by drawing attention to the charity first and foremost. THAT is her job. The royal press corp could also grow up too and be, you know, proper journalists. It must exasperate charities that these visits turn into a ‘what Katie wore’ event. The amount of work organisers must do, including getting children ready etc, for a royal event, is enormous and deserving of more respect from the press.

          However, I think Kate did a good job at this event. She seemed more relaxed and engaged. Her little impromptu thanks was a nice and well-mannered touch. The red dress was festive in colour which I imagine was the reason for its choice. I wonder if she’s torn between being appropriately dressed for the activities being undertaken or being appropriately dressed as a princess? I do think people expect royalty to be beautifully turned out. Of course, this does not preclude the wearing of pants/trousers/slacks.

          1. I agree with you Jen. I think she did a good job overall and hope that she realized that getting out more might be helping her to be more comfortable helping charities. You’re point goes straight to that where it won’t be so much of what she wore (although that will always be featured), but the charity and needs will get the primary focus. She might actually start liking doing more! One of the reasons HM is so good is she is out constantly with the people. If you barricade yourself behind walls, people will move on. I really wish she would wear more pants or pantsuits when she goes for a children’s visit. I work with kids all the time and am always hoping she doesn’t have another “pants” malfunction with a children under her skirt or paint, etc all over her.

  2. She is improving which is good to see. I’m glad she looked engaged and like she was enjoying herself! Thus, less awkward! Points to you, Kate.

    I do wish she’d wear some nice trousers. She wore them pre-marriage; why does she always do dresses?

    1. The ‘dead’ eye look is there!

      Fake snowflake is fake grinning or not – a few days ago she was haggard and sick looking at her most favorite pastime – shopping.

  3. Ok, I looked at the pics on DM and I watched the video and I have to say that I think that she did a really good job of interacting with the kids. There were a few pics on the DM site of the manic faces that she pulls and some strange looks from both kids and adults but in this video she looks like she is interested and having a good time.

    Just need to get rid of the clutch crutch now.

    1. Yes, Yes, Yes get rid of the crotch clutch. Appearance wise it’s the last little thing that really throws her look off, plus it’s doing horrible things to her posture. You know she looks at pictures of herself, doesn’t she see how round-shouldered she’s become?

          1. In my opinion she made some adjustments to her figure now. I have an impression that after pregnancies she became a little wider in her lower abdomen/hips area but she is still painfuly thin.

        1. Lauri, I love you. You are so taken by her poor posture. I agree. She needs to be more careful and not slouch/slump so much. It really makes her look so insecure.

          1. Yeah, I know I harp on it a lot but I’m so glad to know you still love me! It’s always been something that just grinds on me to see someone all hunched over and slouchy. It just speaks of laziness and not really caring how you are perceived, imho.

          2. I was walking back to work the other day when a woman “clomped” in front of me. I first noticed her shoes… nude heels like Kate wears, then her legs, just like Kate, skinny and then I looked up. She appeared to be channeling Kate 100%. Underweight to the same amount as Kate and the same dreadful posture. Because I was seeing her in real life it was obvious that she had developed that terrible slouch (with hump) because it was like the foundation stones were missing and if she was a house then the walls would be about to cave in? I am wondering if this is the reason for Kate’s poor posture too?
            Though I suspect good posture is something that is drilled into you as a child.
            For those who thing that Kate is a good weight may I suggest they have a look at that photo of Kate’s back view. There is a weight issue when the shoulder blades stick out further at the back than the boobs stick out at the front (and Kate must be wearing a padded bra).

      1. My concern for her posture is twofold, the first being it just looks awful. The second (and most important) is she’s going to develop a hump from all of that slouching and it’s not going to look good if she insists on strapping on those heels as she gets older.

        It has to be an insecurity thing. Carole doesn’t slouch around, Pippa doesn’t either. If the heels are at fault then she needs to wear shorter ones. Sometimes I just want to grab her and make her stand straight.

  4. Very good effort from Kate today. I also love that she is repeating many of her fan-favorite dresses. However, this retrospect shows how much she has lost her glow.

    What’s with her walk and posture today? She looks man-like in the full-length pics. Perhaps it’s the hair that gives her a “tranny” look?

    1. Yes, it is the hair giving her that “tranny” look. Her long hair masked her very broad shoulders while her short hair shows them in full view. The same goes for her posture. That’s the only con that I see with her hair; it shows her broader shoulders and poor posture. She truly has a boyish figure. However, if she really worked on her posture and didn’t diet so much (which makes her more prone to posture problems), she wouldn’t look like that. She really needs to work on her core muscles, go back to her athletic frame and lift some weights that would target her poor posture issues (lat pulls and the like).

      1. I agree, she is naturally thin, but looks super-thin, no curves and a pronounced Adams Apple. You can see her shoulder blades in the picture where her back is facing the camera. The hair length is a major improvement, but I am just not loving the shorter pieces around her face, they are not cut properly to blend with the longer hair.

