Kate Middleton ‘it’s fine to be shy’; Sophie Countess of Wessex starts bike challenge (updated)

Kate Middleton ‘it’s fine to be shy’; Sophie Countess of Wessex starts bike challenge (updated)

I have a bit of clean up on a Kate Middleton quote from Friday, and then the rest of the post is the start of Sophie Countess of Weesex‘s DofE Award Diamond Challenge. I’ll be covering the Swedes tomorrow.

UPDATE: Prince William really wants you to know he’s such a Normal Bloke with his air ambulance job. But I’m too tired to make it it’s own post so I’m tacking it on to the end of this one.

[Place2Be Facebook]

On Sunday, I quoted People magazine quoting Kate during a group discussion with parents of kids at Stewards Academy, and I kind of called her out a bit on the quote, and I know others called her out on the quote as well. Well, the Heads Together Twitter account produced a video of the group discussion in which you can hear Kate speak.

People quoted Kate as saying: “It’s all about standing up there and being super-confident, being super sociable…” To which I said “I’d really love to know what the ‘it’ is in that sentence and what People cut out with the ellipses.” Well, here’s the full quote from the Heads Together video:

    “That’s what the vision is for everyone to stand up there and be super confident and be super sociable and have loads of friends, when actually it’s fine to be shy, it’s fine, you know, it’s accepting these things.”

So People misquoted her and misrepresented her by cutting out the entire point of her sentence: that it’s okay to be shy.

The reason I’m bringing this up is basically to apologize to Kate. I was working with limited knowledge and made a judgement based on what I knew, but she actually gave a nice quote there. It’s totally acceptable to be shy if that’s what you want to be. The point is to be who you want to be, and if you want to be shy then there is nothing wrong with that. The only nitpick I have is that she should probably have said it to the kids, rather than the parents, but that’s a nitpick.

The quote begins at 1:50.

Sophie started her DofE Award Diamond Challenge yesterday, September 19. She began at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh being waved off by her husband, Prince Edward, and father-in-law, Prince Philip.

Prior to the start, Sophie gave an interview with Sky News (there’s a video, too):

    How she’s feeling: “Nervous, very nervous. Quite terrified.”
    How’s the training been going: “It’s been going quite well. Fingers crossed that the training, they keep assuring me that the training is the hardest bit and that I’m now really ready to go. So I’m hoping that really was the hardest bit. But I’m in Scotland and there are quite a lot of hills between me and the south.”
    Why she took on this challenge: “No. I hadn’t ever been on a road bike before. Well I was asked to take on a challenge in support of the Diamond appeal for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. And why cycling, that’s a very good question; it was part of another idea that I came up with which was going from Scotland down to the south but I wanted to involve kayaking and walking and sailing as well but it got very complicated so I thought keep it simple and decided cycling was probably the best thing to do.”
    The training hasn’t been smooth: “There have been a few thrills and spills, not just by me I hasten to add. The first one was within ten feet of the car when I put cleats on for the first time and they came straight off again because you realize you can’t move your feet out of the pedals. But yes we’ve met with the wrong end of a plank as well and there’s been various corners where one or the other of us have not been able to uncleat in time and have ended up in hedges or unfortunately down on the road and that’s where it really hurts.”
    Prince Philip’s response to her challenge: “‘You’re mad’ was probably his first response. Since then we have spent time up in Scotland on holiday with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh and they watched me out there every day. I think he is pleased I am supporting his charity. They know why I am doing it but (I’m) probably slightly mad as well, it helps.”

Sophie has written a blog about the first day of her challenge:

    “After a wonderful send off from Holyroodhouse this morning, with my husband, Father-in-law and inspirational DofE young leaders to wave us off, we headed out of Edinburgh under clear blue skies. Having never experienced any problems with the bikes before, of course Rachel and I both suffered chain malfunctions within 30 minutes of departure. Fortunately it happened some way into the ride and not in public view – without a chain you can still peddle but you won’t get very far!
    “The villages soon started to fly past and after two hours and 25 miles it was time for our first pit stop in the town of Lauder. Quite what they thought of a group of people in brightly coloured Lycra descending on the place and eating them out of cake I don’t know but they were very welcoming!
    “Cake is proving a theme for the day after one of the DofE young leaders from this morning, a Gold Award holder with great experience of expeditions, told me how her Aunt’s fruit and coconut cake had kept her going. Unbeknown to us she had also delivered some to the DofE to pass on, so much of the day was spent sampling this very delicious recipe (thank you Auntie!).
    “Our next stop was in the historic town of Jedburgh where we had a few moments to look at the ruined Abbey and stop for lunch (in a very salubrious car park!). Before long we were back on the road and it was time to head up the hill that marks the border into England, posing for some pictures on the way. The hills have actually been a pleasant surprise (so far). I had built them up in my head into walls of doom but they have not been nearly as brutal as I had imagined. Long may that continue!
    “After over five hours cycling I noticed my energy was starting to dip. Looking down I realised we had cycled over 70 miles and were thankfully not far from home for the night. It’s been a great day and I’ve really enjoyed it. We’ve had good fun, keeping each other going up the hills and on the long roads, Rachel has even offered to sing, but thankfully we haven’t had to resort to that…yet! Roll on tomorrow!”


Sophie’s Just Giving page is here – she’s up to £104,804 as of time of posting.

Considering how few people cared about Sophie’s writing about her training, and how many other royal things I want to cover before William and Kate’s tour starts on Saturday, I probably will only cover Sophie’s challenge again once she completes it. Until then, here are some more photos from Day 1 of her challenge, including a photo of her and Edward with a goodbye smooch.


Pay attention to Prince William, you guys. He works super hard at his air ambulance job and he just wants you to know how hard he works. But don’t call him Prince William – he’s just William Wales, Normal Bloke.

William has done a thing with the BBC Future project to promote East Anglian Air Ambulance and National Air Ambulance Week 2016. William and his EAAA comrades have given an interview to the BBC about their job.

You can view all the photos and videos at the BBC Future’s interactive gallery. I’m too tired and unwilling to transcribe all of what he says, but I transcribed him talking about how his air ambulance job is rewarding in ways that his royal job is not.

