Kate Middleton in video message for Children’s Mental Health Week 2016

Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, filmed a video message for Place2Be’s Children’s Mental Health Week 2016, which is February 8-12.

Kate Middleton Place2Be video Feb 2016 2

In the video, Kate does the typical “stare into the camera, read off a teleprompter” video message, but she also sits down with four kids for a chat.

During the “present to the camera” portion, Kate said:

    “Every child deserves to grow up knowing their potential and feeling confident that they won’t fall at the first hurdle, that they cope with life’s setbacks. This resilience, our ability to deal with stressful situations, is something we begin to learn in childhood, as we respond to each challenge and problem life presents.
    “Many of us are incredibly fortunate that the issues we face in childhood are ones we can cope with and learn from. But for some children learning to cope with life’s challenges can be a struggle.
    “While we cannot always change a child’s circumstances, we can give them the tools to cope and to thrive. With early support they can learn to manage their emotions and feelings and know when to seek help.
    “A child who has overcome challenges with proper emotional support will emerge stronger.
    “Through my work in areas like addiction, I have seen time and again that the roots of poor mental health in adulthood frequently stem from unresolved childhood issues. This needs to change. William and I feel that every child deserves to be supported through difficult times in their lives.
    “Schools are uniquely placed to provide emotional support working with children and their families. This is something that Place2Be understands. I am incredibly proud to be their Patron.
    “This Children’s Mental Health Week, we want to support schools to prioritize the emotional well being of their students alongside academic success. By assuring every child is given the emotional support they need, we are giving them a firm foundation for the happy, healthy future they deserve.”

You can watch the video here:

Kate filmed the video at Salusbury Primary School with four kids from the school: Nimra, 10, Ryan, 10, Bailey-Rae,7, and Connor, 11. I do think this video is much better than Kate’s past videos, but I still have some problems with it.

A few thoughts:

    1) Kate looks really haggard. Most of the time when you guys mention that Kate looks tired at events, I don’t see it, but she looked so haggard to me in this video. It was the first thing I noticed, and it was really distracting. When I was just listening to the audio while going over my transcription it sounded way better than when I was watching the video.
    2) While I really liked the inclusion of the interaction with the kids, I thought it seemed very stilted. I half blame Kate because her voice was very weak and she was not projecting a sense of strength or confidence. As part of my own battle with depression, I’m focusing right now on speaking confidently and projecting strength when interacting with people: leading the conversation. Kate was not leading the conversation. Kate’s voice was very weak and she was projecting an air of self-doubt, like she wanted to shrink away. She also did not have a strong voice that commanded my attention during the rest of the video, either, but I digress.
    I also blame the kids – they were giving her nothing. The kid on her immediate right (viewer left), Ryan, was good after a while, but the kids were really awkward and made the whole interaction awkward. I know I shouldn’t blame them too much since they are barely double digits (one isn’t even double digits) and they aren’t used to being filmed like this and whatnot, but still, it made the video uncomfortable for me to watch. Perhaps they were responding to Kate and since she wasn’t speaking with strength, they didn’t either?
    3) Having said that, I do think this video is much better than Kate’s previous ones. I liked the inclusion of the interaction with the kids; I thought it added more to the video and the message than just Kate’s words.
    4) Reading just the words in a strong voice in my head (not Kate’s weak voice in the video that did not command my attention), I actually liked the words she said. It wasn’t super long or detailed, but I don’t think it needed to be. It was a good introductory video about the issue with a call to action. If this were a speech she was giving at a conference or fundraising event, then I would expect more, but for a short video in support of Children’s Mental Health Week, I think these words were appropriate.

I’ve said this before, but the biggest thing for Kate moving forward with speeches or video messages is delivery. Delivery is everything. Speak confidently; command my attention. One could be speaking about taxes, but if spoken confidently I would still pay attention.

Kate Middleton Place2Be video Feb 2016 3

For the video, Kate wore her Rebecca Taylor dark blue tweed jacket and skirt that she’s worn multiple times before, and her sapphire and diamond earrings.

Kate Middleton Place2Be video Feb 2016 4

If anyone wants to know why I pick on Kate so much for crotch clutching, the below photo is why. Kate presses her hands to her crotch even when she isn’t holding a clutch, even when she isn’t posing for photos. Kate’s shaking these kid’s hands with one hand and touching her genital area with the other. It’s really awkward and weird.

Kate Middleton Place2Be video Feb 2016 1

PS. Kate was spotted taking a helicopter from London back to Norfolk after her Air Cadets event yesterday. Kate apparently was wearing a completely different light blue coat for the flight back to Norfolk than she wore to the Air Cadets event. How many light blue coats does one woman need?!!

Kate flying to Norfolk Feb 2016
[Instagram: @wearfore_by_ng and @rainbowceline]

Photos: video screengrab.

191 Comments on Kate Middleton in video message for Children’s Mental Health Week 2016

  1. Lizzie
    February 8, 2016 at 12:21 am (1 year ago)

    I felt she did a good job with the video. Her eyes look so sad. I wish she had an older sister to guide her. As for her voice level, I have one of those soft voices, and it can be really hard to turn up the volume on it.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 2:36 am (1 year ago)

      For me, it’s not just about volume but rather the lack of confidence in her voice.

      • ArtHistorian
        February 8, 2016 at 8:34 am (1 year ago)

        It is also about projecting the voice, which isn’t the same as just turning up the volume. A theatre coach could be a good solution to this issue.

      • Sunny
        February 8, 2016 at 5:02 pm (1 year ago)

        Have you ever seen Kate’s St. Andrews speech? I’m attaching it below. It scuttles everything we’ve all said about how Kate just needs to reach out and get help. She could completely give speeches if she wanted to. This was in 2012.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyylEImvpmQ

        • rhiannon
          February 8, 2016 at 5:08 pm (1 year ago)

          It was much better. My only complaint is to use note cards. That big font and large pages can get nerve wracking when you use them in a speech.

        • Kat
          February 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm (1 year ago)

          Sunny you are an awesome sleuth!!! I wondered was there anything out there … former classmates …something or someone out there to give us an idea of who the true Kate is or even was. We know so little and it helps to have more information. This could give us a realistic approach to draw from. Thank you.

          • Sunny
            February 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm (1 year ago)

            You’re welcome Kat. Isn’t it something how much she’s changed? This is the type of speech we’ve been asking for, so she can do it. Now I’m wondering if she’s developed anxiety (I still think someone from “the circle” ripped her for going sans underwear and she’s developed paranoia). That can happen when someone is psychologically stretched thin (chasing Will for years and trying to be someone that she may not have always wanted to be but was trying to please Carole and her own ego involved–photographed, posh, rich lifestyle).
            I’m way overanalyzing it, but I can’t help feeling that something is unhealthy/wrong. Like a picture you keep tweaking.

          • Cathy
            February 8, 2016 at 11:10 pm (1 year ago)

            Thanks for your comments and for finding that clip Sunny. It makes me feel that Kate is doing a “poor little me” act so everyone will feel sorry for her and will like her again. To me that is a reason why Kate is looking so strung out. Of course it doesn’t help that she is seriously underweight and probably malnourished at the moment. Having spent the last 15 years turning herself into something she thought would catch a Prince and then keep him must be very tiring too. I feel there is a melt down due to happen.
            Sorry for sounding mean but the “looking haggard so everyone feels sorry for you” act is something my sister would do, usually so she could con my parents into paying for a holiday for her or buy her a big ticket item.
            Sunny has showed that Kate can give a speech so therefore it’s time to step up and do some.

          • Kat
            February 8, 2016 at 11:24 pm (1 year ago)

            Sunny I do think you have hit on something. Thank you for observing things from a psychological point of view. We don’t know what kind of pressure she has been through to please everyone. No I do not think you are over analyzing. I am not so sure one can fully understand what this kind of royal life entails. Perhaps after becoming a mother is what brought back the reality of who she would rather be..a wife and mother first. Another type of pressure. The candid shot of her at the helicopter showed a very relaxed and more real Kate than the very tired looking Kate at the event. Thank you for giving me food for thought.

        • India Andrews
          February 8, 2016 at 11:53 pm (1 year ago)

          Kate sounded a little more natural with her delivery, not her accent, but with practice, she could’ve said what she wanted to say naturally without the feeling like she was reading a speech. It still had that give a speech in front of the class feeling. Amateur hour.

          • Sunny
            February 9, 2016 at 12:10 am (1 year ago)

            I agree India, but the difference in how she made eye contact, talked at a natural speed, demonstrated some confidence: the things I think we all agreed she needed a coach for. Maybe its because she’s never been gone after for rough criticism until the paps (not counting being called Waity Katy). Either she’s playing that for Will and PC so she can get out of work or there is truly some constant anxiety now, I don’t know. But the video shows she should be a strong speaker now considering what she could do back in 2012.

      • jenny
        February 9, 2016 at 11:00 am (1 year ago)

        There is a lack of confidence in her voice and in her demeanor. As Lauri accurately points out, her poor posture is a sign that she has no confidence when out and about.