        1. Kate is far too thin for it to be natural; it is concerning. And it definitely does not look healthy. It was most obvious – and distressing – in that ice blue evening dress; she just drowned in it. Whether it is Kate’s choice to get slimmer because of personal vanity or pressure from others, we don’t know. I am surprised that her doctor has not advised her to put on some weight.

  5. Her hair looks great without the length/extensions/wiglet.

    Tamna & Tominey both interesting Twitter – Tanna blabbed that inside shots of event controlled by KP photographer & Tashs boyfriend Chris Jack. Others left outside only, and got Kates back – Tominey tweeted about that.

    1. Yup, it’s totally true. And that’s why I was so shocked as to how much better she looked at this event; it was the photo shopping. She won’t even look at any photographers as she leaves the event, probably so they can’t really see her face. If you zoom in on the last photo provided by KMR, you can see that the same under bags and circles she had while shopping the other day. The photogs are pretty angry with her these days because she won’t give them the opportunity as they had before to take photos of her before and after events…

      1. Yes, Chris Jack photoshops/filters and the only other shots inside were from KP and were (deliberately) out of focus.

        But, you guys, she really cares about her work and not about her appearance. YEAH, RIGHT.

  6. I was actually going to write something glowing and how she seems more secure with her role without Bill around… But at the end she turned and couldn’t wait to dump the basket and bracelet to the guy next to her.

    I do think she does well on her own. Hair looks so much better. I’ve realized the overly painted eyebrows are aging her and accentuating forehead lines.

  7. She seemed to enjoy herself much more and interacted well with the children. I am also starting to see that the manic facial expressions don’t really match the video of the same photo–so perhaps her facial expressions are not as crazy as we think. I could be very wrong, though. She needs more practice at this, and she will get much, much better. She seems very awkward with hugging children–but I really don’t think she is a nurturing person (just my gut.) I have chronic pain myself and know that many–even very nice people–can behave strangely around me because they don’t know what to do or say. That could be it for her; she doesn’t know how to relate to children or people who are suffering or struggling with something–since she has never been there herself. I don’t know..

    I do wish she wore some black slacks, red blouse or white blouse, black slacks and red jacket combo or something like that–and a scarf around her neck would really complete that look. (Perhaps, she thinks slacks would make her look too masculine with her body type?) The drumming would not have been as much of an issue then. She had to know the schedule of events–so it was surprising that she didn’t take this into account unless she thought the children were to perform and she was to watch?

    The shorter hair does look better on her, though I still believe she needs to layer it. She might be waiting for her bangs to grow out–but, I think, it would hide the bang fiasco even more so if she layered it. She also needs to work on her posture as well (as I mentioned in my comments above)–and perhaps wear outfits that downplay her very broad shoulders.

    Wouldn’t it be nice though if she would invite some children from different charities (as Cam did for decorating the CH Christmas tree) to take shopping (which she loves to do!)? One particular professional basketball player takes a bunch of children to go shopping for gifts every Christmas. Those are the things that would be so meaningful. Or even even play sports with under privileged youth and make that a cause that she could be passionate about? I know she loves sports. It would make so many young people happy and change the lives of many if she did these sort of things. I also think she could really find her passion or purpose that way. We all have one or two or more in some cases. Without purpose and passion, it can be very boring (hence, the shopping), tanning, plastic surgeries, etc. At some level, don’t all people feel a void if this is all they are doing? It’s sad, and I do think she put so much into getting William and the marriage; I don’t think her marriage has panned out the way she had hoped. Now, I am not sure she knows who she is, and she does look lost and sad. With that said, I really do think she could be much happier if found her passion and cause. I really do think it’s possible with her.

      1. Runner I couldn’t agree more. Was just sitting here reading comments with a nice cup of coffee, and I thought: she doesn’t know who she is.

        1. I hate to keep pointing fingers at Kate’s family of origin, but this is where I think the problem comes from with Kate and her many awkward behaviors. She never had to think for herself. Carole did all her thinking for her. She may come from a loving family, but I think this is an enmeshed family with a good deal of problems. How can someone who is almost 34 years old, find out who they are if they are lead around by their mother before and after marriage. Just my take on things.

          1. They are unusually close, not necessarily a bad thing, but of course, the spotlight is continually on (by choice or circumstance) so it may appear exaggerated to us; not sure! Your observation of them being ‘enmeshed’ or dependent seems spot on. It’s a lack of empathy that seems apparent. If you are constantly looking inwards how can you appreciate and understand the world? Kate does not appear to be a naturally person, at least in public.