    “It’s rewarding when I come here to do this job and I really look forward to coming here every day, whether it’s five thirty or going to bed at two in the morning, the shift work is still exciting and it’s challenging for the variety more than anything. And the fact that I love working in a team. And that’s something that my other job doesn’t necessarily do, I’m sort of, you know, you’re more out there on your own a little bit, but I very much enjoy working with the likes of James and the team and it’s good fun.”

[BBC screengrab]

123 thoughts on “Kate Middleton ‘it’s fine to be shy’; Sophie Countess of Wessex starts bike challenge (updated)

  1. Thanks for the post KMR.
    Firstly, typical People magazine for misquoting Kate. If they can’t even get her name right then I’m not surprised they misquote as well?

    And Sophie? I did mean to write more on that post. I think Sophie has made a very good point – she’s at a certain point in her life and could be comfortable doing what she is doing but she has taken on board this challenge and I think “Good for her!”
    Which has led me to doing the same, I’m not riding a bike from Scotland to London but what I do want to do is to take on a challenge I had thought was in the too hard basket and complete it. So, KMR, you writing about Sophie and her DoE challenge has motivated me too.
    Thank you.

    1. Rooting for you Cathy! Wouldn’t it be great if people everywhere posted on Sophie’s twitter (does she have one?) about their own challenge she has inspired? I think she would be very touched.

    2. Cathy, good for you! I wish you success in your endeavor. It’s important for each person to get out of the “comfort zone.” Sophie has inspired you and you inspire us! Best wishes!

      1. Good luck Cathy! Wishing you all the best for the upcoming challenge and hope you will have a great time!

        And also like sunnys idea to use Social Media (not sure if you use it or if Sophie does) to let her know that she inspired you… and maybe that also inspires others!

  2. I totally care about Sophie’s work! I’m so pleased to see she’s doing well with this and has raised that much money. It’s great. The DoE scheme seems like a really wonderful thing for people, I wish I’d known about it when I was younger.

    Kate’s quote still makes very little sense to me but it’s not as if she is known for being articulate. I can barely understand her, though, so kudos KMR! Haha.

    1. I don’t think Kate is very articulate, but I do understand what she’s going for (I think). She’s trying to say that people think the ideal is for people to be super confident and super sociable and have a ton of friends, but some people are introverts, some people are shy, and that’s alright as long as you accept yourself.

      1. I interpreted her words that way, too, and it’s absolutely true that people should be respected the way they are. But I hope she’d have said that to the kids as I can imagine what she said is no news to parents. Some of them have certainly told it their kids over and over again, but coming from Kate those words could have given confidence to some kids.

      2. Ahh, I see. I was hoping that’s what she meant but it’s so garbled and confusing part of me thought that to her it wasn’t okay, because shy doesn’t equate to you having friends, being sociable, etc; which is a myth I see peddled a lot! (I don’t buy that, obviously. Haha. Just a clarification.)

        I’m always surprised how inarticulate she is if she, like Grace, supposedly knows so much and is so educated and knowledgeable and intelligent. They say these things, so the general public believes it wholeheartedly; but there is no evidence.

        1. Is it just me but I can’t understand Kate “at all!!!!” When she’s talking it’s more like rambling, searching for words. And all the arms and hands flying around is very distracting. I’ve really tried to listen when she’s speaking even I put on my headphones still can get a grip of what she’s trying to say. Like she has marbles in her mouth. I think she’s trying so hard to be proper, posh she comes across ask sounding like a snob. Hell the Queen, Sofie nor Anne speaks like this. No one in Kate’s family speaks like this either.

      3. Agree KRM, how Kate said “it’s fine to be shy”, what is NOT fine is to be incompetent, lazy, false, entitled, arrogant, petulant, rude etc. Do we know someone like this?

        1. Yes, Jamel, we do know that *keen* person, and her name is Kate, or Duchess of Cambridge, the entitled one, aka Duchess of Dolittle.LOL

        2. You just described Kate perfect. So tired of her laziness, snob ways, lack of care how her clothes fly up, sick of the vulgure painted on jeans. There’s no excuse for the money she spends on her clothes to go dressed like she does. And why does she wear cheap costume jewelry when she has diamonds, gems, gold and silver waiting for her call. She’s really a very poor excuse to rep the royal family. Just take time to listen to Queen Maxima, Crown Princess Victoria or Crown Princess Mary speak to a group or make speeches oh my gosh there’s not comparison next to Kate. Mary and Maxima were commeners just like Kate. They’ve never had fly away dresses they show their bodies, they always use beautiful jewelry (buy the way set them apart from the people they are meeting with), the speak with out trying to be something they are not. They can be understood. When they make speeches theirs no way to compare them to Kate. They sound knowledgeable about the subject sound educated. But I’ve heard 10-12 year olds kids give better speeches than Kate. She’s had five years of marriage and several years while shacking up with William to be taught and train for her royal role. I blame the Queen for not putting her foot down with Kate. If she would there’s a lot she could stop, change and correct. I don’t think we will ever see Kate change until if ever the Queen speaks up.

      4. KMR, I wanted to complement you for reviewing the source to find the correct understanding of Kate’s comment and then following up on it. It’s important to be fair and you’ve done that. You set a good standard for reliable media. Thanks for all the work you put in.

    2. I agree Ellie. Many times I find Kate’s comments unfinished, senseless. I do not get why she does not prepare herself more, since she knows what the topic will be. One thing is that she is not articulate but the other thing is I think she lacks proper and coherent thoughts.

      As a non native English speaker, you can imagine how I feel to get what she means.

      But KMR is right, applaud her for trying, btw applauding, why can’t she clap her hands as normal people do?:)

  3. I care about Sophie’s work, too, and will be following the ride! I really respect her for taking part in this challenge, I could never do it myself!

    What comes to Kate’s words, I still don’t think she has anything to bring to the discussion about mental health. If she really is as knowledgeable as she’s told to be, why not use that knowledge to really champion this cause? Why hide away this knowledge? I also think that sporting a new dress at every mental health related event (at least I feel she does) is a distraction. It makes me think these events are not primarily about championing a cause, they’re a runway for showing off her latest purchases, and I know I’m not the only one to think this way. And if this is how events make people think – in addition to remembering some dull quotes heard over and over again – it’s such a pity and not really doing anything to raise awareness. I know Kate’s fashion choices will be talked about no matter what she wears, but not buying a new dress every time would at least make people think she focuses on substance, not appearance. Sorry for being so grumpy today!

