Day 2 of Prince William and Kate Middleton‘s tour of Poland and Germany saw the royal couple visit Stutthof (a former Nazi Concentration Camp) before spending time in Gdansk.
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]
William and Kate began their day at Stutthof where they walked through the camp and viewed a series of exhibits that illustrate the conditions in which prisoners had to live while being used as slave labor. They were shown discarded shoes, clothes, and other personal possessions taken from prisoners when they arrived at the camp, and were also shown the gas chamber used to murder those too sick to work.
In September 1939, Stutthof Concentration Camp became the first concentration camp outside Germany, and by May 1945 – when the camp was liberated by Soviet forces – over 85,000 people had died out of the more than 110,000 people who had been held there.
William and Kate sat down to speak to a group of survivors of the camp, two of which were Zigi Shipper and Manfred Goldberg, 87, who were sent to the Stutthof when they were 14. Sky News has an article about them, which includes quotes about the decision to take part in this visit and the conditions of the camp:
- “Speaking about his decision to go back, Mr Goldberg said: ‘For me it is quite a seismic event because, since I was permitted to come to England in September 1946, I have not set foot in either Germany or Poland. I decided that I really had to face the past and hence my consent to come.’
- “Describing the conditions in the camp, Mr Shipper said: ‘The weather I thought was going to kill me because it was like well below zero and you know we were wearing striped pyjamas because that’s what we got in Auschwitz. I never ever – except in Stutthof – thought that I was going to die. You saw people in front of you dying but I never thought I was going to die except in Stutthof.'”
From the Express:
- “Karen Pollock, chief executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust said: ‘Today has been an incredibly poignant and moving day. Their Royal Highnesses’ visit sends a powerful example to the world about the importance of remembering the horrors of the Holocaust and the importance of our work to educate future generations.’ […]
- “Zigi recalled the horror of the camp in the winter and group huddles to try to keep everyone alive. He said: ‘We were just trying to keep warm, huddled together. Then after a while the inside people would go out so the outside people could get warm.’ He said about the royal visit: ‘When a royal goes and it’s put on the television or in the paper, people say ‘Why don’t we go? And that’s what we want. People should know that it wasn’t just Auschwitch-Birkenau, it wasn’t just Bergen-Belsen, look at all the other camps.’ He said he thought William and Kate were ‘very moved’. He said: ‘You could see their faces. They were in pain.’ […]
- “They then met three Polish survivors Maria Kowalska, 91, Mareka Dunin, 92, and Edward Anderson, 91. After hearing details of their harrowing experiences at the hands of the Nazis, speaking through a translator, William asked: ‘You must wonder how people could commit such evil against another human?’ Edward said: ‘After we witnessed these things and lived through them, all we have left as a weapon is the knowledge to warn other people. To stop it happening again.’ William asked Edward if he thought people had ‘learnt lessons’ from the Holocaust. He answered: ‘I think we have learnt some lessons but we have not learnt enough.’
- “Before leaving the survivors, Kate said: ‘What you have been through and you still hold in your memories must be extremely difficult to speak about. Thank you very much for meeting us.'”
At the Star of David, William and Kate paid their respects to the memory of 28,000 Jews who died at Stutthof and the 6 million killed in the Holocaust, and were led in a short prayer by Mr. Shipper and Mr. Goldberg.
The royal couple left Stutthof through the main entrance to the camp, what was known as the ‘Death Gate’.
William and Kate left a message at Stutthof in the guest book, which said:
- “We were intensely moved by our visit to Stutthof, which has been the scene of so much terrible pain, suffering and death. This shattering visit has reminded us of the horrendous murder of six million Jews, drawn from across the whole of Europe, who died in the abominable Holocaust. It is, too, a terrible reminder of the cost of war. And the fact that Poland alone lost millions of its people, who were the victims of a most brutal occupation. All of us have an overwhelming responsibility to make sure that we learn the lessons and that the horror of what happened is never forgotten and never repeated.”