      1. All great points, KMR et. al. It’s fine if Kate’s not touchy, feely–then she should do something without children or people who suffer. I know, at least for myself, I do crave to be nurtured and hugged when I am down from being in pain–but not everyone is that way. She should focus on science/tech, military, and really a lot more intellectual pursuits–where she could speak out on behalf of gender equality in the marketplace as an example. It would require a lot more study, but she could certainly read on the topics at hand and be seen as a truly serious royal. I do think I could see her involved in a sports related charity with the disabled or children still–where she is physically involved because she has fun playing sports. Or, do fundraising for various causes…She seemed to have a blast the other day while fundraising. There are so many things she could do that would put her more in her comfort zone.

        I don’t know how my reply got all the way up here as I am responding to all of you below. Sorry!

    1. i genuine don’t think she’s a touchly feely person. the videos of her hugging people, including her own husband are always awkward, plus she keeps her distance or blocks a full on hug with an arm. she’s been doing it since Canada.

      that’s ok. some people are like that. they don’t like to be touched and always maintain a distance. it makes this sort of ‘hugging people/children’ aspect of her chosen charities difficult and awkward.

      And though people say that William is awkward in public, he never used to be. Perhaps it’s the increased royal duty work load which means he is increasingly uncomfortable with the spotlight, but there is alot of footage of him from many years past and occasionally since his marriage where he is as engaged as Harry. eg https://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://whatkatewore.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Hartley_royal_visit290.jpg&imgrefurl=http://whatkatewore.com/tag/duchess-of-cambridge-royal-marsden-dress/&h=440&w=665&tbnid=LnQvjHQ4hrfydM:&docid=SJIwq0e2tEaKyM&ei=401xVt7ANom2UfqvvJgH&tbm=isch&ved=0ahUKEwievoqWpuDJAhUJWxQKHfoXD3M4yAEQMwgsKCkwKQ


      FYI: whilst this was one of Kate’s first engagements post marriage, she stood or sat awkwardly and at a distance from everyone, especially the sick kids. William was amazing at this engagement.

      it’s the best he has ever been. it’s all been downhill since.

      1. Perhaps she should try some charities that focus on different age groups – the elderly for example – to see if she can grow in confidence in a slightly different arena?

      2. I agree!

        The middleton climb/chase and snobbery (only interact with titled aristos), lacking a career, working with others will do that.

      3. I’m that way. I don’t like being touched or touching others, and I fully understand when people are like that. It annoys me that when I pull away from a hug or a kiss, people are offended. They are invading my personal space without asking; I’m the one who should be offended, not them (sorry if that offends anyone, but I really don’t understand why more people don’t get consent before hugging someone). So if Kate is that way, I could completely understand that, and would probably connect with her more because I’m the same way. But the thing is, I wouldn’t then choose charities/causes that had me interacting with people who I would need to hug/touch frequently. I would go for something scientific or technology related, something with education, something with gender equality, because those causes wouldn’t require me to touch people. I’d even be cool with something with animals, because I’d rather touch animals than humans. Choosing anything with kids would be a no-go. The problem is that Kate’s team have chosen the most PR-friendly causes – which means kids – which means Kate now has to interact with kids a lot. If she didn’t like touching people, she should have chosen different causes.

        1. I completely agree with this. I generally hate being touched and would never reach out and hug someone without first confirming that it’s all right with that person. It seems like a huge invasion of personal space to me. And I totally second your comment about the kinds of charities you’d support as a royal. I’d aim for similar organizations and causes, because I’d be pretty sure of myself failing miserably with kid-focused organizations. It’s not that I don’t like kids either, but I’d never come across as terribly comfortable in those situations. I’d spend too much time wondering if the kid wants to be hugged, if it’s a hug-acceptable moment, if the parents are all right with a stranger hugging their child, etc. Being too analytical has its value, but not in that kind of scenario.

          1. Agreed, and they probably did this because of Diana and the expectation that Kate would be Diana’s heir-apparent. It is clear that she is not, she has her own likes and dislikes, so they need to address them and position Kate where she doesn’t look like fake or idiotic doing something that isn’t natural to her. Even in the pictures with George from earlier this year, she looked like a stressed nanny taking care of a active child. Some people don’t naturally take to children; it was a gift of Diana’s along with Charlene, but if that’s not Kate’s forte, then you made some good suggestions KMR, and with Kate’s degree, she could probably help something meaningful. Leave the kids to Harry.

        2. My daughter is also that way and has been so since she was an infant. Since I’m a great hugger and toucher, this was tough for me as a new mom – I felt my baby was rejecting me. I gradually learned that’s just how she is. And she has learned how important hugs are for me, so she will hug me, but it’s obvious she’d like to leave a millimeter of space between us 🙂 And it makes sense in that my husband is also that way (also, he doesn’t dance…what was I thinking?!?…but it’s 48 years and counting, so…). Anyway, I can’t fault Kate for this sort of awkwardness.

          1. Really good that you mentioned that Constance because there are a whole host of behaviors that socially are taken one way when each person has their own way of perceiving receptivity. It’s important not to take things personally and to try and understand what they need like if music/noise is too loud, even a few people talking in a room can be overloading, and others take it personally when the child just needs quiet.