      • Jamel
        February 10, 2016 at 4:35 am (1 year ago)

        Yes, her voice lacks confidence, and because of this I really have difficulty believing in her.

        • Ruby
          February 11, 2016 at 7:56 am (1 year ago)

          The difference in the videos highlights to me that “the work” Kate is doing in the bullying/mental health/addiction area does not feel authentic to her, hence why she is so awkward. Whereas the other video was a lot more natural – she wasn’t pretending to suddenly be an authority in a very complex field.
          Did anyone else find the sentence where she refers to “my work” really quite hilarious? I wonder how all the academics who research in the field and all the staff who study and then undertake complex roles in the field feel about her “work”?

          • Jen
            February 11, 2016 at 8:17 am (1 year ago)

            I was incredulous. To be honest, I have no idea what “my work” actually entails. The events/ engagements/ occasional letter and video for her charities are documented on KMR’s totals page, but there’s not many of them – just two or three per year. Does “my work” consist of other things?

  2. Kristin
    February 8, 2016 at 12:26 am (1 year ago)

    I hate to keep harping on this, but I just can’t get used to her accent… It appears very deliberate and almost makes you feel anxious as a viewer because your’e afraid she’s going to slip up halfway through the video… But on a positive note, I’m glad they put in footage of her interacting with the kids, it was a nice change of pace from her usual PSA videos..

    • Ray
      February 8, 2016 at 12:35 am (1 year ago)

      The accent is truly terrible, I will admit. Bit of a Frankenstein mishmash and it must take 99% of her concentration to keep it up.
      I liked the parts of the video with the kids. I felt she was more relaxed during this chatty section, but agreed, the kids weren’t giving her much to go on. Oh well, improv can be tough. Overall, her best effort at a taped message, so that’s something
      That tweed Rebecca Taylor is a great look on her. A very nice all purpose suit. She can repeat at will, and I don’t know that I’d ever get tired of seeing it on her. She should get a couple more, similar styles, different colors. Since she isn’t partial to dress pants, the skirt suit could totally be her thing.

      • katemiddletonreview
        February 8, 2016 at 2:40 am (1 year ago)

        The funny thing is, I do think the kids were coached, because they used the exact buzzwords Place2Be promotes. But either they needed to be coached more, better, or they just failed even with the coaching. They just didn’t come off as natural, to me.

        • ArtHistorian
          February 8, 2016 at 8:38 am (1 year ago)

          I think is is very hard for young children, especially if they do have various problems with mental health, to be thrust into a very unfamiliar situation with a person largely unknown to them. Ideally, it would be Kate’s role to make them at ease, which she just isn’t very good because she isn’t really at ease herself.

          I’m not sure how much I like including young children with mental health problems in this way. It is very important that they don’t feel pressured into talking about their problems before they are ready, in general but especially in such a setting as this – so I don’t blame the kids at all that they’re not giving her anything! It is her job to make them feel comfortable talking to her about personal issues in a semi-public situation.

          • Ray
            February 8, 2016 at 9:10 am (1 year ago)

            I have a feeling that the children in the video have little to no mental health issues. Any child fragile enough to be in any way traumatized by the experience would not have been considered. By the school or their parents. They wanted children who had the potential to be personable on camera. It is an advertisement, but they still don’t want to hurt anyone.

          • katemiddletonreview
            February 8, 2016 at 1:17 pm (1 year ago)

            @ArtHistorian:

            When I first saw the kids in the video I thought they weren’t going to open up and talk about their problems at all because why would any child want to talk about their problems in a video like this. I was kind of right, since I don’t think they really talked about their problems, rather just saying some generic buzzword-y concepts (which is fine). They may have been outed to the world as “having mental health problems” but they didn’t discuss their problems at all. Also, if they didn’t want to do it and their parents didn’t approve, I doubt they would have been included.

            I agree with you that Kate should have been leading the conversation and she wasn’t.

            @Ray:

            I’m glad I’m not the first one to say it. I hate to pick on the kids, but at the same time I get the feeling that they don’t really suffer too much from mental health issues. I don’t want to discount whatever problems these kids do have, but as you said, anyone who was really emotionally fragile would not have even been asked to be in the video, let alone signed off on. Neither Place2Be or the parents would want to potentially damage the kids who are at risk of being hurt by being open on a stage like this video.

        • mary Elezabeth
          February 9, 2016 at 11:03 am (1 year ago)

          Perhaps, the children could have been coached a bit, but kids will respond with enthusiasm and honesty to people who make them feel comfortable. Obviously, Kate is not comfortable herself in these situations so how could they be?

          It’s hard for young kids to be themselves. They were told that the Duchess was coming and that should have had some built in excitement, but they were probably nervous, too. And, I don’t think she did much to make them feel better.

    • India Andrews
      February 8, 2016 at 2:41 pm (1 year ago)

      Kate sounds like she has marbles rolling in her mouth as she speaks. It is very distracting.

      Audrey Hepburn in “My Fair Lady” speaking with marbles in her mouth to learn upper class elocution springs to mind when I hear Kate speak.

      • India Andrews
        February 9, 2016 at 12:07 am (1 year ago)

        I would watch videos of her family speaking to gain insight on how much Kate has changed her accent.

        I think Kate’s engagement interview had the worst marbles moments. It will be interesting to see her latest interview for the Queen’s documentary.

    • Ali
      February 8, 2016 at 5:36 pm (1 year ago)

      http://youtu.be/_C6hn6FAXuY This video has a sample of Kate’s “natural” speech while she is interacting with the children.

      • Ali
        February 8, 2016 at 6:33 pm (1 year ago)

        Also in this video “the mystery of too many coats” is solved. She walks in with the coat on and leaves without.

      • Ray
        February 8, 2016 at 7:30 pm (1 year ago)

        She has mostly been very natural and at ease when able to chat with children. I do believe she enjoys that part of her visits, when she gets the opportunity.

        • Sunny
          February 9, 2016 at 12:13 am (1 year ago)

          I saw the same thing Ray in 2012 when she’s at the East Anglican charity. But she was fine mixing interacting with the kids and then moving on to adults, whereas now that seems to be difficult for her IMO.

      • G.
        February 9, 2016 at 10:38 am (1 year ago)

        Thanks Ali! This was nice to see. I think this is the most relaxed she has been with children at an event.

        Trying to keep up the fake posh accent must be very distracting for her at this most recent event. Give up the fake stuff Kate! People want to see the authentic Kate. I bet people will like her far better than the ‘put on’ posh princess.

  3. Yorkie
    February 8, 2016 at 12:57 am (1 year ago)

    The high point is that I can’t find fault with her delivery as I don’t know what a fake posh accent is versus the real thing. She tried hard to engage but I also noticed that she has one and only one facial expression throughout the entire video – the knotted eyebrow of concern. Maybe it was just too hard to maintain the posh accent and change one’s facial expressions from time to time.

    The interaction with the kids is a nice touch, but she was not a natural. She definitely did not exude complete confidence, and I saw her fidgeting with her fingers while talking with the kids. The slight discomfort was evident for me.

    The line about her “work with addiction,” I am dying to know how extensive this work truly was. Or was it a phrase that just sounded good so might as well throw it in there for good measure to make her sound credible.

    Last but not least, the 4th picture from the top with Kate and the kids — is that smile forced or what. That smile communicated this bubble thought — Ok, I’m done with this. I’m tired of smiling. Where’s the damn helicopter?

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 2:34 am (1 year ago)

      To me it’s not the accent that bothers me, it’s how quiet and weak her voice is.

      I swear Kate has used that exact “addiction” line in another speech/video message/written message before, but I can’t remember where and couldn’t find it quickly when I went to search my archives. And she’s used that “William and I” line before, too. That whole paragraph, I swear, was copy/pasted from previous speeches/video messages/etc.

      • Elina
        February 8, 2016 at 5:40 am (1 year ago)

        I watched again the recorded video Kate released last year for the same occasion, and made the comparison. First, she has the same sad and concerned face but last year she didn’t look as haggard, maybe because she was pregnant and had some glow on her face (or the light was more flattering). Second, similar lines were picked up like ‘William & I’. Finally, I thought tone of voice was similar.

        On the positive side, this year’s video is more elaborate with much more directing and edititing been done. Kate’s interaction with children gives an animated style, although her body languge is not completely open. Still, she tries with opening her palms, looking interested and echoing some of their answers. But as KMR pointed, she’s not leading the discussion and the children look a bit uncomfortable. I liked the last personal question the boy asked her, though.

        Overall, I found it showing significant progress from the past. Lastly her outfit was an appropriate ‘working’ outfit, although a little serious -due to colour- for a school visit.

        • Lindsey from DC
          February 8, 2016 at 12:07 pm (1 year ago)

          I wonder if she hung out with the children at all off camera before filming. Maybe that would’ve helped build a report so the on-camera interactions wouldn’t be so awkward.