William and Kate then visited Gdansk, where they joined a street party in the central market square. They were greeted by large crowds and viewed vendors – including a demonstration of amber processing, and a tasting of Goldwasser (a traditional liqueur with flakes of gold) and pierogi – before doing a walkabout.
From the Express:
- “At a stall in the square, the royal couple downed Gdansk liqueur, Goldwasser (Golden Water), a strong root and herbal liqueur which has been produced since at least 1598. William said after he downed the shot in one: ‘It is very good, very sweet.’
- “‘And very strong … ” Kate added as she recovered from downing the 40 per cent proof liqueur. […]
- “They chatted to Zbligniew Strzelczyk, an expert on amber and owner of the Styl Gallery in Gdansk, a city famed for the stone since Medieval times. The craftsman said: ‘They were very interested in the trade. Prince William asked about where the amber is found and I told him 10 per cent is washed up on beach. I gave them two chunks of amber, one with an ant and two leaves inside and another with a little fly and air bubbles. They seemed delighted.'”
The next stop was the Gdansk Shakespeare theatre where they watched a performance before attending a small reception.
The royals then visited the European Solidarity Centre where they toured the museum and met with founding member of Solidarity. They then placed cards on a solidarity wall that is covered in personal messages from the public.
William and Kate met former Solidarity co-founder and ex-Polish president Lech Walesa. Along with his colleagues, Walesa helped bring about the fall of communism in Poland by leading workers at the shipyard out on strikes against the authorities, eventually turning Solidarity into a non-violent anti-communist movement with 10 million members that ultimately forced free elections in Poland.
The last event of the day saw William and Kate walk through the Gdansk shipyard gates before laying roses at the Monument to Fallen Shipyard Workers, who died during the suppression of a workers’ strike in 1970.
Kate wore Erdem (sigh). Kate chose the Imari Skirt Hurst Rose ($890) and a top in the matching pattern. Kate carried a flap clutch from Polish brand Etui Bags, and wore her Cartier watch and Stuart Weitzman NearlyNude Ankle Strap Sandals ($398) which Kate first wore to Wimbledon on Sunday. Kate’s earrings and necklace are new, and are potentially amber, which is a native gemstone of Poland and one of Gdansk’s chief exports.
I saw in the comment section on the previous article there were some people who were very unhappy about Kate’s fashion choices for Day 2. Personally, I think the only thing wrong with this outfit is that it’s Erdem, but other than that I think it was fine for Stutthof – the top and skirt are in muted colors, and I don’t think florals are offensive (one of the officials guiding them around the camp wore a brighter pink top). I was surprised by the open-toed shoes, though. That was odd. Even more odd, though, was the choice not to change before the events in Gdansk. I thought for sure Kate would have, but she didn’t. I thought that was an odd choice.
210 thoughts on “William & Kate are ‘intensely moved’ by visit to Stutthof”
There are certain periods in time that I’m drawn to read voraciously about and try to visit. WW11 and the Holocaust is one of those times. I’ve been to a couple concentration camps, the Anne frank house and the Holocaust museum and I’ve cried at them all. It was actually the shoe exhibit at the Holocaust museum in D.C. Where I just sobbed so I know it’s bad that I have to say this but I’m glad there were no fly ups, no embarrassing comments and I don’t know if they had William memorize something to write becuase this isn’t his normal rote 2 sentence statement that was left. It was actually nice.
The only thing offensive about Kate’s outfit is how horrendously ugly it is. I have mixed feelings about open toed sandals at the concentration camp but not enough to gripe about it.
I guess Kate’s put down those pregnancy rumors on this trip with her drinks =)
I saw pics of the crowds. Poland bussed in “supporters” for trump’s visit there and I wonder if the same was done with them becuase with all that’s going on in Poland, that seemed to be a rather large crowd. Unless Poland is where William and Kate have a strong hold of popularity.
The handwriting in the book isn’t theirs. They only signed it.
I had to sit down at the holocaust museum in DC. It overwhelmed me. How W+K were able to visit and not have a good cry is astonishing.