        3. I’m completely with you. The slightest touch on the shoulder, even by my sister or father, makes me jump. I can’t tolerate being touched without permission. Everyone always goes for a hug nowadays. Why can’t they just nod politely and bow from the neck, if they are male, or do a half curtsy if they are female? People jump down my throat b/c *I* don’t want them to touch *me.* Uh, I thought it was my body. If you want to touch yourself, go ahead… ha, ha. But everyone’s into being tactile today. I detest it.

  8. It’s a good event for her, nothing spectacular and nothing bad either. I’ve always thought that she may not become a great royal but I think she has the potential of becoming a good royal. Though I do wonder why she didn’t stay for the whole thing (or was that the whole event?). I thought this was a Christmas party. She could have partied with the kids and stuff. She was there for an hour I think. The caption on the daily mail photos said so. Btw, do any of you think she’ll be named patron of Anna Freud Centre and The Fostering Network by next year?

  9. The picture of Kate waving her hands on the air was cute, but the full picture was better. There was a girl with a sour look on her face with a Tshirt that said “Bah Humbug”.

    Kate is getting better. I think that she isn’t a kid person. The DM had a photo of her leaving and there was a kid waving goodbye from the top of the steps. Ithe would have been nice for her to acknowledge that. The only thing that is stop making her a better royal is Kate. She is not prepared – wearing a short dress, no meaningful speeches, shoddy work record. With the right team and a willingness to do better, she will be fine. I want her to succeed and don’t think that it’s too late.

    Thank you for a nice review, KMR.

  10. Yes, this was a solid performance by the Duchess. Nice interactions with the children, pretty good rhythm on the drums, appropriate holiday dress, all in all a good time was had by all.

    In the photos Kate’s huggs do appear awkward and stilted but in the video not so much. Plus it would be hard to give a good hug while crouched down holding a heavy basket in one hand and a bracelet in the other.

    I’m really looking forward to the post about Camilla and the annual holiday party she hosts. When I found out the William and Kate were taking over Apt 1A at Kensington Palace, with it’s many reception rooms, I was really hopeful that Kate would create a tradition of her own similar to Camilla’s. She could either host scouts, terminally ill children or even adults from her Action on Addiction charity but alas my hopes have been dashed. Such a shame and waste really of an opportunity to show a more human, caring side plus a chance to let the world in a bit, also an opportunity for the British people to see what $6.4 million got them.

    1. It’s funny you say Kate’s hugs don’t appear as awkward in video, because it was the video of her hugs which prompted my comment about how her hugs are so awkward. I actually think her hugs are more awkward on video than in photos. Re hugging with a basket in her hands, that’s not the hug that prompted my comment – it was the hug where she used the arm closest to the kid to block the kid from hugging her, and used the other arm to hug him, rather than move her arm around the kid’s shoulders. It was really weird especially since she had that arm up at first and moved it down when the kid went in for the hug.

      Re William and Kate hosting in their KP apt: I thought that would happen, too, since they have so many rooms. But I guess they would have to be in London for that and they spend most of their time not in London.

      1. I noticed that Bah Humbug hug too, in the photo it looked super awkward to me but in the video you can see that the girl hugged her before Kate had a chance to get her left arm out of the way and after the hug Kate did pat her with her left arm.

        Re: W&K hosting in their KP apartments, it would also mean that their precious privacy would be violated. Sometimes I think it’s William who’s more behind the whole privacy issue rather than Kate. I feel it’s gotten worse since the birth of his children, like some deep seated paranoia was unleashed, the overwhelming need to protect his family even when that protection in the long run might be damaging to them.

        1. I hate to play armchair psychologist, but I’m wondering if in William’s mind by protecting his children he’s somehow subconsciously, retroactively protecting himself. Righting the perceived wrongs of his past?

          1. You may be on to something KMR! It’s natural to want to protect one’s children, all the more so since William has been on show his entire life, and clearly resented it, perhaps thinking he was robbed of his own childhood? I would not be surprised that this ‘protection’ may manifest itself in paranoia and anger. I still think it is an expression of grief, regardless of his own prick-like personality. I would hope that he has ongoing professional counselling; he appears to be in all sorts of pain. I can also see how it makes him vulnerable to wanting a ‘normal family’ as the Middletons have seemingly provided.

          2. That’s exactly what I think. Add in his hatred of the media–even legitimate media is bad and evil–and you get William and his neuroses. Not good for a monarch where the object is to be seen to be believed, as the Queen puts it.

          3. The perceived wrongs of his past – which he is laying solely at the feet of the media. Both of his parents did an unrighteous number on those boys, and are just as much to blame for William’s issues. Harry is a different personality type, and appears to be more pragmatic and tougher, mentally, than his older brother. William is always playing the blame game and turning his little family into victims – which will only serve to make the situation worse.