    • Corgi
      February 8, 2016 at 12:34 pm (1 year ago)

      Oh my, that fake posh accent is TERRIBLE! Absolutely cringe worthy at times. It must be exhausting to try and keep it up all the time.

      Haha, I also laughed when she said “my work with addiction.” What work is that, exactly? She’s never really worked in her life, so I think she’s confused as to what that word actually means!

    • India Andrews
      February 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm (1 year ago)

      Listen to Pippa, Carole or Michael speak and you will discover how Kate should sound when she speaks.

      • Lisa S.
        February 8, 2016 at 6:36 pm (1 year ago)

        You are correct, India. That would no doubt be her natural accent, as opposed to the one she forces with all her might for videos and public speaking.

        • Kat
          February 8, 2016 at 10:55 pm (1 year ago)

          I so agree that Kate seems to think she has to sound posh aristocratic. It would be easier and less stressful to speak naturally for giving speeches etc. I don’t get it.

      • ccoop
        February 8, 2016 at 11:40 pm (1 year ago)

        I love Pippa’s voice and accent. It sounds so much better than this fake garbage. You can tell it’s fake because the words are often forced and you don’t really get a full feeling for what she’s saying.

    • Cathy
      February 8, 2016 at 11:17 pm (1 year ago)

      “the knotted eyebrow of concern”

      LOL

      Thanks @Yorkie

  4. Ray
    February 8, 2016 at 1:00 am (1 year ago)

    I did a quick search for pics, and the only light blue coat she’s worn before that looks similar in length and style, has big gold buttons. This one has monochrome buttons, or so appears.
    If I were her, I would wear the newest Christopher Kane every chance I got. Like, till I was blue in the face (haha). And when I want to switch it up, the green coat she wore St. Patrick’s 2014. I have a bit of a coat fetish, forgive me, but when you live where it could potentially snow any given month in the year (and I’ve been witness), it makes perfect sense!

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 2:31 am (1 year ago)

      Apparently the one she’s wearing for the helicopter ride is from Mulberry’s AW 2015 collection. So it’s new and we’ve never seen it in public before.

      Kate has a very impressive coat collection. I wish she’d wear some of her older pieces. She has some great ones.

      • Yorkie
        February 8, 2016 at 10:04 am (1 year ago)

        But it beg the question, does she really need a huge coat collection? And they’re mostly in blue so what’s the point? With few engagements a year, and winter only lasting a couple of months, I can’t imagine that the old coats are worn out.

        • Lindsey from DC
          February 8, 2016 at 12:09 pm (1 year ago)

          +1 her slew of coats is annoying. I get excited when I see her in anything except a long a-line coat at this point 😉

      • India Andrews
        February 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm (1 year ago)

        Yowza. The coat is $990 but I guess you can afford it when Prince Charles is paying your bills.

      • Cathy
        February 8, 2016 at 11:19 pm (1 year ago)

        So it was yet another coat?

        Oh well, I suppose if you have two homes then you will duplicate your clothing?

  5. Candice
    February 8, 2016 at 2:58 am (1 year ago)

    I like this video better than her previous ones b/c its not just her talking to the camera.

  6. yuhkiminamitani
    February 8, 2016 at 3:07 am (1 year ago)

    Oh I agree with you about the crotch clutching. When I saw her doing that I kinda just rolled my eyes and went “Oh Kate.” And her crotch clutching isn’t even just holding her hands in front of her when she’s holding. She’s pressing her fingers whenever she does it and when she’s holding her purses her fingers are straight and flat, like she’s really tense or something. That seems really tiring to do. I also agree with you about her delivery. Slowly, gradually, she’s improving. But her delivery sucks and I’m gonna put that on that stupid accent. I really think if she speaks with her more natural accent, she’ll speak better if not confidently. I got bored listening to her not even half-way to the video and the awkward interaction with the kids didn’t really help. She should take pointers from Tom Hiddleston. He did this video with kids in his Loki costume and it was adorable. Granted she needs to put on some acting. Or better yet just loosen up Kate.
    P.S. Her first appearances of the year excluding the Sandringham one and we’re already inundated with the blue clothes. Sometimes I think the entire Cambridge family just forgot that there are other colors on the color wheel. Or they are so enamored with the engagement ring they just stuck themselves with blue.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:22 pm (1 year ago)

      Didn’t William say his favorite color is blue? I really think Kate wears so much blue because it’s William’s favorite color.

      • Lisa
        February 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm (1 year ago)

        That’s my theory behind the near constant blue as well…to please William. I just want to take Kate by her shoulders, shake her and say Get A Life of Your Own!!!!

      • Sue
        February 8, 2016 at 9:00 pm (1 year ago)

        I have read that William is color blind. Don’t know if it is true or not. Also don’t know much about color blindness. If its true, is it possible that blue is one of the colors that he can truly see?

        • katemiddletonreview
          February 8, 2016 at 9:54 pm (1 year ago)

          If William is colorblind how did he get his pilot’s license?! Shouldn’t that disqualify someone from being a pilot? I know the rules are lax for William but OMG!

          PS. My exclamation points aren’t directed at you but rather at whoever let William be a pilot.

          • Cathy
            February 8, 2016 at 11:21 pm (1 year ago)

            My brother is red green colourblind and he has his private pilot’s licence. I don’t know what the rules are in the US though.

          • Kat
            February 8, 2016 at 11:35 pm (1 year ago)

            My father was color blind. Had to have certain clothing laid out for him as it was only certain colors. And never seemed to affect his professional career. Not sure what the qualifications would be for pilots. It might depend on the level of color blind.

          • My2Pence
            February 9, 2016 at 9:40 am (1 year ago)

            And how did he get in when he cannot fly without glasses? The most often given answers are 1) loopholes because he was already in another branch of the service and 2) he’s Prince William and he wanted to be a helicopter pilot.

        • elfi
          February 8, 2016 at 10:36 pm (1 year ago)

          There is a form of colour blindnes where one is not able to distinguish blue and yellow, but it is not even close as common as red-green colour blindnes, so blue would most likely be colour a colour blind person sees as blue. Colour anyways is something one person sees differently than the next.
          And yes, colour blindnes should be a definite no for a pilot. It can be life or death situation, if the pilot does not see clearly red plane against green terrain. How about if a person in a need of assistance would try to get the attention using a red clothing? Really good trait for a rescue pilot.
          Ok, some colour blind people can distinguish the colours of blindnes and would be able to get the pilots license if the examiner did not know. But I can be wrong about the piloting part, since I am not an expert in a field of piloting nor colour blindnes.

  7. Jen
    February 8, 2016 at 5:08 am (1 year ago)

    The accent is excruciating to listen to; listen for how she mispronounces ‘early’. Does anyone have any audio of her ‘real’ accent? Not necessarily of Kate speaking, but someone whom we know of who does speak with that accent? I’m curious as to the difference between it and the posher-than-posh accent she has now.

    Because the accent is foreign, this might contribute to the stilted nature of the address, along with not having a particularly natural affinity with children, or good voice projection. The kids were probably on their best behaviour. Pity their interactions weren’t filmed separately and very informally, and then interspersed with the straight-to-camera pieces.

    Kate looked fine but yes, I noticed the hand held to the nether regions. I hope she gets regular critique sessions to enable her to know what to do with her hands.

    • Yorkie
      February 8, 2016 at 10:05 am (1 year ago)

      I re-listened to the video and “early” sounded like “oirly.”

      • Jen
        February 8, 2016 at 11:12 am (1 year ago)

        I thought I heard ‘oily’ !!

    • LizB
      February 8, 2016 at 10:08 am (1 year ago)

      Just watch an interview with her sister, Pippa – they come from the same family, went to the same schools, etc, but Pippa obviously speaks with her natural “middle-class” accent.

      Here’s an interview Pippa gave in 2014:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcvoJGZeFiY

      • rhiannon
        February 8, 2016 at 10:23 am (1 year ago)

        I love Pippa’s accent. It sounds so nice. I don’t see a thing wrong with it. I grew up in the Midwest (Indiana) and did not pick up an accent until I moved to the South. I have a lazy tongue at times and will trail off with some of my words. Or, speak as if I am asking questions. However, I know when to be a little lazy with my talking or be more away of enunciation.

        I don’t think that anyone would shame her for her original accent. I think that accents make us unique and special.

        • LizB
          February 8, 2016 at 10:29 am (1 year ago)

          I, too, think Pippa sounds fine! I don’t understand what kind of pressure is on Kate to sound more “posh” – but maybe this is a British culture thing that I don’t know about.

          I grew up in the South (although, on military bases) and when I went up north for college, I quickly neutralized myself because I got tired of the judgements and biases people put on me because of the way I sounded.

          Since living abroad, I’ve totally lost it (also partly being influenced by a different language and the fact that I don’t live or really socialize with Americans much) – but the second I get on the phone with family in Louisiana, or go back for a visit, it comes right back with a vengeance lol My husband complains about not being able to understand me when we are with my family 😉

          Oh, also found a video with James Middleton talking:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AeHH9sN58vk

          • rhiannon
            February 8, 2016 at 10:45 am (1 year ago)

            My family in NYC love to hear me talk. The feeling is mutual. I agree with the bias. When I gave seminars up North, people had some pretty bad ideas of what it means to speak with a Southern accent and my level of education.