    1. Grace, you’ve summed up very succinctly what many people feel about Kate’s dress choices when making an appearance at her charities. I’ve read comments where people have referred to Kate as a clothes horse, and some have stated that she is wasteful and lazy and detracts from the true intent and purpose of the charity by turning the focus on herself. I think the showcasing of herself can have negative effects on the children because not many of them can marry a rich man and dress in such expensive clothes. Children of that age group are very impressionable and watching Kate wearing those expensive clothes can make them feel lesser than.

      “That’s what the vision is for everyone to stand up there and be super confident and be super sociable and have loads of friends, when actually it’s fine to be shy, it’s fine, you know, it’s accepting these things.”

      Maybe I’m not grasping the meaning of Kate’s quote when she talks about “to stand up there”, but where’s “there”? Kate also talks about it’s fine if you want to be shy. I think this topic is way out of Kate’s league and/or understanding. No one chooses to be shy, introverted, etc., it’s about the person’s personality and events that happen in their lives that could create and/or cause such behaviors.

      This mental Health topic is something very serious and it’s not a topic for amateurs to dabble in for the sake of scoring points. For instance, how did Kate acquire the requisite knowledge to make her feel that she’s all-knowing on the topic of mental health? And, why is Kate such a recluse and always in hiding? Also, why is it that Kate needs to make everything about her by dressing provacatively to garner attention? And, why does she not have “loads” of friends She talks about such thinggs without thinking about the effects on those young minds.

      This woman has severe mental health issues. She should leave this topic to the professionals and find something else in which to dabble. Please Kate, leave this charity to the professionals.

      1. I really do agree with you Vonnie. In many cases I feel
        Kate does more damage than good. She knew she was going to talk to young people. Why dis she wear a dress with a slit halfway up her leg. Do you remember when she first got married a scar was noticed on her head near her ear. It was reported the family chose not to talk about it or release what cause this long scar on her scalp. I’m sorry and this is just a thought. But watching Kate and and the choices she makes how she is fully dependent on William I just wonder if she has some type of brain damage. Kate just does not react as an adult. Her logic is not mature. She is intireley to dependent on her mom/family. After five years she should me much more into her role than she is. There’s something wrong. I think it should be made public what her issues are so the public could be more understanding of why she is where she is after five years.

        1. A lot of people think it was not a scar but extensions. We’ve never seen the scar again even though she’s worn her hair up many times since then.

          Even if it were a scar, I actually don’t think it’s anyone’s business but Kate’s, and I not only understand the family/palace not releasing more information but fully support their decision to do that. Some things should be personal.

          1. It looks just like extensions though Kate had them release a statement that it’s all her own hair. Priorities. (It’s obviously wiglets, extensions, etc. I don’t care but it does make her look ridiculous.)

  4. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Daily Mail got behind this initiative and made mention on their front page every day where the cycling group was, encouraging people to help out with a donation? I like Sophie’s blog – very approachable and real. It also shows that even if you have doubts about your ability, listen to and trust the advice given with goodwill and keep on trying. All of which Sophie is demonstrating.

    That message works for mental health too. IMO being ‘super sociable and super confident and having loads of friends’ is not an ideal vision to aspire to. It sounds like a recipe for popularity rather than for good mental health. Nor does one size fit all. Being happy within yourself, trust in yourself and having some true friends is pretty good. Having friends is not a numbers game. True confidence develops with understanding yourself and the world, being empathetic to others, and developing knowledge and skills.

    1. This initiative would definitely deserve such attention from e.g. Daily Mail! I really like Sophie’s humble and down to earth attitude.

    2. Exactly! My sister did the whole sorority thing and loved it. I didn’t, not who I am and I’m totally okay with that. Three of my college friends are still really good friends now and my sister with her gaggle of sorority girls, keeps in touch really with one.

  5. I’m sure lots of us are interested – I always enjoy your posts and almost always have something to say – have had cataract surgery and still can’t see properly and shouldn’t be even reading anything online – please keep coverage of Sophie coming …. I’ll look forward to reading it when I should be able to test my eyes ….

    1. Hope you feel better Oz!

      I’m still struggling to get over my third bout of nasty bronchitis this year. Sophie has inspired me to get out and start trying to push to be healthier. I hope we can all move in that direction for the coming year.

        1. Thanks for the support, I am so over being sick and run down. I got off the bike thirty minutes ago and immediately had to lay down and rest, but I’m doing ok and happy I got back out there. Hope you are doing well Jen!

          1. Oh, I understand that feeling only too well. Half an hour on the bike is pretty impressive! I am not quite at your stage yet and am looking for some progressive exercises I can do at home, gently, and build up fitness and overall wellness from there.

      1. I want to thank everyone for the good wishes on getting healthy. You all are a great group that I appreciate every day. Sending you all a hug

  6. I’m sorry, William’s quote “I look forward to coming here every day” really made me laugh. He must think we are all idiots. He barely works 3 days a week and he is always taking time off. Give me a break with this ‘every day’ crap. He wants to make himself appear a harder worker than he is. And he is always complaining about his Royal job. Ya, we get Will, you want to be normal, but with tons of money. Stop playing the victim… you are privileged beyond belief. Now start making use of it instead of always complaining and being bitter. Gosh, he needs to stop opening his mouth-he just makes things worse. The only good thing I can say, is at least he is promoting EAAA, it is the least he can do!

      1. I am willing to bet that this documentary, quotes and pictures were made, taken, given during his first 3 months on the job when everyone agrees he was very enthusiastic and gave it his all. The biggest tell is his hair which he still had plenty of when he started his tenure at this job.

        The article contains things we know he lied about and were publicly debunked by the appropriate bodies eg saying his hours were in-line with Civil Aviation authority ( civil authority said he was lying) or that he works 4days on and 4days off (the palace itself said his work hours would be 2/3 of 4days on and 4 days off or that he is a welcome member of the team who shows up every day ( source said he was disliked and he rarely showed up, not to mention those blaring headlines about him not showing up for months on end)

        The 20hrs per month is also media fiction, like the Malta story. When he was first called out for being workshy, the headline said something like he had worked only 100hrs in a several months period, and not in a consistent manner. Implication being that he could have worked those 100hrs in one month or over several months. It went on to say he hadn’t worked from december until February.

