Like last year, I’ve decided to do a Hits and Misses post again to highlight some good stuff that Kate Middleton did throughout 2016. I’m also including a run through of our 2016 prediction questions to see how things turned out.
As with last year, I want to make clear that for the “Hits” category, I’m comparing Kate to herself, and saying these are the things she did well. Yes, of course she could have done them better, as we could say about a lot of things/people/ourselves, but this list isn’t about that.
Kate gave four speeches
Kate gave two full speeches all on her own, and two joint speeches with William and Harry. Kate’s first solo speech was at the SportsAid 40th anniversary dinner on June 9, and the second was at the Place2Be Awards on November 22. Kate’s first joint speech was at the Heads Together launch on May 16, and the second one was on World Mental Health Day, October 10.
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]
Kate made a solo overseas visit
Kate made her first solo overseas visit when she visited the Netherlands on October 11. She also had a solo meeting with King Willem-Alexander.
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]
Kate gave her first interview
Are her interview skills amazing? No. But Kate gave an interview for Our Queen at 90 and that’s cool. I hope Kate gives more interviews in the future, about her causes and charities and such.
Kate bettered her photography skills
Kate released two sets of her own photographs this year: Prince George‘s first day of school photos; and Princess Charlotte‘s first birthday photos. Say what you will about her photography skills, but Kate has gotten much better since her debut in 2012.
[The Duchess of Cambridge via Kensington Palace]
William and Kate brought George and Charlotte to Canada
I know that many people complained about William and Kate bringing George and Charlotte to Canada with them, but I also know that many people complained about William and Kate not bringing George and Charlotte to India with them. All things considered, I think bringing George and Charlotte was a hit because we got cute photos of the kids, and we got to see more of their personalities. We’ve wanted it, we’ve asked for it, and we got it with the Canada trip.
Kate wrote about her grandmother
Kate wrote the foreword to The GCHQ Puzzle Book, and while I’m not sure it was actually Kate who wrote it I think it was the best written message we’ve seen from Kate. More written messages like this, please.
These next things happened, and the fact that they happened is a hit, for me, but the actual result was a miss, so I’m putting them in their own category.
Kate wrote an article
On February 17, Kate wrote an article for the Young Minds Matter series during her Huffington Post UK guest editor stint. I think it’s awesome that Kate wrote an article about a subject she’s Patron of, however I thought the article was very vague and didn’t offer much of anything in terms of substance. I would love for Kate to write another article like this, as long as it’s more substantive next time.
Kate posed for Vogue
Kate posed for the cover of Vogue UK’s June issue which as an idea I’m not opposed to, but Kate’s photoshoot was boring and most importantly she didn’t give an interview. I would have loved if she had given an interview about some of her patronages or causes in general. That would have been great. But as it is, it’s just a boring photoshoot.
[Josh Olins for Vogue UK]
Kate’s misses always include things like her speech giving skills (get a speech coach!), her posture, and her endless crotch clutching, but other than those, these are some of the biggest misses from Kate this year.
Kate skipped St. Patrick’s Day with the Irish Guards
Kate started off her year on a bad turn, skipping out on the Irish Guards’ St. Patrick’s Day parade – an event she’s done every year she’s been a royal, starting in 2012. Instead, William went solo and KP claimed:
“The Duke is the first ever Royal Colonel of the Irish Guards – the connection is with him. There are plenty of examples where female members of the Royal Family haven’t presented the shamrocks. While the Duchess has accompanied the Duke every year since his appointment in 2012, and will do so again in future, this year she sadly could not make it because she is prioritising time with her children before next month’s tour of India and Bhutan.”
I want to remind everyone that the first year Kate did this event, in 2012, she did it solo. So KP is incorrect when saying Kate has accompanied William every year since his appointment because he’s not been there every year since his appointment. Until this year, Kate had done it more than William. But I guess getting her hair done for her event the next day was more important. Not a good look from Kate here.
Kate skipped a big EACH event
Instead of attending one of her patronage’s biggest fundraising events, Kate skipped out and sent a letter instead (which KP didn’t even release). This is a huge missed opportunity. Kate had nothing on her plate at the time, and saying because she did the EACH fundraiser in June she didn’t have to do the one at the end of November is just a cop out. She can attend more than one fundraiser a year, especially if she doesn’t bother to actually visit the hospices at any other point in the year, and had literally nothing else going on at the time.
Kate’s skirt flew up
While laying a wreath at India Gate on April 11, Kate’s skirt flew up in the wind. Kate went all of 2015 without having a huge mishap like this, but then this happened. It’s so frustrating for me because leading up to the tour people kept bringing up Kate’s past mistakes, some a decade old, and making fun of her for it and I kept trying to give her the benefit of the doubt to not bring any negativity into the tour, but then this happened and I said “STOP MAKING IT HARD FOR PEOPLE TO DEFEND YOU”.
No Christmas photo
I realize that William and Kate have never been ones to release a new family photo at Christmas, but in 2014 and 2015 they released new photos of the kids during December to give us an idea of what the kids looked like since it had been six months since we’d seen them. But this year they decided not to release a photo. Even though they brought the kids to church on Christmas, I still think not releasing a card or photo was a huge missed opportunity for an easy pop of goodwill.
Skipping Christmas at Sandringham
William and Kate decided to skip Christmas at Sandringham this year and instead spent it in Bucklebury with the Middletons. Yes, William and Kate brought George and Charlotte to church with them on Christmas, and I very much liked seeing them, but I think it was a mistake to skip Christmas at Sandringham.