          • Jen
            February 8, 2016 at 11:11 am (1 year ago)

            Thanks for hunting out those videos! Both Pippa and James seem to have perfectly fine accents, particularly James, to my Australian ears at least. It must be a dreadful strain on Kate to have to ‘posh up’ every time she opens her mouth, and totally unnecessary. But this started at school, yes? So Kate put pressure on herself to speak as the Rchie Richest girls did in an attempt to be included in their set? Pretty sad.

          • Sunny
            February 8, 2016 at 5:05 pm (1 year ago)

            +1 Jen, right on the nose. Compare this video to Kate in 2012 at St. Andrews, and notice how she makes eye contact, speaks with decent confidence, etc.

        • katemiddletonreview
          February 8, 2016 at 1:24 pm (1 year ago)

          I also find nothing wrong with Pippa’s accent. I think I like it better than Kate’s.

          Rhiannon: You lived in Indiana? I lived in Indiana! I was in Terre Haute.

          • rhiannon
            February 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm (1 year ago)

            Small world! I lived in Evansville!

          • katemiddletonreview
            February 8, 2016 at 1:28 pm (1 year ago)

            I’ve driven through Evansville and know people who moved there for college after high school. Small world. So funny.

          • rhiannon
            February 8, 2016 at 1:31 pm (1 year ago)

            Yes, I graduated from high school there and never looked back, lol.

          • katemiddletonreview
            February 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm (1 year ago)

            Lol. I graduated from high school in Terre Haute and moved to Florida for college.

          • rhiannon
            February 8, 2016 at 2:14 pm (1 year ago)

            Such a small world indeed. I went to college here in Georgia and never left.

          • LoriB
            February 8, 2016 at 3:44 pm (1 year ago)

            I started following your blog a few months ago and love it. It is nice to know there are Hoosiers here 🙂 I am from Pendleton and attended school in Terre Haute and also West Lafayette. I am a California girl now and miss the Hoosier hospitality. Thank you for your wonderful blog and great conversations.

          • ABKM
            February 8, 2016 at 4:23 pm (1 year ago)

            My fiancé went to college in Terre Haute!

          • Lisa
            February 9, 2016 at 8:23 am (1 year ago)

            it’s almost like six degrees of separation…lol I was born in Georgia, Atlanta specifically.

        • jenny
          February 10, 2016 at 10:50 am (1 year ago)

          Maybe, living with Garble Mouth William has added to Kate’s affected accent. Some people really do pick up other people’s accents — especially when in close proximity to them. Still, I do believe Kate did alter her accent to blend in more with her Royal Family. I agree that if she kept the accent of her youth, she’d be more approachable when attending functions — especially, with the kids. And, it would put less of a strain on her.

          When she’s home, screeching at the kids and letting off steam after a “busy” day of engagements, I wonder if her voice sounds so posh?

      • Yorkie
        February 8, 2016 at 10:35 am (1 year ago)

        I’m not a Pippa fan, but I have to commend her for keeping her natural accent than putting on a fake posh accent. And thus, you can see she’s more at ease and relaxed. If Kate dropped the fakeness, I bet her real personality would shine through too, and we may find a more engaging Kate.

        • LizB
          February 8, 2016 at 10:35 am (1 year ago)

          +1

        • Lindsey from DC
          February 8, 2016 at 12:14 pm (1 year ago)

          Completely agree! Do people in the UK frown on this type of accent? I guess in the U.S. most British accents sound “fancy” to us.

          • JL
            February 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm (1 year ago)

            British accents are very diverse – Geordie & Scouse, for eg, are incomparable to Cockney or West Country.

            I was born in Norfolk and was raised & still live in Sussex, so I have the archetypal British accent, as you hear from a BBC newsreader for eg. I don’t even think I have an accent!

            Upper class have a cut glass accent, which is what Kate is trying to achieve, and its different to her natural Home Counties accent which is warmer.

            Because of the range of accents on such a little island, to be honest we don’t attach much sway to them.

            I understand Kate wanting to appear as posh as she can, so she fits in the the Cristal swigging, polo playing set. But for the public? We don’t care.

          • Kimothy
            February 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm (1 year ago)

            JL,
            I just said something similar LOL! Great minds think alike! 😉

          • JL
            February 8, 2016 at 1:14 pm (1 year ago)

            High five, Kimothy! o/*\o

        • G.
          February 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm (1 year ago)

          Agree 100%

        • Kimothy
          February 8, 2016 at 12:40 pm (1 year ago)

          Also agree! Pippa really did sound fairly comfortable when she sat down and spoke with Matt Lauer (ditto regarding James on GMA). Big sister Kate? Always awkward and stilted!

          To those of us from the U.S., ANY British accent sounds fancy but I once learned/heard that there are 15+ types of British accents across the UK and apparently the type of accent you have can show others where you’re from. Similarly, here in the U.S., you can tell if someone is from NY, Boston, a Southern state, etc. after a few sentences (or syllables!).

          • katemiddletonreview
            February 8, 2016 at 1:27 pm (1 year ago)

            “To those of us from the U.S., ANY British accent sounds fancy ”

            Not cockney. Definitely not cockney. No offense to cockney-speaking people.

          • JL
            February 8, 2016 at 1:33 pm (1 year ago)

            My Dad is a cockney, he doesn’t sound posh!! Salt of the earth, though.

          • Lindsey from DC
            February 8, 2016 at 2:35 pm (1 year ago)

            Agreed! I’ve noticed Adele has a cockney accent and it sounds totally different than many other British accents I hear. I’m sure if I spent more time studying the accents, I would notice the differences more.

          • G.
            February 9, 2016 at 10:45 am (1 year ago)

            The Beatles from Liverpool is another famous British accent.

          • jenny
            February 10, 2016 at 10:51 am (1 year ago)

            Cockney accents are great!

        • LizB
          February 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm (1 year ago)

          Oh my goodness, does Prince George resemble Michael Middleton!

          • Kimothy
            February 8, 2016 at 3:06 pm (1 year ago)

            I’ve said that for months!! Both George and Charlotte look more Middleton than Windsor/Spencer!

          • LizB
            February 8, 2016 at 3:49 pm (1 year ago)

            Kimothy, yes, I think Charlotte looks very much like Carole!

          • Yorkie
            February 8, 2016 at 4:13 pm (1 year ago)

            LOL Kimothy, I called that out too before. Peas in a pod.

          • Kimothy
            February 8, 2016 at 6:27 pm (1 year ago)

            Mike, Carole, Pippa and James all have pleasant voices. It’s a bit sad that Kate felt like she had to create that “posh” accent and it’s so obvious that it’s not how she naturally sounds/speaks.

        • ccoop
          February 8, 2016 at 11:49 pm (1 year ago)

          I love their accents! So warm and down to earth, but still posh enough that they don’t sound horrible.

          George does look like Michael. Charlotte looks like a combination of Carole and Countess Strathmore (the Queen Mother’s mother) when she was little.

  8. A
    February 8, 2016 at 5:52 am (1 year ago)

    I think she did a much better job than her other attempts at the video. And honestly, the best moment was in the end when the student claps the end, and she goes “well done”. I feel she was freer in that one second than in the whole video, and if she’d been that way throughout, the video would’ve been even better. But not bad!

    • Sunny
      February 8, 2016 at 7:03 am (1 year ago)

      ➕ 1

  9. rhiannon
    February 8, 2016 at 6:00 am (1 year ago)

    I’m going to try to be more positive than yesterday. First, the production on this video was much better than last year. The kids were adorable. Kate spoke at length. I liked the bracelet interaction at the end. I love that suit. She needs it in all colors. And wear it often. I think this is the best that she has looked. She did look at week bit tired though.

    If you want to talk about a safe place for kids, speak with confidence and authority. She needed to sit up straight and stop that fidgeting. The look of concern was just too much. And the “William and I” comment irked me. She is a woman in her own right.

    She does need to lose the accent. I think that it would help her immensely. Also, they need to stop making her be a princess who is enamored with kids. It’s obvious that she isn’t. The scene at the end with the handshake was awkward. They are kids. Give them a fist bump or high five.

    This was a good start. She just needs to keep practicing. Hopefully, they can get her to do something more physical, like create crafts or something of the sort for more natural interaction. Kate can do better and I hope that she will.

    Great post, KMR!

    • Ray
      February 8, 2016 at 9:28 am (1 year ago)

      She makes “William and I” sound like one word. I know it super nit picky, but that bothers me. As in, we are not likely to forget that you are married to William Wales, occupation prince of the U.K., you do not need to invoke his almighty name every time you speak on important topics. In a less formal interview type setting, please feel free. But making a speech on your own merit, well, you just gave away what little was already there. (imo)

      • rhiannon
        February 8, 2016 at 9:49 am (1 year ago)

        +1

      • India Andrews
        February 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm (1 year ago)

        The “William and I” just highlights what so many people already assume that Kate never developed her identity apart from William. That’s why it grates on nerves like her fake posh accent.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm (1 year ago)

      “If you want to talk about a safe place for kids, speak with confidence and authority.”