        Follow up articles pro-rata-ed those 100hrs to say he had worked equivalent of 20hrs per week. The media has ran with this lie ever since. Every article talks about those 20hrs like they are fact. Exactly like the Malta story.

        Obvious PR is Obvious.

        Sadly, the public has short memories and they believe the lies.

        1. Oh, I feel quite silly then, saying that William seemed enthusiastic; this must have been filmed when he was relatively new at the job? There was too much of William in the BBC piece, not enough of EAAA.

          There is so much PR needed to prop up the BRF and obfuscate when needed, which seems to be more often than not. If the public does not understand William’s work at EAAA it’s because it is so hard to work out the details. The press is largely complicit in publishing PR as fact; there is rarely a sustained critical voice in evidence from the gaggle of royal reporters, yet they know the truth.

          1. I’m really torn when it comes to Will’s schedule. I also work the 4 on 4 off schedule. I just took a week off for my trip to London. (Booo to it ending tomorrow.) But I’ve been off for 10 days already. And I don’t go back to work until next Thursday. I still have another 7 days to go! So i understand how it looks like he never works. That being said, when I’m at work, I’m at work. And if it’s a busy shift, there’s no rest during the 10 hour day/14 hour night. I don’t know what Will’s day is actually like. It all depends on the call volume, but I do understand how it can seem like he doesn’t work with EAAA.

          2. It’s understandable that it may appear that he doesn’t work as regularly as his publicists tell us he does, BUT the Palace said when he started that he would not do 4days on 4days off. They released a statement that said that he would work 2/3 of 4day ie 2.6days on and 4days off in order to accomodate royal duties.

            When he was reported as being workshy, he hadn’t reported to EAAA from early December through to early February. In the same time frame he had only carried out 11 engagements.

            That was a very specific AND detailed accusation which given his status as heir, wouldn’t be made lightly or publicly by any of the accusing parties. This wasn’t idle gossip especially because this is the heir we are talking about. The golden boy who can do no wrong and whose misdeeds are routinely covered up.

            Further, some of his colleagues went on record to say he had shown alot of enthusiasm to begin with, but had tailed off as the year had progressed, doing fewer and fewer shifts. The colleague confirmed that he had not been seen at EAAA in December and January. Further, in the same time frame, he had carried out just 11 (?) Engagements, most of them in one week in december.

            Finally, when the articles came out, the Palace released a statement which said HM and Charles AND the civil aviation authority approved his workshy schedule which called for alot of free time so he could be fresh as a daisy when he did his piloting shifts.

            The Civil Aviation authority immediately released a statement saying that was a pack of BS and clearly the Palace were ‘confused’ by the Civil Authority’s rules which declared no such thing and didn’t prevent William from working.

            The reason i’m rehashing all of this is that it *is* easy to appear workshy, but in this case, the media, work colleagues and the civil aviation have said it, and his response was to immediately blame them and or brush it all aside with a response that amounted to jelli ha8ers.

            In an effort to repair the damage, the media is back to praising him to the skies and pretending all of this never happened, and in a few years, if not months, it will all be erased and people will have forgotten the final points.

            Just as they have done all his life.

          3. That’s what makes me mad about the royal reporters. Quick to jump back on the band wagon as soon as they throw them a bone. You’d think the general public would realize that the emperor has no clothes…

  7. I really look forward to coming here every day….. Bahahahaha. Did he really say that? The nerves…
    He works part time. Sometimes goes weeks without a single shift. He still is the co-pilot, even the palace said so when HM and the DoE visited. No disrespect, but this is not a piece on the work of air ambulances, but the Prince Bill PR show.

  8. I’m rooting for Sophie! She’s encouraged me to train for a 5K coming up at Thanksgiving. 5Ks aren’t much, but I’ve had a bad health year, so it’s moving the needle in the right direction. I’m also rustling up some quid to help keep that number going in the right direction. Go Sophie!

    I like what Kate said, but it’s a puzzle from a woman who doesn’t accept herself as is, and continues to try and transform her accent, her look, etc. She says that she’s shy sometimes; I don’t see Kate as shy, more that she’s confident in certain situations and not so much in others.

    To me, the reason Kate said this to parents is because this is code for her talking about herself. It’s poor-me, I’m expected to be this super confident, sociable person and I’m just shy, so when I get criticized for mistakes, it’s not my fault and its mean.

    Again, I agree with what Kate said, but she can’t walk it. I don’t take points from “Do as I say not do as I do ” people. Leading is from example Kate.

    Back to Sophie. I can picture her now chugging along. Day 2 has to be tougher with sore muscles. Here’s where the mental game really kicks in. I’m so glad to see her fundraising is over 1K! Thanks for covering KMR. I’ve been reading about it too on the DM and Anna’s page, so nice to see it’s gotten highlighted.

      1. Thanks! I appreciated KMR posting about Sophie because it reminded me I could bike while my lungs recover. It went well, and plan to ride another half hour or more later.

        I would recommend a diamond challenge for Kate. She can make it any number of things, and it doesn’t have to be the DoE, but something where she challenges herself. IMO, if she worked through it like Sophie has hers, Kate could reset the tone on being seen as a scheming, relatively talentless person; she could show a new side that could dramatically grow. I don’t think Kate’s interested in being anything but publically glamorous, but I really hope she can see how the rougher edges and challenges draw us all together rather than worshipping a hollow image.

  9. I find Sophie’s journey inspiring and I’m a huge fan of the DofE award so I hope this raises the money they need. I did read the previous post but forgot to comment. I hope you keep posting about her progress. I enjoy each post you make even if I don’t always comment (typing with a toddler who insists the keyboard is a piano is difficult). Thank you for the hard work.

    1. Yes, thanks for bringing Sophie’s grueling undertaking our way, KMR. It’s inspirational and a nice diversion from the prattle I often end up commenting when something crops up about Kate.

      Sophie is not afraid to get out of her comfort zone and is helping others do the same thing. Hats off to those who are doing so. Rhiannon, you have done that with your races. Others have just posted the same. Cathy, Sunny, good for you and much luck. If I am missing anyone, forgive me and all the best.