            This is where I feel sorry for Kate. She never seemed to have a problem being out and about for all the press to see. In fact, I’d say she happily courted it. Instead of quashing that (since the marriage) and making her into his shadow puppet, let us see some personality and decision making from her. And I don’t mean via interior design on the mansions. I get the impression she’s being held back, no wonder she’s hunched over and haggard looking.

            I used to be in the “she knew what she was signing up for / chased the prince for a decade ” camp. I’m slightly rethinking that. She was told what she was signing up for. Maybe and in so many words, but is that what it ended up being? Or did someone make up airy fairy promises and sweet dreams over a bottle of wine in the Scottish wilds that someone with stars in their eyes fell for- hook, line and sinker.

            Someone said earlier “she doesn’t know herself”. If she’s not allowed to be herself, or contribute to the discussion on who the DofC “is”, then how could she possibly be confident enough to be who she is. Who she is,obviously is not good enough for those who have say. No wonder she looks the way she does. The only thing she has control over is her body, so if you think this is too thin…

            Lastly, the hair. At first I was ok with the cut, but have grown to dislike it. Looks like a mumsy wig. I get why she did it, I had 2 under 2 and sticky sweaty baby fingers looove mommy’s long hair, but I can’t wait till she grows it back out.

            Well, that rant came outta nowhere, going to go eat some cheese now…

          4. KMR, you are onto something. I also do agree that William has less resiliency than Harry; he is more sensitive–and that’s ok. Like Hezareus said above, William really does well with children at least before this new anti-press war happened. I think he can relate well to suffering children and adults because he suffered himself with his mother’s passing. The problem is that he never learned how to cope, and we are now seeing the fall-out of that. Also, his temperament is not good; he is rude and arrogant. I am not sure any counseling could fix that, but I could be wrong.

          5. * I used to be in the “she knew what she was signing up for / chased the prince for a decade ” camp. I’m slightly rethinking that. She was told what she was signing up for. Maybe and in so many words, but is that what it ended up being? Or did someone make up airy fairy promises and sweet dreams over a bottle of wine in the Scottish wilds that someone with stars in their eyes fell for- hook, line and sinker.

            Someone said earlier “she doesn’t know herself”. If she’s not allowed to be herself, or contribute to the discussion on who the DofC “is”, then how could she possibly be confident enough to be who she is. Who she is,obviously is not good enough for those who have say. No wonder she looks the way she does. The only thing she has control over is her body, so if you think this is too thin…*

            Ray, you make some valid points. I think William may have played up the fairy tale/life of a prince aspect at some point during their relationship. It really is the biggest thing he brings to the relationship. His attitude isn’t the best in the world, he makes cruel “jokes” about the people he supposedly loves and he’s a tightwad with his money. Not to mention he’s losing his looks rapidly.

            After the break up and his inability to get any other girl to take the bait, I think he may have laid down some ground rules with Kate and Carole (because Carole is an integral part of their relationship) and that involved how Kate would present herself (never over him), how things would work in the relationship once they were married (he’ll go off whenever he pleases) and a number of other things. In return Kate seemingly gets to spend a lot of money, live in homes that have been gifted to them, redecorate to her hearts content and sit in the lap of luxury.

            Personally I couldn’t take being smothered like that, by either William or her mother. I often wonder if she is starting to realize that she wants more and maybe this new surge represents that? Of course, the proof will be in if she continues along this trajectory or if it all turns out to be a fluke to make her look good before the next trip to Mustique.

            I can’t understand why this full grown woman basically kowtows to him and has pretty much given up her identity to essentially have his title and money. I think she really does love him to a degree, but that it may not be reciprocated as much on his part.

            One final theory on the bland beigeness of their homes…if I remember correctly the apartments they lived in as a child at KP were very colorful. Maybe the beige isn’t necessarily Kate’s choice, but was chosen/influenced by William because of one of his little issues with the past??? Or she could just be boring.

            That’s all, just some rambling thoughts from my mind.

    2. Wasn’t one reason they were granted that huge apartment was so they could have functions there and not have to leave home? As big as it is, I’m sure they have public rooms and security won’t let anyone into the private side. Besides it’s probably all beige anyway so use it already.

  11. I agree I think this was a good event for Kate! I like this dress and the color on her but gosh could she get some pants? She knows down to the details what her activities are going to be and she really should dress to fully engage in those activities. I can’t believe the Queen bans them since she has showed up in her jeggings at official events.

    KMR I agree, I like the new haircut! It fits her frame and with the extensions out she doesn’t get that bobblehead look. Plus she doesn’t seem to play with it as much but with KP controlling the pictures, I can’t be certain of that one.

    Oh and I think someone stole/destroyed the nude LK Bennett’s – I imagine the Queen sending in the Corgi’s!

    1. “I imagine the Queen sending in the Corgi’s!”

      Death by corgis! Won’t someone think of the Sledges!

      1. I think the Corgi’s made quick work of them-:) Imagine if we would have had a slow march to death of those things? Hopefully it was quick work for the Queen’s team!