      Exactly. You want to make them feel comfortable and safe.

      “Also, they need to stop making her be a princess who is enamored with kids. It’s obvious that she isn’t.”

      Not everyone loves and/or is comfortable around kids, and that’s okay. If Kate isn’t, then she needs to find a cause that allows her to be around adults. And if her staff push her to be the “Princess who loves kids”, then she needs to be strong, stand up for herself, and tell them what it is she wants to do.

      • Lindsey from DC
        February 8, 2016 at 2:37 pm (1 year ago)

        I agree that she should start spending time at more adult patronages. There are, after all, many issues that affect adults. It might be her staff, but it could also be KM herself pushing the “I love kids” narrative. I was hoping that with kids of her own, her interactions with children would improve.

      • Lisa
        February 9, 2016 at 7:58 am (1 year ago)

        I think a lot of that is someone (KP or Carole/Kate) trying to recreate Kate as the new People’s Princess who has a special touch with children as Diana did. It’s just not working for her. I don’t know if it’s just because she’s in public or on camera, but she has never come across as a person who is besotted with kids (like Harry and his mom) and who can’t wait to be around them or talk to them. Personally I love kids and get a kick out of them in nearly any situation, but some people just don’t have that connection and it really shouldn’t be forced upon her. It’s not doing her any favors.

  10. Jen
    February 8, 2016 at 6:09 am (1 year ago)

    If the video had filmed Kate just chatting to the kids while they were all making those bracelets – just let the camera run and edit later – the result would have been more natural. This would have been a great event for Harry. The kids would have relaxed.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:40 pm (1 year ago)

      That would have been a great idea.

    • Kat
      February 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm (1 year ago)

      Harry just seems to be a natural and comfortable in all types of people or children situations. He seems to know at once what to do and how to be. He is so easy to like.

  11. rhiannon
    February 8, 2016 at 6:10 am (1 year ago)

    +1

  12. Ali
    February 8, 2016 at 6:41 am (1 year ago)

    The presentation is heavily staged, rehearsed and edited. She is of course reading it because her eyes are totally out of focus with the “audience”. But I wouldn’t expect otherwise. I had to listen to it two times to get what she is saying because there is so much going on in her facial expressions I couldn’t concentrate on message. She appears so concern like she is about to die for the cause. I know that she is not therefore it is a bad acting. I like the suite she is wearing and I like her hair.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm (1 year ago)

      Lots of people read off a teleprompter or cards when making this type of video. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

      • Ali
        February 8, 2016 at 7:07 pm (1 year ago)

        TelePrompTer is there to help to remember the words. It is up to the speaker to make an effort to incorporate this help without obvious staring at or shifting the focus of the eyes from TelePrompTer to camera and make the speech appear as it’s flowing from the speaker mind.

    • Lindsey from DC
      February 8, 2016 at 2:44 pm (1 year ago)

      Lol, Ali. I just choked on my afternoon coffee at your, “She appears so concern like she is about to die for the cause.” I also noticed the look of grave, grave concern that she had during this whole video. It was very distracting. It looks similar to fake overly concerned expression I give my dog when I’m babying him.

  13. Lisa
    February 8, 2016 at 7:21 am (1 year ago)

    This video was only better because of the kids. It was something more for us to focus on other than Kate. You’re right KMR, she didn’t have a confident, commanding voice. The kids are following her lead so I can’t slight them. I will, however, give grief to the person who directed this. They should have done whatever they could to get Kate and those kids at ease with each other. Kate should have been there way ahead of time (she probably wasn’t there for long before filming started) and spent some time with the kids getting to know them, joking around, making them all relaxed. As it is they are on their very best behavior and looking to her for clues and she is timid so the energy levels aren’t as high as they could be. It would have been great to see the kids making the bracelets with Kate at the table and her voice over explaining everything while they are laughing and talking in the background.

    So I’m going to give her a C for performance, a B for the outfit (but she’s too darned thin) and the director is getting a D from me on this one. Kate just doesn’t know what works. She doesn’t have the experience, someone needs to get past the “Yes, Your Royal Highness” and coach her to make her come off in a better light. And I’m giving the person who is giving her make-up advice for these past two outings an F. If it weren’t for the brows and hair she’d fade into the beige walls of Anmer.

    Honestly, it was incredibly long for me. I applaud trying to change things up but yeesh!

  14. JL
    February 8, 2016 at 8:34 am (1 year ago)

    Well how funny that she inadvertently outed herself and her fake accent at the very end! Her “Well done!” cry to the girl cueing a cut motion was her natural voice – warmer, huskier and noticeably less clipped and wispy.

    Kate, be yourself. We’ll love you for it, warts and all, if you just be yourself. Stop worrying about being “perfect” and just get stuck in.

    I have no criticisms really, certainly none relating to the children involved. It doesn’t sit well with me at all to criticise those little kids, whether you thought they were poorly coached or not.

  15. LJA
    February 8, 2016 at 9:32 am (1 year ago)

    I agree, that Kate is really working on the posh upper claaahhhhss accent. I am sure she may already have a pretty posh accent normally, but she sounded a bit over the top. She pronounced the work cope as kee-yope, the word early as ahhhlee. Made me smile, especially because I am from the Boston area and have a pretty good Boston accent. I do think she did a better job on this video than the one laaaaaahst yahr.

  16. LJA
    February 8, 2016 at 9:36 am (1 year ago)

    In observing the helicopter picture, Kate is definitely growing her hair back, or had extensions put in while it grows out.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:44 pm (1 year ago)

      Yes, it does look like Kate is growing her hair out again. Bummer.

  17. Lindsey from DC
    February 8, 2016 at 9:36 am (1 year ago)

    I will be positive (at first) and say this is a huge improvement over past video messages and speaking engagements. I love this suit, and I liked what she had to say. Her hair looked nice and was out of her face. Kate also attentively listened to the children. I also loved her “well done” moment! William has claimed over and over that she is cheeky and funny, and that doesn’t normally translate, but here it did for a split second. Let yourself be free, girl!

    Now for the critique. Her cadence is awkward. Maybe it’s because of her accent (I don’t know UK accents well enough to know if it’s fake) or maybe it’s because she hasn’t practiced speaking enough. Either way, the pauses are awkwardly placed and distracting. It makes her speech hard to follow. The crotch clutching is way too much. If a man did that, people would be talking about it and it would be even more wildly inappropriate. It’s even worse around children.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:48 pm (1 year ago)

      “or maybe it’s because she hasn’t practiced speaking enough”

      I wonder what accent she uses when she’s at home with William, her kids, her family, etc. When she’s just relaxing. Does she try and keep the posher accent or does she revert to her normal one?

      • Kat
        February 8, 2016 at 1:57 pm (1 year ago)

        I wondered too. What accent at home? Or does she want to teach her children this posh accent although they will be exposed to both or many according to the many dialects discussed. I haven’t noticed William putting on this “air” of accent distinction.

      • Lindsey from DC
        February 8, 2016 at 2:47 pm (1 year ago)

        This would be interesting to know. If her posh accent really is fake and she puts it on at home too, that would certainly be an exhausting existence. Maybe the tired look is from all the accent faking? 😛

        • Lisa
          February 9, 2016 at 8:35 am (1 year ago)

          Lindsay I think it’s not just the accent, she’s faking the life. She’s never lived anything outside of her marriage that wasn’t sponsored by her parents. Now she’s stepped into a world that she’s not naturally a part of and she has to maintain a facade of a royal Duchess, loving wife and mother. I think that if it were left up to Kate her days would revolve around exercise, shopping, a little cooking if she’s in the mood and binge watching her favorite shows with the occasional trip to an island to boost the tan and letting mother take care of all the details.

          Not dealing with a pissy husband, two kids who were part of the “deal”, a house with servants and having to go out and do some kind of work in exchange for that life. She’s never had responsibilities beyond being available for William and she’s faking as fast as she can and the stress of that is showing in her entire being.

          • Jen
            February 9, 2016 at 8:47 am (1 year ago)

            +1

          • Ali
            February 13, 2016 at 8:05 am (1 year ago)

            +1+She is a manipulator and her over concern approach here is part of her game.

  18. G.
    February 8, 2016 at 9:39 am (1 year ago)

    Sometimes I think she is going to slip at any minute. Either slip with the accent or slip saying she learned something in counseling. I wonder what accent Carole and Pippa have and if it has changed since the family became “royal”.

    It is better than last year due to having cute kids added to the video. Kate needs to learn to ask an open ended question and… Stop! Let the child answer the question. She needs to change her area of “work”. Something with sport and nutrition may work better for her. She is so stilted. Something interactive may be better than sitting and chatting with children.