      I really admire Sophie and thinks she is to be highlighted in the media. She works hard and does what she can to make a difference in the world. Her writing about the race takes us along for the ride and that is enjoyable!

      Best of luck, Duchess. You rock!

      1. Thank you KMR for posting about Sofie. I think she is a great role model for women of every age. She carries herself with class, dignity,compassion, and sense of duty. A true asset to the BRF. I give her a lot of credit in this undertaking. It’s going to be tough. Yet she has already put all this time into training. I wish her and the other competitors the best of luck.

  10. Here’s the Telegraph’s take on the air ambulance thing.

    William, just shut up. you are not one of the paramedics. You are supposed to stay put and do your damn job which is help fly the helicopter. You get out to go do photo shoots and wave to people so they show that you show up to work sometimes. YOU ARE NOT EVEN THE PILOT. Man, can someone smack him? “My other job”. Yeah, the one you make all your dosh from that your wife buys multiple $5k lace dresses from…


    1. Oh Ellie, that is just perfect! Wish someone would have the guts to say that to the condescending Duke of Cambridge’s face. Harry?…are you listening? Please tune your brother in, thanks much 😉

      1. It annoys me so much William gets all this press and rarely shows up to do his job, while the real people who work here or the people who could get a job there but can’t because he’s taking up a space (and I assume pocketing the salary; I don’t, for one second, believes he donates it)… This should be about EAA and their amazing work. Air ambulances in the UK are funded wholly by donations and are vital services. This should not be about propping up William but about the real pilots and paramedics! I think that’s why it peeves me off so much.

  11. I do hope that you continue to cover Sophie. While I may not have access to the luxury, I can relate to Sophie. She’s a hard worker. She is prepared, doesn’t seek out publicity and is caring. This initiative took her out of her comfort zone. I appreciate her candor in doing so.

    I find her mission as something that has inspired people on this thread to do something that they might not have done. That’s a victory! Sophie admits her reluctance and decided that the bike, while rewarding, will challenge her. Kudos to you all for.doing that. Speaking from personal experience, getting out of my comfort zone was the best thing I ever did.

    As far as Will and Kate…sheesh. As KMR stated before, Will needs to check his privilege. I get, in a sense, what she’s saying. But I do find it puzzling that she is touting these “catch phrases” yet does the opposite.

    I wanted to let you know KMR, that I appreciate your hard work. You provide us with well written and insightful posts. It is always a pleasure to see a new post from you. I hope that you have a great day on purpose. ??

      1. Too true Lindsey. Today Harry is also having fun at an engagement and you know how great it is when Harry’s having fun, poor William must be gnashing his teeth and wringing his hands.

        1. It must be exhausting constantly competing with your own family. It’s sad, because I think if they worked together and coordinated more, and William was comfortable letting go of a bit of the spotlight, the RF could have a much greater and more positive impact. William could’ve released a video like this during a slow Royal newsweek instead.

          1. I agree with your overall point, but these specific videos were released in connection with NAAW2016. They couldn’t have been released another week.

  12. The BBC Futures video essay would have been better had the last slide praising William been deleted; too much personal PR. Since it’s East Anglian Air Ambulance and National Air Ambulance Week 2016, focusing on the service as a whole could have been discussed more. How many crews are there across the UK? How many staff overall? How many call outs are there over a year? There was too much of William in the piece as a whole, though his enthusiasm was genuine when discussing aspects of the job. His colleagues are tremendous people, that’s clear to see. What an amazing crew.

  13. Sophie is so impressive. I wonder if People magazine intentionally changed the quote or if they got lost in Kate’s meandering way of speaking and simply misunderstood her entire point. If that’s the case, it’s a real problem since it would likely mean parents and students misunderstand her too and she won’t be as effective of a change-agent. As for William, it’s a nice video for the EAAA and he comes across as relaxed. I think he really enjoys the work and does truly find it both rewarding and challenging. I think he is happy there. The problem is he is not as committed to it as he says. It’s a part time job that caters to his schedule and desires, and to pretend otherwise is frankly unfair to his teammates.

    1. Hi Anne, I imagine that People got lost in her meandering way of speaking but since they do think that she is “super confident and super social”, it’s also possible that they were trying to present in a way that reflected those sentiments back on her.

  14. I loved to read about Sophie in the other article and great to get an update on the start now! It feels a bit like therer is less discussion underneath thoee articles as most (if not all) love her here. We admire her work, the way she supports causes, they way she dresses and so on. So instead of discussing different aspects we are mostly like “she’s great!” and there is often less to add… kinda sad maybe.

    Also great that Prince Philip has been there as well. I can totally see him saying those words but as same time be proud and appreciating the fact that Sophie is supporting his charity.

    I won’t even bother with William. He isn’t normal and he shouldn’t pretend to be so. Alone if he compares his working hours to the one of his colleagues he should realise that too…

    1. You took the words out of my mouth. I didn’t comment on Sophie’s training article because there was nothing to say. I should have written something to get her numbers up. KMR, I like Sophie and want to read about her bike riding!

      I’ve set some physical goals for myself, perhaps too ambitious, but I’m getting there, albeit slowly. Sophie is giving me inspiration to keep going. We can all use some inspiration, or a good kick in the pants every now and then.

  15. I really admire people who can take on such a gruelling challenge. It’s not just a physical challenge, but a mental one too. The sense of achievement at the end of it must be amazing.

  16. I haven’t yet read all the comments, so please forgive me if I’m repeating here. Thanks KMR for clearing up the misunderstanding I know I had with Kate’s quote. I did apologize for my mistake on the original post but I still didn’t have the whole story. Of course, now her comments about being “super social and super confident” make much more sense and I agree with you, it was a nice quote and nice thing to say.

    Go Sophie!! I’m loving the behind the scenes peek of how her Challenge is going. She really is a remarkable woman and an inspiration to many, young and old! Kudos again to her for going outside her comfort zone, literally as those seats are not made for comfort and my bum hurts just thinking about spending 5+ days in one.

    1. I’m really glad Heads Together released that video so we could get the accurate quote. I’m actually shocked that People misquoted and misrepresented her so much.