    2. I don’t think the Queen has banned pants as Sophie wears pants and if I am correct, on a few official occasions.

      Many other royal women wear pants/ trousers and some of them are from very conservative royal families. I don’t think pants are banned but I think Kate lives in the 50’s in her brain. Am I wrong? Does anyone know for sure if the Queen has banned wearing anything besides a dress to her charities?

      1. I’m just afraid that she’ll trot out the despicable skinny jeans for “pants.” You can look elegant and sophisticated with the right pair of slacks so I don’t understand why she never wears them.

        Now I wish she wore a different pair of shoes. I’m so sick and tired of those pumps. Really? Give it a rest!

  12. This event was a solid one for Kate, but the bar is set low so it’s almost like a win-lose scenario. I’m happy she cut the hair, but something does need to be done about styling it better.

    I’ve been thinking about Herazeus’ comment that Kate may not be a touchy feely person. Her seeming reluctance to physical contact is kind of odd to me because I remember seeing pictures of her with William when they were dating where she had her arm around him and one where they were kissing in a parking lot and she didn’t seem to be drawing away as she does now. The particular one I remember was at a restaurant or club and she had her arm around him while they were sitting with a group of friends. It does strike me as odd that she kind of holds back. A psychiatrist could have a field day with Kate and her family.

    Any way, thank you Jason for getting her to say a few off the cuff comments at the end of the visit. We’ve only been requesting them for months now. I’m happy to see that our suggestions are finally being implemented. 🙂 Now please work on having her wearing some tailored slacks with a nice jacket and blouse to an event where a skirt just doesn’t work (like this one). Baby steps, Kate, baby steps.

  13. I have been very fed up with Will and Kate. In the last six months, I have all but given up ever seeing any improvement from this lazy royal couple.

    Funny, but I grade her at a B.

    While the dress isn’t a favorite, I think it was nice of her to wear red this time of year and have on a bright color for the children. The shorter hair is much better. I wish she would grow out the bangs/fringe as long layers. I think Kate was very kind to the little cutie who handed her a handful of (sweets?) and gave her a hug. I think this showed Kate was actually aware of this child. Maybe, she is starting to take her time and read emotional cues.

    She didn’t give a speech, but did say a few words of thanks. This is a start. I thought I had 100% given up on Kate, but I see a glimmer of hope. Now, if she could just get that knucklehead of a husband to follow her lead, I may go to the dark side and begin to believe in these two.

    1. I normally don’t mind when people post links to articles and whatnot, but not when it’s super threadjacky. And since I’m covering this tomorrow, I’d appreciate if we kept this thread about Kate’s AFC Christmas Party and discuss the new patronage tomorrow in the new thread.

  14. I do like Kate’s hair shorter, but the bangs were such a huge mistake. I never would have forgiven my hairdresser had that been done to me. And, I would have found someone else immediately to try and make amends.

    I do think Kate seemed to be enjoying herself at this event and that is a plus. Also, like the fact that she wore a festive color, not only because of the holidays, but because children were present. Oh, the dreaded black or dark shades of previous visits with kids in former years!

    All in all, I think she was far more impressive in this appearance and so it does seem as if she is trying. I agree that her staff needs to do more research on what will be happening at her appearances and pass advice and ideas along to Kate for proper dressing and behavior at such events. Isn’t that what they are supposed to do? If they knew about drumming, could they not have asked, “Will the Duchess be asked to participate?” If so, then something could have been suggested in her choice of wardrobe to make the drumming easier. Oh, well. It seems there’s always something to criticize and I am trying to be a bit more positive. With other Royals everything seems to be so fluid and easy. It’s easy to forget that much research goes in to their appearances and things are planned to make all appear to go so effortlessly. W&K need to hire more polished and experienced staff members.

    I think Kate was more relaxed and comfortable at this event and did seem to enjoy the children. She does appear to be awkward when it comes to hugging. I guess that is something else she needs to work on when appearing so much with kids. I cannot blame her, though, if she is not too eager to be hugged and hugged. Everyone is different.

    1. I so agree!! My brows have always been so blond they were almost invisible and now they’re going gray 🙁 I get them colored but for the first couple days after a coloring I feel a bit like Ronald McDonald 🙂

      1. OMG, you ladies can have my thick eyebrows! I finally got the shape right after keeping up with them every few weeks with threading or waxing but they have been a pain throughout my life. They are so thick that it really hurts when they get waxed or threaded. My eyes water so bad. They are so dark that if you remove one too many hairs, it changes the whole arch.

        I do like Kate’s dark eyebrows. I know some people don’t like them but getting dark, thick brows to look as good and right takes effort. If not they look ghetto or too Kardashian like. You know, that overly arched, overly drawn, unblended brow? I see it constantly on makeup blogs and instagram and it is so tacky IMO.