    The helicopter trip is interesting. I don’t know the geography. Can someone from England explain the distance? Was it too far to take a car? It seems the “normal” Cambridge couple like this form of transport over the simple automobile. It seems expensive (and elitist) to fly one person.

    • JL
      February 8, 2016 at 9:49 am (1 year ago)

      It’s a little over two hours from Anmer to London. Well within driving ability, considering she ‘worked’ from 11-1.

      • Lindsey from DC
        February 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm (1 year ago)

        Especially considering that she doesn’t have any public engagements in London again in the near future. It’s not like she was making the trip for one night or something.

      • katemiddletonreview
        February 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm (1 year ago)

        The Queen takes the train.

    • rhiannon
      February 8, 2016 at 9:52 am (1 year ago)

      I have a huge pet peeve about closed ended questions. You only get so far. And, for the love of goodness, let someone finish a sentence, whether it be a child or adult.

    • Ali
      February 8, 2016 at 9:59 am (1 year ago)

      This is what I was thinking, that Place 2 be would benefit more if she donated the money she spent on the helicopter transportation, which is very expensive. Children did much better speaking than she and even they were leading her and coaching. All of this is so sad.

    • Yorkie
      February 8, 2016 at 10:14 am (1 year ago)

      I wonder if the non-open questions came from Kate or the organizers. Nevertheless, if the questions were fed to her, a thinking person would suggest open ended questions to engage the children and keep the conversation flowing more naturally. But we have to keep in mind that with her limited professional exposure and work life experience, we are expecting a lot.

    • LizB
      February 8, 2016 at 10:15 am (1 year ago)

      I posted a link upthread to an interview Pippa gave 2 years ago – I think she sounds much more natural than Kate.

  19. Lauri from Ca
    February 8, 2016 at 10:19 am (1 year ago)

    I will say that this was a solid effort by the Duchess and much better than her previous efforts. I have heard over the years how funny she is, easy to talk too and puts others at ease, I wish we could have seen more of that in this video but perhaps over time her own personality will start to show through.

    I have to say her posture during the talking to the camera time is much improved from her earlier videos but much poorer when talking with the children. My goodness those kids has better posture in their seats than Kate did. Also, the touching of her nether region needs to stop now, not only does it make her look stilted and uneasy but ewww!

    Is it just me or has Kate’s eyebrows gotten bushier?? I noticed it yesterday but didn’t mention it, has she gotten a bit heavy handed with the eyebrow pencil? Of maybe she just had them dyed, I know mine look super bushy after they’ve been dyed.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:55 pm (1 year ago)

      We keep hearing all these things about Kate’s personality, but unless she shows it to us then there is nothing we can do. She needs to show us her personality. Any personality. Because right now she is completely sterile in terms of personality.

      There was an article in the DM about how Kate’s brows are thicker now than a year ago. So you’re not the only one who noticed that.

      • mary Elezabeth
        February 9, 2016 at 11:09 am (1 year ago)

        The one time that I remember her showing any kind of personality was when she was wrapping Christmas presents in Harlem and the woman overseeing her appearance asked her to speed up the wrapping. Kate rolled her eyes in a fun way. She really seemed so normal and fun at that moment. Like a real person.

    • LJA
      February 8, 2016 at 2:01 pm (1 year ago)

      I agree, the position of her left hand……it is really stuck right on her royal nether region. Good thing she is shaking hands using her right hand. I know a lot of royals put their hands or one hand behind their back which looks weird, but way more hygienic.

  20. Yorkie
    February 8, 2016 at 10:49 am (1 year ago)

    According to a theatre critic article I read a few years ago, you can distinguish the “newbies” (mostly Hollywood actors with no live stage experience) performing on live theatre because they don’t know what to do with their hands. I think Kate’s crotch-clutching may be a nervous reaction to a situation where she’s not in her element.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:56 pm (1 year ago)

      Yes, I’ve said for a while that I think her crotch clutching is from nervousness. She is nervous and out of her element and so is closing off her body as much as possible.

      • G.
        February 9, 2016 at 11:08 am (1 year ago)

        Note on the video of Michael and Carole Middleton making a statement on the engagement of W&K, Carole walks with her hands clasped in front of her crotch and she has the same shoulder roll.

  21. Shelby
    February 8, 2016 at 11:15 am (1 year ago)

    I’m starting to wonder how much of this is because of what the “expectations” were for Kate before she joined the Firm (implicit or explicit). For example – the accent. Maybe someone told her that they “heard” that someone higher up wanted to make sure she sounded eloquent when she spoke. Perhaps what sounds stiff or rehearsed via social media or videos sounds as desired by an aide who has been around for decades. I have always thought this about the hand placement – something like “always hold your hands in front of your body” – especially as William does it too. Maybe the point of that was to make sure here hands weren’t awkward in photos, but again, comes off strange in less formal vidoes and photos of the instragram age. Kate could hate all of these things but feel the pressure to keep them up – who knows what kind of ongoing feedback she gets.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 1:58 pm (1 year ago)

      The thing is, William only does the “hands by the crotch” pose when posing for photos. He does not do it when walking or shaking someone’s hand. If Kate only crotch clutched when posing for photos, I wouldn’t care or even notice. The problem is when she does it while walking and shaking people’s hands. Then it becomes awkward and unnatural.

      • Lauri from Ca
        February 8, 2016 at 2:46 pm (1 year ago)

        If you notice her hand never seems to leave that area. What is she afraid will escape from down there?

        • Yorkie
          February 8, 2016 at 4:19 pm (1 year ago)

          I’m crying laughing. You don’t want to know the image I have in mind!

      • Shelby
        February 8, 2016 at 3:34 pm (1 year ago)

        Fair point, KMR. Although I think William couldn’t care less if he ruffles feather. Kate still does. But it is awkward and makes her come off a little cold, which is a shame.

  22. Em
    February 8, 2016 at 11:34 am (1 year ago)

    Wow, this video message is depressing! What’s with the music? I don’t really think they should have used an audio track, it distracts from what she is saying…unless they did that on purpose… She did start off rather meek and her interaction with the kids was quite stilted – just what I expected after I saw them stand up to greet her and shake her hand – at least she seemed to grow sure of herself as the message went on.

  23. Kat
    February 8, 2016 at 12:33 pm (1 year ago)

    I have enjoyed the accent discussions. I was glad to see the Pippa and James voice comparsons were made as it becomes obvious that Kate has changed her accent. I had been thinking that Mother Carole does have a confident speaking voice for she has been the main back bone of this family. Michael though no doubt is soft spoken and easy going no doubt makes his point known when necessary. Kate possibly takes after him in being soft spoken. She did come across that way in the engagement interview without a posh accent if I recall correctly. As noted Kate is not speaking naturally which causes her problems in a confident speaking ability coupled with the acting concerned which no doubt she is but it is not natural. She does not come across feeling comfortable even though trying her best. She has been improving. We have seen George as a fearless comfortable confident little guy so I am sure the princples she set forth in her speech are lived within their private home life.

  24. Fiona
    February 8, 2016 at 12:44 pm (1 year ago)

    In Reiki, your crotch or rise position holes a lot of emotional baggage.
    She has so much emotional baggage, she is the one that needs, Place 2 be.
    I hope by doing this charity, she can find some peace

  25. Red Tulip
    February 8, 2016 at 1:51 pm (1 year ago)

    Hello Everyone,

    Long time lurker but first time commenter! I stumbled across this blog during a Google search because like many of you, I was left unimpressed with Kate Middleton: a woman who has unearned wealth, privilege and adulation, even though she displays no discernable talent, intelligence, compassion, personality or even an astonishing physical beauty! I have learned a lot from all of you about Royalty, the history, other Royal houses (far more impressive) and the Jewels (my favourite part).

    I know that as the public we should encourage a public figure like Kate to better herself and not to rip her apart. That being said, I find it harder and harder to excuse this big level of failure and lack of personality in a woman in her mid-30’s! She had all the time and the wealth and social privilege in the world to hone her skills, find her passion, expose her talents and contribute to society: SHE chose to not do any of that. She squandered the years of unearned public adulation and goodwill that she and William had, when they had first married- again by choosing to do nothing.

    She only decides to do a little something after 5 years of marriage- my suspicion is that someone in the senior Royal circle gave her a huge talking to- possibly the Queen’s office. I do not think that QEII has successfully reigned for 60+ years, without keeping a finger on the pulse of public opinion. The Queen or her office would be the best people to let Kate know that Kate and William are widely reviled now, the tide of public opinion has turned against them.

    I think that Kate now has a huge uphill battle to change the public perception of her. If William and her and their staff had been smart, they would have struck while the iron was hot and worked their butts off to take advantage of the momentum that mass public adoration had bought them, during their newly-wed years.

    I respect everyone’s opinions here. I personally think that this performance show by Kate at Place2Be should only get a D-: only reason that I am not giving a fail grade is because she showed up and is wearing a nice, work appropriate outfit. Other than that, this is a terrible performance for a woman in her mid-30’s and a mother who supposedly spends a lot of time with her kids, but is awkward and ill-at ease around children! If you or me had given such abysmal performance at our respective jobs year after year, with many opportunities to improve, I think we would have been fired and facing the prospect of long-term unemployment.