  17. Sophie is an inspiration and I do hope she gets coverage for her effort. It’s an awesome one.
    I think she is a true inspiration and her hard work is to be admired. Such an undertaking is really difficult and since she was not a seasoned bike rider previously, she is truly out of her comfort zone. She seems to have inspired others here and I bet that all the people who see her on the road, are cheering her on and making their own pledges to get out of their comfortable areas, too.

    Good for you, Sunny and just watch your health as you pursue your own challenge! Wishing you the best.

    Kate’s comment that it’s ok to be shy is an important one. I think it would have resonated quite well with the kids, too.

    William liking his ambulance gig because he likes being part of a team? Maybe that is why he and Kate are teaming up on causes and neither are appearing solo.

    1. Thanks Jenny!

      Just saw from Sophie’s blog that she’s doing well; just tired. Tomorrow will probably be the hardest day. Glad she is encouraging so many people.

      1. To use a tired expression, Sophie ”is an inspiration”, but I can think of no other to express my interest in her bike trip. For those of us past the mid-20s ‘I can do anything’ phase of life, Sophie’s journey is the light-bulb moment to influence a personal journey that stretches our daydreams and imagination into a plan that can become reality. I wish there had been more pre-trip blogs/journals to watch the transformation from maybe-I-can to yes-I-can. Her trip has certainly revived my interest in some long dormant personal challenges and I’m now looking into how they can be accomplished. So, thank you Sophie! Looking forward to more blogs about your bike trip.

        1. GraceH, I like what you said so very much! “Light bulb moment to influence a personal journey that stretches our daydreams and imagination into a plan that can become reality.” I wish you could say that in a letter to Sophie. It would certainly touch her heart.

  18. I actually like the full quote by Kate. So unfortunate that people mag mad the mistake and quoted her incorrectly, it makes a big difference.
    But sometimes it is not about wanting to be shy, you just can’t help being shy.
    I had always been a very shy child except around my family and some very close friends. In school, it is hard for shy children because they get overlooked easily because the outgoing children draw so much attention. If you are shy, making new friends is really, really hard, and not only at a young age.
    When I was 16, I had to transfer to a new school for 11th grade. I had spent all my previous school years at an all girls catholic school, but that did not go further than 10th grade so after that I had to change to a public coeducational school. Almost all my friends from my old school were zoned to attend other schools so I knew almost no one and the new school was HUGE. At 16, I was still very shy in this new situation and especially with boys around me to which I was not used at all. It was really hard finding new friends at this school because all the outgoing personalities were so quick to sit next to each other at lunch, invite each other to parties etc and you really really want to say something and try to become friends with them but you are just too shy and just can’t so you don’t really get noticed.

    I wish Kate had said these words loud, or in a speech, so that more people would pay attention. She just speaks so quietly.

    1. M, you have written so well about the pain that shyness can bring. I agree with you, Kate’s quote means a good deal and should help children/teens who experience what you did.
      Perhaps, she will be more vocal on this subject when meeting again with youth.

      Kate may speak quietly because she is shy. She always appears to be hesitant when arriving at most events and I guess that is due to her sense of shyness. It’s often easy for people who are not shy, or who have worked to overcome their shyness, to dismiss the feelings that shy people experience. Kate is a Duchess so we expect her to have major poise and a more eased demeanor in public. That is wrong. Especially, if she is naturally shy. Still, in her role, it would be great for her and for others, if she continued to work to overcome that shyness. She could help so many others if she did. My thought, anyway.

      You expressed your own experience beautifully and I hope that you are doing well as you learn to find ways around your innate shyness. You don’t have to change who you are, but if you learn a few coping skills, it may make life more comfortable for you. One thing that usually works is actually showing an interest in what someone else has to say. People like to have their feelings/thoughts acknowledged and may turn it around and ask you how you feel and what you think, too.

      Just another thought to consider. Some people who appear to be outgoing and more social, may actually be overcompensating for their own natural shy tendencies, by acting the exact opposite of how they feel. Others, like you have said, tend to withdraw more.

      We are all in this life together and reaching out to one another, quietly, or not, is something each of us can do. You have expressed yourself so nicely here that I am sure you have helped many.

      1. I agree with your comments on general shyness, but I don’t think Kate is shy. Her relentless persuit of William and the flashing aren’t the actions of a shy person. I can believe that she hates speaking in public, many people do, but that isn’t the same as shyness. But your comments on shyness were expressed beautifully. 🙂

        1. Personnally I think that if she was really shy, just after one flashing, there will not a repeat of flashing.
          I am shy, if I have a flashing, I will be mortified, embarassed…

          1. I was at a car wash one time, and when my car was finished I walked over to the team who had cleaned it, and my wrap-around skirt FELL OFF! It had come undone and unwrapped for the whole world to see my undies. To this day I can’t wear a wrap-around skirt without safety pinning the heck out of it, and reliving that horrible moment.

          2. Jet, I can relate. I was teaching a class and my slip fell down during a demo. I stepped out of it, kicked it to the side and kept teaching. I was mortified.

          3. Oh my gosh girls I have to tell you what happened to me as a kid!

            In 1st grade (grade 2 to those in the UK 😉 ), my mom and Nana (Dad’s mom) had joined me for lunch that day. While walking down the middle of the cafeteria, carrying my lunch tray, I could feel my underwear start to slip and fall. I thought, ‘do I keep on walking and hope for the best or stop and try to pull them up?’ (keep in mind that my hands were full with that tray!) I decided to give it a shot and….WHAM! Undies slipped, Mom and Nana rushed to help me, EVERYONE saw my bare butt aaaaaand that’s when I started wearing tights.

            To this day, 30 years later, I double and triple check my underwear before I put it on, regardless of what I’m wearing!!

            **face palm**

        2. Anyone who was shy and/or mortified to flash her biscuit in front of the world’s press in various locations around the globe would have acted very quickly so it never happened more than once. Instead there are repeated instances of flared un-weighted skirts blowing up in locations where – let’s face it – any normal person would realize there might be some wind: exiting a plane in Windy Wellington, exiting a helicopter in Australia, etc etc. Trousers, or a slimline skirt would have made sure there was no chance of this happening. Shy – maybe not. Stupid – possibly. Unwilling to listen to advisers – definitely.