      2. Lol, growing up I hated my thick eyebrows so I would always make them super thin. Now, I love them and my face looks better with the thick browns vs thin. So, years ago I would have given them to you, but now I love them :). I think dark eyebrows on the right face like Kate’s always look good. I have always liked Kate’s brows (though she can overdo them like in November).

      3. I sadly succumbed to the over plucking trend, which was popular when I was growing up. And I hate filling them in now bce they just look painted on. I wonder what Kate does? Her brows are usually thinner but the above pics look like actual hair vs that paint/eyeshadow hybrid (i.e. Kylie Jenner or Sofia Vergara)

        1. I still think it just looks like her normal of eyebrow filler with makeup. I don’t think she did anything different today, I think that the photo-shopping might have made them look different, but that is all.

  15. Kate has been doing so well off late. I really hope it is because she’s come to a place where she realises the importance of and cares about using the platform she’s been given for good and feels some sense of responsibility.

    It does seem like someone on the inside is helping rehabilitate her image. Whether it’s Carole seeing how bad people are starting to feel towards her daughter and family, or if it’s the Queen for the sake of the monarchy or because Kate has been open to Royal (palace) advise and not just her family’s or her William doing their own thing.

    Either way, I hope this is a real corner that Kate’s turning and finding a sense of purpose in her role as ‘Princess of the United Kingdom’ instead of the usual end of year blitz to get the numbers up (around 70/80 mark, which is shocking) or PR moves to counter the bad sentiment and ocassional press that focuses on what’s lacking.

    1. I hate to say it Gie, but I think it’s the usual end of the year must get my numbers up. I would love it if I was wrong but there have been so many promises like just this fall the press was saying how Kate was going to visit her charities more, focus on mental health issues, blah, blah and she did what 4-5 1 hours engagements during one week of the month and then nothing until the next month. So, yeah I don’t see her actually turning a corner but just skating by doing the bare minimum.

      I seem to recall reading about how difficult the Windor’s PR people have it, trying to make it seem like they all work a lot when in reality they only work about 4-5 months out of the year.

  16. Watching the video actually showed how at ease Kate was today. I think she did well today and actually looked to be having genuine fun! And I am happy she said something briefly at the end, though I am not sure why people think it was off the cuff. Knowing what we know about Kate, I am sure that was planned out, it was just short enough for her to remember, instead of writing it down.

    KMR, I like you grading her outings. I think you should keep that up :). I give her a B!

  17. I am a fan of Kate’s and am glad she re-wore the red pleated dress, I think wearing trousers and a red blouse is not her style at all, and am glad of that. She has beautiful legs and it is great that the world gets to see them. I think her outdoor casual outfit on the striped blue shirt and skinny jeans, worn repeatedly is fantastic. It says “I am comfortable” and I am not trying to make a fashion statement in my outdoor time. She is an outdoorsy, athletic, disciplined in her fitness and down to earth woman. For all you that grade her outings, just curious if you grade yourselves everyday?

    1. Carrie, I have noticed that you have only posted once before and it is abundantly clear to me that you only come on here to rile up the posters here. You don’t agree with a critical site, so why post here? I don’t go to the fanatical sites and post critical posts. Honestly, I welcome all views, but when it is apparent that someone is just coming over from a ‘put Kate on a pedestal’ site just to try and upset people, then I get upset. The other time you commented you started the same way and never responded when everyone called you out on your comment.

      I am just tired of Kate fanatics coming on here trying to make us all fight with each other, so that they can feel better. SO TO ALL THE REAL POSTERS-PLEASE JUST DON’T RESPOND AND GIVE HER THE SATISFACTION SHE IS LOOKING FOR.

      Sorry KMR,-I’m not trying to step on your toes, I just want to prevent another flair up that Kate fanatics enjoy causing on here. I just really don’t want people coming on here just trying to shake us up because the don’t like the critical view of their perfect Kate. I like Kate, but I get really sick of the obsessed fans coming here just to overly praise Kate since they disagree with this site.

      1. The skinny jeans with the striped shirt are not very outdoors at all. The top is of course, but not the spray painted jeggings. We have now seen nearly all of her private bits and the jeggings leave nothing to the imagination. When one is truly an outdoorsy athlete as you say, you don’t wear tight pants like that. Perhaps you do to a bar with cute new heels, but not when you are being athletic in an outdoorsy sense.

      2. Overit,
        I am not trying to rile you all, but I am astonished at the things you all say. With all due respect I think you perspective is as WARPED in the anti Kate direction as you think I am warped in the pro Kate direction. I am giving you my true opinion and not in any way attempting to demean you, your response is demeaning to my perspective. I am a fan of Kate’s and I do not write to find the negative and nitpick about other people. If that is what this site is about, as it seems it is, then I will not comment too frequently. I think your comments are overstepping and you act as a BULLY and you ad you make assumptions that are just wrong. Here is one great example “SO TO ALL THE REAL POSTERS-PLEASE JUST DON’T RESPOND AND GIVE HER THE SATISFACTION SHE IS LOOKING FOR.” – Why do you have to tell others what to do? In finishing I will say that I was looking for a site to discuss Kate, and share my enthusiasm for her, I am not trying to needle others with my post, just present my point of view.