You can see the full list of 2016 predictions here. I already covered Kate’s engagement numbers and patronage visits in depth here, so I’m going to quickly go through the questions and poll results to see how accurate they were.
- The top vote getter in the poll was 76-100 engagements with 33.72% of the vote.
- I have Kate sitting at 133 engagements for the year.
- Only 2.52% of voters thought Kate would do 126-150 engagements.
- November won with 35.08% of the vote.
- Most of Kate’s engagements were in September because of the Canada tour. April was the second top engagement month because of the India tour. Without the tours, October was her busiest month.
- 22.88% of voters voted for October.
- “A few (3-5)” won the poll with 58.49% of the vote.
- Kate touched base with 12 out of 13 of her patronages in 2016.
- 20.22% of voters voted for “A lot (6-11)”.
- 46.32% of voters said Kate would only take on one new patronage.
- Kate took on one new patronage (I’m not counting the three she’s taking over for HM because she won’t officially become Patron until 2017).
- Kate making more than one bad speech won the vote with 35.22%.
- Kate made four speeches. Quality is relative, but from what I remember her speeches didn’t go over too well, so I’ll say the vote won that one.
- 90.54% of voters voted that Kate would not make a solo overseas visit.
- Kate made a solo visit to the Netherlands.
- 9.46% of voters were correct that she would make a solo overseas visit.
- “Yes, one but I’m not sure which” won the vote with 52.84%.
- Kate did not attend any State Banquets this year.
- 7.64% said she would not.
- 88.34% of voters said Kate would not attend the State Opening of Parliament.
- Kate did not attend the State Opening of Parliament.
- 65.78% of voters said Kate would wear the CLKT.
- Kate wore the CLKT to the Diplomatic Reception in December.
- 76.43% of voters said Kate would not wear a new-to-her tiara.
- Kate did not wear a new-to-her tiara.
- “31-40% of the time” won with 28.05% of the vote.
- From my calculations, Kate wore blue about 27% of the time.
- 17.42% of voters thought Kate would wear blue 21-30% of the time.
- Kate wearing black 21-30% of the time won with 29.98% of the vote.
- From my calculations, Kate wore black about 10% of the time.
- 13.04% of voters thought Kate would wear black 10% or less of the time.
- Alexander McQueen won with 41.36% of the vote.
- Kate wore Alexander McQueen a total of 11 times, way more than any other designer.
- “The Sledges will make a return and be worn less than 10% of the time” won the poll with 34.46% of the vote.
- Kate did not wear her Sledges this year.
- 21-30% of the time won the poll.
- Kate only wore the Power Pumps 3.9% of the time.
- Only 3.54% of voters thought Kate would wear the Power Pumps less than 10% of the time.
- 31-40% won with 24.47% of the vote.
- Kate has multiple colors of the Bayswater, and all together she carried them 21.4% of the time.
- 24.21% of voters said Kate would carry the Bayswater 21-30% of the time.
- 42.18% of voters thought Kate would only have one tiny wind incident.
- Kate had a rather large wind incident, but we didn’t see anything.
- 14.14% of voters thought she would have a big wind incident.
- Seeing George 3 times this year got the most votes with 26.18%.
- We saw George 12 times: 5 official photos; 6 official engagements; 1 unofficial official photo-op.
- 3.49% of voters said we would see George 7+ times.
- Seeing Charlotte 2 times in 2016 won the poll with 33.92%.
- We saw Charlotte 8 times in 2016: 3 official photo; 4 official engagements; 1 unofficial official photo-op.
- 1.27% of voters said we would see Charlotte 6+ times.
- 60.51% of voters thought Kate would announce a third pregnancy by the end of the year.
- Kate has not announced a third pregnancy.
- 33.26% of voters thought Kate would not announce a third pregnancy in 2016.
- 60.47% voted that Victoria would have a boy.
- Victoria had a boy: Oscar.
- 60.21% of voters thought Sofia would have a boy.
- Sofia had a boy: Alexander.
- Stephanie announcing a pregnancy by the end of 2016 won the poll with 56.79% of the vote.
- Stephanie has not announced a pregnancy.
- 37.96% of voters thought she would not announce a pregnancy.
- 31.75% of voters though Zara would go to the Olympics but not medal.
- Zara did not go to the Olympics.
- 13.95% of voters were correct that she wouldn’t go.
- 47.12% of voters thought Harry would not have an official girlfriend in 2016.
- Harry officially confirmed his relationship with Meghan Markle in November.
- 38.08% of voters said he would have one and that they would like her, while 14.79% said he would have one and they would dislike her.
- Harry not announcing an engagement won the poll with 95.14% of the vote.
- Harry has not announced an engagement.
- 48.7% of voters thought Beatrice would announce an engagement this year.
- Beatrice broke up with Dave Clark over the summer.
- 46.67% of voters thought Bea would not announce an engagement this year.
- Eugenie not announcing an engagement won with 87.69% of the vote.
- Eugenie has not announced an engagement.
- Pips not announcing an engagement won this poll with 58.06% of the vote.
- Pips got engaged over the summer.
- 34.95% of voters were correct in that.
We were not super successful in predicting 2016 (although, who was, really) – the blog voters were correct 31% of the time; and I was correct 37.9% of the time.