          1. I think Kate suffers from anxiety, not shyness. Oh, maybe, she is a tad shy, but would a really shy woman also be a perpetual flasher? The attention she garners for those mishaps are not the type of interest she should be seeking Something is amiss with Kate. I feel badly if she has anxiety. It’s a tough thing to live with, but steps can be taken to lessen it.

          2. Maybe I’m missing something here, but why would Kate go out without underwear in the first place, and on so many occasions? Add in the full skirts, and windy conditions around aircraft it does look deliberate. Then add the mooning at school. And when she worked on a yacht she was asked on several occasions to stop standing over the hatch where men could look up her shorts. Kate does seem to both enjoy and need exposing herself.

          3. Exactly, Jen. Why would she not wear underwear, indeed? Oh, some say she wears thongs, but …..
            I also read the bio in which it was mentioned that she was forever showing off to the men on the boats where she worked. There’s a pattern here and for the wife of the future King it’s troubling. I agree with you. She likes to expose herself and she enjoys the ruckus surrounding her actions.

            Oh, please, no blow-ups in Canada. Yet, I know rhiannon will win many chocolates if there is one, so……

      2. A while back Maddy of Sweden gave an interview in which said she was shy, which made her job difficult. I believe her, and yet look what a great job she does, and always with poise.

        I hope KMR will review some of the recent SRF appearances, great photos and fashions.

        1. I was wanting that too but now I think we needs a Royals at the UN post! It’s like a royal smorgasbord and I see my hottie Felipe has grown his beard back! Yum

    2. I too am glad Kate said that and I can relate to your story. I also transferred to a new school at 16 except it was a boarding school in a foreign country and it was tough. Really tough. I moved out of boarding to live with a family friend and I found it much easier to accept myself because I knew even if I ended up lonely at school, I had a “home” to go to where I could be me without any fear. And just by accepting myself I ended up feeling more comfortable around people at school and related to them more.
      Kate also had a tough time at school and I think her standing up and talking about the challenges she faced would also have a big impact on the kids. And of course it would be a great way to talk about the need to learn coping skills and how teachers and parents can help their children with these which is part of what the charities they work with are trying to do.

  19. Um, I do wish Kate would be more articulate as well. If folks misinterpret her “message”, it doesn’t do much good, now does it?

    More PR from the BBC for William the Normal Co-Pilot.

    Because my knowledge of UK geography is hazy (to say the least), I’m following the route on Google Maps. I had to translate this into US terms, so it’s roughly like cycling from New York City to Cleveland. Well done so far, Sophie!

    And can we just take a moment to admire my favorite Natty Dresser of all time – Prince Philip? Some sartorial trivia for you – Sophie is Royal Colonel of the 5th Battalion of The Rifles and Philip is the Colonel-in-Chief of the entire regiment, so he’s wearing their Regimental Tie. Awwww. (One of her team members is a representative from The Rifles as well.)

    1. William should take some lessons on dressing from his Father and/or Grandfather. Both gentlemen are dapper dressers. Looking at William one would thinkl he’s a country hick. sheesh.

  20. I get tired of William saying how normal he is! If we was so normal he would’ve sacked from that job along time ago. Part of the joy of being/watching a royal is that they aren’t normal; they live in places we only get to visit, have access to jewels we can only dream about or see in a museum and what not. I want Kate decked out in real jewels not just her boring Kiki pieces! I read once that Charles had never put toothpaste on his toothbrush. Someone breaking in the queens shoes so she doesn’t have to. It’s that little mystique that makes us watch them
    If they were joe blow off the street would we care?
    Having said all that, non heirs needs to find a balance (like Harry and Madeleine) between the two worlds.

    1. Exactly. We like royalty because they aren’t normal people. Yes, we like them to be relatable in certain ways, but there has to be some specialness there, too, or else why would we care? If William were just the Normal Bloke who lives down the street from me, I wouldn’t give two figs. If royals are Normal, then why do they of all people receive the most public money without working for it?

    2. The toothpaste thing is just a myth, it was when he had a broken arm so he needed help. But he does have people put out his clothes and figure that stuff out for him. (I would too if I had a freakin’ vast closet! Kate are you listening?)

      1. Sadness! As absurd as that was, I always kinda liked that story!! The next thing you’ll say is that queenie doesn’t have someone break her shoes in too! =(
        William definitely needs a valet.

          1. There was something about Charles having different hard boiled or soft boiled eggs done in different amounts of time for him as well. Charles even said that in the real world why do people not own their own yacht? I understand Charles has his ways but William saying he works and doesn’t. There must be a reason for that. William has no drive. no motivation.

          2. Ahh thanks! I feel better now. I remember reading in Katharine Graham’s autobiography that when she went to college she wore the same sweater for weeks until someone finally suggested that she wash it. She had no idea because at home dirty clothes would disappear and reappear clean!
            It’s stories like that, that makes them slightly out of the norm that I like. I also think it works better with older generation than younger. I do also like seeing pics of Harry coming out of waitrose too. =) all about balance

  21. You know, the more William partakes in royal duties, the better he is at them. Think how great he could be if he applied himself full time, rather than doing the piloting gig on the side. It’s for a wonderful organization, but I bet there is someone out there who needs the work more and would do it just as well.

    Yes, he has a ways to go with his attitude but the more time he spends actually engaging with the people he is exposed to will surely help. And his wife closely follows his lead, so winwin as far as I am concerned.

    And good on Sophie, she is a real star in my books. Had a shaky start with the BRF (but what in-law didn’t??) but has been smooth sailing for yonks. I quite love her 🙂

  22. I am amazed at Sophie’s will power. Not at cycling 70 miles in a day. But for cycling 70 miles in a day, stopping for cake, and eating a single slice with lady-like decorum. If that were me, I would have dived face first into the nearest pastry and wallowed in in the crumbs like a pig. Kudos for keeping it classy Sophie!

  23. Prince Will-I-or-won’t-I is such an inept idiot. Comparing his ‘jobs’ – he likes working with the team because when he’s doing his ‘other job’ he is more out there on his own. First of all, being Royal isnt actually a job but comes with responsibilities because of his position. It’s not something he can step in and out of, he just IS Royal. And seriously – how old is this man? – if he can’t handle the royal duties ‘on his own’ – actually with a backup team of advisors, then he just is so lacking in ability and any empathy with people he is meeting.