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 2:06 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Red Tulip, welcome!

      I very much agree with you that if any “normal” person at any “normal” job were to be as bad at that job as Kate has been at being a royal, they would have been fired a *long* time ago.

      • Lindsey from DC
        February 8, 2016 at 2:53 pm (1 year ago)

        Sometimes I wonder if it’s just that she herself doesn’t want to do more engagements (as we all suspect) or if she’s so bad at them that KP is trying to hide her away….

    • LJA
      February 8, 2016 at 2:20 pm (1 year ago)

      Great observations! I do not think K & W will never be naturals when interacting with the public, as they both lack warmth and spontaneity, but they could be coached to do better. I agree, if Kate were in the business world and had to speak in front of a group of clients she would come across as very nervous and stilted, the impression taken away by the listeners would be that she is not very intelligent.. Maybe she thought she could avoid that by marrying into the royal family and never having to work at a real job, although if she really thought that as wife to the next king, then she certainly was in a fantasy world. She mentioned in the engagement interview how she admired Diana with her commitments to various causes but she herself obviously has no desire to really develop any interests in anything, outside of her family. I think all these patronages have been forced on her so she looks like she cares about kids and not of her own choice. Kate may have been better off marrying some British multi-millionaire as rich as or richer than William and having the kids and the life of a well heeled young matron.

      • rhiannon
        February 8, 2016 at 2:24 pm (1 year ago)

        I agree. Diana’s first speeches were horrible. But, she worked on it. She had the best coaches to help her get better. She even had Sir Attenborough! Kate has accesses to the resources who can help her.

      • Lindsey from DC
        February 8, 2016 at 2:54 pm (1 year ago)

        I agree that they both lack warmth and spontaneity, which is all the more reason that they shouldn’t be taking on patronages that involve children. Leave that up to the naturals like Harry and the Countess of Wessex! IMO Kate would look much better if she stuck to sports or arts charities that don’t involve such sensitive issues or children.

    • RunawaySnarker
      February 8, 2016 at 3:01 pm (1 year ago)

      Red Tulip
      Hi!
      And hmm… Lot to think over.
      I think the engagement interview was digging a hole. Kate was not prepared at all, but all that was said was the opposite.
      As far as striking hot irons my thoughts…
      Honeymoon time had built in vacations and events. Easing them into the press with what people wanted to see. Them holding hands and looking in love. Not seperated doing solo events over somber circumstances. Not like what Diana was tossed into.
      Then HM’s Diamond Jubilee came and that pretty much took over a lot of things.
      Sure Kate and William could have done more, but they were still riding the adjustment period, military wife, assembling staff, etc… stuff.

      IMO things crumbled when 2 things happened. The Middletons were in the press for every little thing and had many stories of taking advantage of royal family perks like they were royal and not inlaws. Perks that come from tax payers pockets.
      And when Kate was found to have much time to do anything, but visit a charity. Remember that fishing community I think started with a G? They were hit hard by the economy. Kate showed up overdressed, late and by helicopter while people waited in the rain for her. She bipassed many citizens and went indoors to a private meeting. The visit might have been under an hour total.
      It was there people started to question her so much Palace PR actually had to address Kate was not being punished with that event because she wouldn’t work on her own.
      No one believed she would willingly work or care about people waiting in the rain for her. People who lived in an area that had to choose between heating their homes and eating.

      She had plenty of time to strike that iron. That iron was smoldering for 3 years.

      I’m with you on the clothes. She showed up and she came dressed appropriately. Because this deserves some praise as we know she’s not actually capable of dressing herself correctly. That’s sad.

    • Sunny
      February 8, 2016 at 5:16 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Red Tulip,

      I’m all about positive, and I would have given Kate a higher mark because she’s doing what has been asked–visiting patronages–not waiting until Oct/Nov to do it–spending more than an hour–making a speech–no fly ups, but still… it’s hard because this is ridiculous for a woman who spent around ten years seeing what the position entailed, and is college-educated from a place not known to give away degrees. Then I did what I should have probably done a long time ago and looked for Kate on YouTube, only to find that she is a capable speaker, and gave a creditable speech at St. Andrews back in 2012. She wasn’t working the accent so it explains why she doesn’t want to do things without a production team that can cut and restart. But it compounds the false facade. That’s the last thing I was hoping for with her. One thing I can say, I think this year is a make-or-break for her and Will.

    • Lisa
      February 9, 2016 at 8:02 am (1 year ago)

      I completely agree with you about Kate not having a job in the real world if these past years were her job performance. She’d also have a hard time finding work with her sporadic work record.

    • G.
      February 9, 2016 at 11:13 am (1 year ago)

      Red Tulip, you have said everything I have felt for the last couple of years. Only you said it better. Welcome!

    • Constance
      February 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Thank you, elfi – fascinating article. The clips are wonderful.

    • Elina
      February 9, 2016 at 2:16 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Elfi and welcome. I really enjoyed the article and the videos, very informative, thank you.

  26. RunawaySnarker
    February 8, 2016 at 2:45 pm (1 year ago)

    My take on this.
    Kate looks tired always. This is more as i’ve said before that we’re expecting a more lively image. Pretty much the only image we’ve seen of her is a touched up image. Video makes that harder to accomplish so it shines through.

    I work with mothers for both my jobs and as a result their little kids accompany them. It takes time for many and myself to get comfortable with random kids. If you don’t make a genuine effort they give you nothing. And that can be very difficult because each child responds differently.
    Overall, I got the impression there wasn’t much meet/greet/soothing nerves between Kate and the kids so they and she appeared that way.

    Something else.
    Nothing too natural. Nothing too comfortable. At least it’s something. Although, i’m no fan of the line she’s proud to be their patron. They were rumored to be 1 of the charities looking to drop her as she was cancelling on them last minute messing up their schedules and costing them money. Since this they’ve taken on at least 1 other high profile patron.
    Since Jason has made their press more social media based I’ve expected more tweets like celebs do to promote causes and awareness. we all know it’s the assistants tweeting and posting, but it’s still good. KP PR can’t even handle a weekly mentioning of a patronage promotion. If it’s not to praise Kate directly it’s not worth the 140 characters.
    Could Jason be a sleeper for the Republicans? Because his hold of their PR is shambles.
    I’m ranty lately.

    • Yorkie
      February 8, 2016 at 4:27 pm (1 year ago)

      Wow, I didn’t know the organization considered dropping her. What does that tell you about her purported ‘passion and work.’ It’s a sham.

    • India Andrews
      February 8, 2016 at 4:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Jason is an American so I would hope he doesn’t support monarchies. He probably is dealing with a culture he doesn’t understand so it seems so stilted and out of step with what people in the UK want to see.

      • BamaLynn
        February 8, 2016 at 6:12 pm (1 year ago)

        I’ve never understood why Jason as an American is in the job. He may be a great person and a gifted PR guru, but it would seem to me that only a British person could truly understand the British culture and what PR works best for the British public.

      • RunawaySnarker
        February 8, 2016 at 11:16 pm (1 year ago)

        American that studied abroad and has spent most of his career at high level crisis management incidents.
        I’m a us citizen, but would consider myself a republican in terms of UK.

        That said there’s something off about Jason. He has excellent credentials. That he takes this job and appears to be fumbling so often leads my mind to 1 major point. This isn’t his work. He’s doing his best while taking orders from William.

        I think of it very much like this. Hitler in WW2 had some truly genius generals. Masters of strategy. They got to their positions from success. Hitler, however kept dictating orders to them they knew were stupid, but they had to carry those out.
        Jason knows how to deal in this. Either he’s messing up on purpose or William/Kate/someone near them is making his job very difficult somehow.

        • Jen
          February 9, 2016 at 2:19 am (1 year ago)

          I would say that Jason has difficult clients! One of my old bosses (from New York) had a great saying when faced with clients who wanted to call the shots: “No point having a dog if you want to bark yourself.”
          If W+K employ a professional – a crisis management specialist no less – then they need to swallow their egos and let him do the job. However, consider that Jason may not be a guru at all, just over-hyped himself!

          • RunawaySnarker
            February 9, 2016 at 10:20 am (1 year ago)

            Jen
            To a point I wonder this.
            Jason came in for his 1st few initial meetings with WK on how to move forward with him at the helm.
            He gave them an outline and they approved. However, part of this is on WK. They can have things claimed in their names without their followthrough. Especially when they exist so openly as having free time for much, but never for work. They counter and undo all of his work.

            And I think he should have been more prepared for that. Clearly it was known they would avoid and cancel events frequently so Jason should have changed his methods. More PSAs. More typed out letters. More social media tweets.
            Things that don’t actually involve Kate and William taking more than an hour out of their weeks.

            And I wish your boss talked to 1 of my old bosses. That can be frustrating!