        1. Carrie, Welcome. Please keep in mind that we will be critical of her b/c this is a critical blog. It does not simply parrot back what the tabloids say about her being the best mother, wife, etc. She spent a decade chasing a prince with a sapphire ring. She deferred acceptance to the University of Edinburgh and took a gap year so she would be in William’s class at university. What few acquaintances she had at Marlborough College say she plastered her walls with pictures of William. She’s also been described in this period as a “cold, serious, dull girl.” Once she and William became friends, she aggressively and physically blocked other women who would try to get close to him. Once she graduated with an honours degree from one of the world’s best universities, she worked part-time at her parents’ company and had P.R. put out that she was working with a photographer (who claims to have never met her). She spent 7 years waiting for a ring. Now she is a 33-year-old woman with two children who can’t seem to show up to more than one or two events a week that last an hour at the most (skipping several weeks in between) before jetting off on a “vacation” to somewhere warm and sunny. They each have a private secretary, as well as a nanny, an equerry, a full-time chef and two personal assistants for the Duchess. So what she needs a “vacation” from, I’d like to know. That doesn’t include the dozens of taxpayer-funded police officers (at £250,000 annually each) they have to guard them from the peasants. Does that sound like a “normal” 30something couple to you?
          You are welcome to continue posting here and I would encourage you to do so if you are going to be constructive and use actual evidence to back up your points instead of repeating tabloid talking point rubbish. The last time a troll came in here, it upset KMR so much she considered shutting down the site b/c it was an implacable inability by the pro-Kate people to see the other side that caused a great deal of ruckus. I will not permit that to happen again. The Duchess of Cambridge attended less than 60 public engagements last year. Her 89-year-old grandmother-in-law attended over 300. Her father-in-law did over 500. Is it too much to ask a grown woman to get off her duff and ‘earn’ her royal privileges, such as three palatal homes, a dozen staff members, luxury cars, etc.? Answer that for me without attacking me and we’re getting somewhere.
          Cordial regards, 🙂

          1. Seth thank you for putting it better. You said what I was trying. I didn’t want a troll coming on here again and making KMR considered closing her blog again. So thank you 🙂

          2. Any time. 🙂 I don’t want to be too harsh, b/c I don’t want to drive her away if she genuinely is interested in discussing Kate but if she does nothing but attack us, we’ll never get anywhere with her. “I am a fan of Kate (not Kate’s, there’s no possessive there) and I do not write to find the negative and nitpick about other people.” This is a critical review. There’s going to be a certain level of negativity. If she can’t handle that, she’s not going to make it here.

    2. I’m scratching my head at “it’s great that the world gets to see them.” The world’s not a better place for having seen Kate’s legs, or Diana’s legs, or my legs, or anyone else’s legs.

  18. I do like the work that they are doing at the Anna Freud Centre and it’s nice to see the kids all having a good time.
    But when I looked at the photos I couldn’t help thinking there was something a bit “off” about them. It was like Kate was trying a bit hard and forcing the jolly happy happy look. After watching the video it seems to me that she was more acting for the camera? After seeing the 2 photos KMR included in the post by Mark Cuthbert and after reading the comments on Niraj Tanna’s twitter page that I could see the photos inside the centre were photoshopped. Mark’s photos are what Kate really looks like, the photos of poor, tired Kate in DM are what Kate really looks like. I can now see what the media were talking about when they said that KP are controlling the narrative. By only having a select photographer (Chris Jackson aka Tash’s boyfriend, aka the golden boy/ one) inside then they are cutting out a large number of photographers from events (many are complaining about only seeing back views of Kate and William) and restricting their earnings. Guaranteed to not be a good way to make friends! I suspect we will see more rogue photos of the sort Kate and William don’t want to see soon!

  19. Hate the dress and still think the hair is unflattering, but I like that she wore a cheerful colour to an event with children present. All around one of her better engagements. She doesn’t look as miserable and sulky which is a very good thing, but she still seems really fake to me. She’s trying too hard to look like she cares, when the trick is to actually care. Maybe I’m being a bit grinchy, but I’m getting sick of the giant, toothy grins. She has three facial expressions, fake concern, maniacally animated and mean girl death stare. I’d just like to see her be genuinely real, for once. I’m sure that a lot of people will read her body language as warm and caring and think i’m reading it wrong, but it just doesn’t ring true for me. I think she is extremely aware and calculating about how she hopes to come across. Since it’s coming from a place of insecurity, she winds up being awkward and mime-like, within plenty of cringeworthy hugs/body collisions. Call me cynical, but I’m not impressed or convinced by this little appearance. In general, this was an improvement for her, it’s just going to take a lot more to convince me she cares about anyone other than herself.

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