  24. Quoting: Jen
    September 20, 2016 at 9:14 am (15 hours ago)
    ”…There was too much of William in the BBC piece, not enough of EAAA.”

    There was not enough about National Air Ambulance Week.

    From the Assn of Air Ambulances web site:
    ”National Air Ambulance Week (NAAW) is the last week of September each year. It is a time when member Air Ambulance Charities come together across the county, giving a national voice, raising awareness of the lifesaving service provided by local air ambulance services.”

    Giving a NATIONAL voice. Not just where PW is working on a casual labor basis. The national media should have been writing and talking about the 17 air ambulance association members (all charities) that cover Wales, Scotland and England. Did you know there were 17? Not even the BBC piece mentioned that.

    This piece was pure PR for William the Normal Aristo Residing on the Sandringham estate. What did PW do to help emphasize the role of the Air Ambulance in all areas of the UK? Nothing. He gets sad. He has fun with crew members.

    The national media should be ashamed for using the fluff piece because that fluff piece did nothing to explain the work of the regional air ambulance services. Why bother with an air ambulance? Why not use driven ambulance vehicles? Why pay for helicopter ambulances services? Are the road networks so inadequate that air ambulances are necessary to get to people injured while on the roadways? Who determines that a helicopter is necessary for transport versus a driven vehicle?

    Emergency health service workers train to enter the field, train on the job and train some more through regular periodic seminars to help them keep current in their field. No media have mentioned that PW attends these ongoing training classes. Does he go to any at all?

    The cynic in me says that this job was a PR acceptable way for PW to earn a commercial pilots license to fly a helicopter because he didn’t earn a pilots license in SAR in Wales. It would allow him to fly a helicopter alone anywhere in the UK (owned, rent-by-day or leased). But, he’s still a copilot. Not enough flying hours to remove the ‘co’ from the title.

    Here’s a suggestion PW: When your contract ends next spring, become the royal patron of the air ambulance association (backing it up with donations) and make sure you write a personal story about flying with one of the services (not EAAA) when National AA Week comes ’round every year. Pick a different service every year and let everyone know the unique problems of the area that the local AA experiences. Ask that everyone contribute to keep the service going.

    To read more about the air ambulance services:

    1. “Why not use driven ambulance vehicles?”

      Because the helicopters get there faster than any other ambulance service. William said that in one of the videos.

    2. I don’t know the exact details of how it’s done in the UK. Here, we have a set of criteria to meet in order to request an air ambulance. Distance to the closest hosital, patient conditions, road conditions, weather conditions, etc all play a part in it. To be a flight medic here, you need more school, training and experience. Driving an ambulance isn’t all fun and games. And even if you can drive to the location, sometimes you still have to walk on foot to access the patint. And guess what? You gotta carry all your equipment with you. That’s why part of our required training by the ministry is to lift a 210 lb patient up and down 4 flights of stairs. Trust me, I got myself a personal trainer and had him whip me into shape to pass. And ob average, patient plus equipment adds up to more than 210 lbs. Air ambuances also have more advanced equipment than a regular ambulance. An ambulance costs around $2mil to properly stock and equip. And an ambulance has more equipment than our rapid response units (think SUV). Air ambulances do serve a purpose. Sorry for the super long tangent. 😛

      1. Thanks for providing this info Miss K. My husband worked for the air ambulance for our region here and he had a lot of stories to tell me about the work, the equipment, the amount of skill and training required of the staff. That’s why I find Will playing at being an air ambulance pilot to be maddening! It is a highly skilled and stressful job, not to be taken lightly or blowing off shifts and not showing up for months on end.

  25. Call me skeptical, but I doubt Kate would actually follow through if she took on a challenge like Sophie’s. Past history already shows she gives up. She took on the rowing charity when she broke up with Will. And the minute they got back together she stopped because it brought too much press to the practices. Ummm… it’s a charity! You want the press and media there to highlight the charity! That’s the whole point! What an idiot! Clearly she did that all to keep in the media eye and to get Will’s attention. Once she had it back, she ditches the rowing. Goes to show everything she does is self serving.

    1. Actually she dropped the rowing because it served the purpose of keeping her in the public eye and William’s mind.

      Whilst she was doing it, she allowed plenty of press, particularly sugary articles that painted her as the perfect princess for William. Numerous Hello articles where she is clearly posed for them.

      It was all part of the orchestrated media tour post-split where she was seen out and about in the media every single day to win him back. Rowing, partying, posing for all and sundry.

      The media were very welcome and played along. Lots of articles about how William should reconsider etc

      The minute they reconciled, it all stopped and she disappeared to her first make over into perfect future royal mode.

      I remember thinking how desperate she was for her strategy and that he was a fool for being taken in.

      If there is a suggestion of divorce, we shall have a repeat of the same. She showed that she would not go quietly.

      1. I don’t know if anyone here has heard of him. Matthew Hussey on relationships. Matthew said on one of his radio shows he does talks as well that when people get in too a relationship they dress a little bit more smarter, or they go to the gym to work out so they attract someone. Then after they get into the relationship they stop. Because they think well I have gone to the gym to work out and I have met someone and now I don’t need to do that because I have what I want. It seems Kate kind of fits that. When Kate started the rowing I thought good for her. William and Kate have the same work ethic which is surprising because I thought William was diligent. Sidenote. I like how Prince Edward has the hooterto support Sophie. Their house is constantly filled with laugher or so I read somewhere.

  26. Boy, when I was scrolling down this post after watching the video and saw the first picture of Sophie with the D of E and Edward I had to do a double take because I thought it was William, not Edward.

  27. This is my first time finding this blog and I have to say, it is a breath of fresh air! Great counterpoint to the endless stream of blogs cooing over the duchess’s latest dress/hair/jewelry and bristling if it’s suggested she and her husband are not quite doing their fair share.
    I would LOVE to read Sophie’s account of her bike journey! I think she is one of the most underrated members of the younger royals. She’s beautiful, poised, articulate and a hard worker who seems to have some of Diana’s common touch with regular people and she and Edward seem to have made quite a happy life, as royal marriages go, for themselves and their children.

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