          • Sunny
            February 10, 2016 at 11:23 am (1 year ago)

            Hi Jen,

            I think Jason is way over-rated (not even really sure if he is, and why , other than heading media at RBS). To the last point, I looked up the RBS again and its clear that his media handling skills suck. When he headed PR and RBS was offering almost a million pounds to CEO Hester, it came after the media got hold of it. Anyone will a brain would know the media were sniffing all over to find out if RBS was going to hand out gold tickets to the top while the poor were getting a shake and sure enough, there it was. Jason’s specialty is not seeing anything coming. He tries to redirect after a fire is started but he’s shown no ability to get ahead of a story, either at RBS or for the former NZ PM. He sucks. He was picked because he’s a young 30 so an age contemporary of W&K who want a friend group that they feel comfortable yet superior to. PC signed off because he’s not interested in helping Will’s media-response be positive–rather, PC would like it at quiet simmer while he (PC) is the focus. Will doesn’t want to take away from his dad, and is too whiney to see that he’s looking like a fool, not a grown man.

        • Lisa
          February 9, 2016 at 9:03 am (1 year ago)

          I agree Runaway, Jason is working with his hands tied (at least one of them) by a difficult client. I’m calling it William because Kate just follows his lead. He could have completely turned around their image in the time he’s been there if they had done half of what he’s probably suggested. He’s definitely fighting a losing battle.

          • RunawaySnarker
            February 9, 2016 at 10:25 am (1 year ago)

            Funny thing is I can’t think of the last time public figures got such a clean slate with huge amounts of public goodwill. If they only stayed consistent at least with 6 events per month. 3 patron visits to each charity a year. So much would have been easier.
            Considering the staff, no financial stressors, and ability to get in touch with any cause it’s shameful. Jason can’t dress up those facts.

          • Jen
            February 10, 2016 at 11:01 am (1 year ago)

            Runaway
            Thanks for filling in the details re. Jason. It would be incredibly hard to call them out when they go off-script… lack of discipline and resolve on W+K’s part. You are right; he should design PR that does not need them to be present in the moment but can be done by others in W+K’s names. No point if W+K cancel out, or can’t/won’t deliver what has been promised. Very hard job.

  27. Lauri from Ca
    February 8, 2016 at 2:58 pm (1 year ago)

    It appears that the DM has not covered this message, I was expecting to see it all over the front page but nope.

  28. Jen
    February 8, 2016 at 3:04 pm (1 year ago)

    Thanks Elfi! And welcome. A really informative article, particularly about the Queen’s accent slippage. I thought I had detected that Harry and William’s accents had changed in certain situations; now we know it’s ‘Estuary English’. Interesting observation about those from lowlier backgrounds compensating with RP. Many thanks for sharing.

  29. ABKM
    February 8, 2016 at 4:45 pm (1 year ago)

    Time Inc. blocked the video on YouTube on copyright grounds! Oops. Someone should have gotten permission before using materials under copyright…

    • katemiddletonreview
      February 8, 2016 at 4:49 pm (1 year ago)

      Does Place2Be not own the copyright on their own videos that they produced? What in the video could have possibly been copyrighted to Time Inc?

      • ABKM
        February 8, 2016 at 5:12 pm (1 year ago)

        I didn’t get to see it before it was pulled, but someone upthread mentioned that there was a music track. Although Place2Be would hold the copyright on this particular video, any musical additions for which Time owns the rights would be grounds for the company to file a takedown notice.

        EDIT: It seems to be back now.

  30. Mri
    February 8, 2016 at 6:09 pm (1 year ago)

    Things like this confirm what I think of Kate.

  31. Kimothy
    February 8, 2016 at 6:41 pm (1 year ago)

    Okay so I finally got to watch the video (YAY!)

    1.) I promise, this isn’t meant to be mean but her skin looks like leather! Completely worn out and exhausted. It makes me wonder: if her outside looks this tired, how does her inside appear? Is she healthy on the inside? Not just physically but emotionally and I’m not being sarcastic when I say that.

    2.) The kids were a nice touch but, like others have said, it looked very forced and the editing is poor.

    3.) At 2:45 on her right (our left) a boy asked her if Place2Be was around when she was young and if it wasn’t, would she dream of something like it? Her response really struck me. She does a quick pause and responds with “I would’ve loved to have had it.” [quick, sloppy edit then] “I think everyone would really benefit from having something like Place2Be and being able to talk” That quick sloppy edit, then additional sentence (when she was obviously being cut off from her original response to the questions) *really* jumped out at me and caused me to raise an eyebrow.

    4.) The editing is poor in general.

    5.) Pluses? I like the outfit in general. It’s good for royal work and blue is a good color on her.

    That’s all!

  32. FuMama
    February 8, 2016 at 7:10 pm (1 year ago)

    I have a few positives to say about Katie-Dear. She did a correct job using the term resilience, and her speech did address a few theories in laymans terns. If she did not write her speech, someone on her team has done some reading. She also did a good job describing the function of protective factors and other things that support the development of resilience in people. I can speak to this because I have done research…. my Phd Dissertation was on resilence (leadership PHD). So.. someone in her camp kinda gets it.

    Secondly, to address children with mental health issues on the video. Many different MH(mental health) Diagnoses do not necessarily impact how a kiddo would present on a video. the students would have been picked for their suitability for the task. Some diagnoses would actually make a kiddos more ‘cute’ and ‘precocious’ on the video. Not trying to start anything.. I have worked in Children’s MH and in special education for ….. decades.

    so.. not to bad from a research perspective Katie.. and nice posture leaving the helicopter.
    She needs to carry a large tote bag on her events.

  33. Red Tulip
    February 8, 2016 at 10:55 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank You for the welcome! And also Thank You Elfie for posting that fantastic article. As a lover of languages and linguistic history (studied it in university years ago and have been interested ever since), I find it interesting the political, economic and social forces that cause accents to change or develop over time.

  34. Red Tulip
    February 8, 2016 at 10:58 pm (1 year ago)

    I would like to add that as someone who has worked as a teaching assistant, it takes time for school aged children (hey even older kids) to get to you know you and like you. This video with Kate talking to the kids, is a nice touch. But it would have been a lot better had Kate gone in to this school a few days ahead of time and been there everyday, hanging out and building rapport with the kids, before shooting this video. The interaction probably would’ve come across as more natural and the kids and Kate would probably have looked more comfortable. This advance prep (maybe a few hours everyday for a week) would also have shown Kate’s dedication towards her “cause” and get the job done right.

    • mary elizabeth
      February 9, 2016 at 11:14 am (1 year ago)

      Welcome, Red Tulip. I like your suggestion of Kate going earlier and trying to get to know the kids, but in Kate World, I doubt that would/could ever happen. One visit is more than enough! I wish she had such dedication to one of her favorite causes, though.

  35. Charlotte
    February 9, 2016 at 3:39 am (1 year ago)

    My few thoughts:

    1) so did Kate change clothes IN THE HELICOPTER on the flight back home?! Why in the world would she do that…. and how????? Am I mistaken that the helicopter was the same day after the RAF appearance?

    2). Must she invoke William’s name even when she is making a solo video for an charity that belongs to her only? It just reiterates to me that she has no identity of her own outside of him.

    3). Maybe I’m in the minority, but I like her bushy overgrown eyebrows. Mine used to be like that before years of over-tweeting and over-waxing. I like the look and wish mine were thicker these days.

    • JL
      February 9, 2016 at 3:54 am (1 year ago)

      Kate went back to KP,changed there then got in the helicopter to return to Norfolk.

      • Charlotte
        February 10, 2016 at 10:50 pm (1 year ago)

        I guess my point is, why did she need to change clothes at all. Just proves she has way too many blue coats.

  36. Marion Cole
    February 9, 2016 at 11:35 am (1 year ago)

    As I understand it, the entire purpose of Catherine making this video, was to promote awareness of the difficulties mental illness can cause young people and the lack of resources to all young people. The message was aimed at the average person in Britain. In that respect, she did a great job because I doubt if the average person on the street really worries about her eyeliner, where she places her hands while talking, her accent, etc. etc. etc. I think the video was well done and served the purpose it was made for.

  37. charlston
    February 10, 2016 at 12:17 am (1 year ago)

    I am glad she gave it a go. I too think her face looks stressed. It reminds me of someone who doesn’t eat properly and is somewhat dehydrated. I have to say I think more of her now that she put herself out there for those children. I don’t think she has had the right kind of support, within her family, as she was growing up as she always seems like that child who was not invited to many parties regardless of how well off her family was. Her eyes seem to me to show a sad woman who feels a tad trapped and lonely.
    Thankyou for the video and commentary. I agree with your observations regarding crotch clutching. Its almost a nervous tick. I wish she had the benefit of someone who could show her different ways to hold herself.

  38. Jamel
    February 10, 2016 at 4:31 am (1 year ago)

    I don’t know WHY she makes those facial expressions (showing “pain” for the children). It’s very forced. She shoud only stay calm, serene and make the speech, and give up that accent FOREVER.