A few things – I definitely give them credit for visiting a concentration camp, as I can’t imagine how difficult that is, particularly with a large media contingent there with you. I agree with statement of one of the survivors, that I hope their visit encourages others to go and get a better understanding of our, shameful, world history. Whether or not they wrote the statement they left in the guestbook, I think it was well-stated and hope that others read and process it. Having visited the Holocaust Museum in DC as a senior in HS, only 6 months post-9/11, I am shocked that they were able to make it through this visit without breaking down. My classmates and I were a mess when we visited the Holocaust Museum, as we had a very recent event in which we could make a comparison (I’m from Boston, so almost everyone personally knew someone who lost a friend/family member on 9/11) and I would think that if nothing else, the recent horror in England between the terrorist attacks and the fire, would have made the murder of millions of Europeans that much more impactful. I’m assuming it was meaningful to them, but based on their “public faces”, they were able to hide how much it affected them.
Lastly, regarding her clothing – I would not wear that outfit to anything somber, but I also try to be low key when going to any event like this and would wear a muted outfit as it seems most other royals do. Maybe I’m wrong, but it seems like she could have worn a low-key suit from Dior, Chanel etc in black, grey, navy blue – or a myriad of other dark colors, so as not to bring too much attention to her outfit. Regardless your take on their clothing, Erdem is always attention-grabbing, in my opinion, which is not appropriate for a visit to a concentration camp.
I read some people saying they visited concentration camps, holocaut museums or expositions about nazi and holocaust and I wonder if William and Kate have already visited some place like this. I visited Anne Frank house and I got very sad about the whole history. It’s a shame if this is the first time Kate and William visited a place linked to holocaust, specially William who as a future king should at least have some real contact with the horrors of the World War II and Holocaut. A concentration camp is the most vivid memory of the terror that has happened to the Jews. Of course I may be wrong and William and Kate already visited places like this before.
It is unlikely either did. Certainly not in an official capacity because their usual vacations involve yachts, skiing and beaches. (And Africa in Will’s case especially) They are a shallow couple and don’t exhibit any interest in much beyond themselves.
The Middletons only holiday where they can rub shoulders with people they can use to climb the social ladder.
I could be wrong but they don’t seem to do anything thought provoking or to enhance their knowledge in any way so I would say highly unlikely. I mean kate has a degree in art history yet she doesn’t seem that interested in seeing much art in her personal time. I went to holland for two main reasons to see tulips and The girl with the pearl earring (I love the Dutch masters!) and Kate who could’ve easily taken a jaunt to Amsterdam before clearly hadn’t until her mini visit.
I try to alternate trips so they are culturally (art or historical context) fulfilling or feed my love for nature or sometimes both! They seem interested in just relaxing and having fun. But who knows, maybe there is a deep and philosophical side to them they’ve kept “private” all these years
Sarah: For your history lessons on WW2, there is an old documentary from BBC called Nazis: a warning from history (5-6 episodes).
(Apologies, i can only find episodes broken up into 15min parts per episode).
It’s fascinating because it follows ordinary people who lived during this time eg victims, collaborators, soldiers, regular people trying to get on, former SS, Hitler youth etc whilst also describing how and why the Nazis rose to power.
Very powerful. I think you’ll really appreciate the detail, be horrified by alot of it, and yet understand how this sort of thing can happen and or can ge sustained.
That is an excellent series. Professor Kershaw is an expert.
Thank you for sharing this. I’ve never seen it before
This one from Smithsonian was very moving to me. Treblinka, the Nazi Killing Machine. It is about an archaeologist determined to find proof to quiet the Holocaust deniers. And what locals experienced.
I found reading Lost Horizon by James Hilton fascinating too, just about the state of the world at the time. It was published in 1933, but he saw what was coming.
That is so incredibly moving. It’s the individual stories that are so captivating and frightening because they make it so terribly *real.*
Thank you. I’m bookmarking this to watch later, perhaps tonight
I haven’t been to Holocaust museum in DC but I’m curious from where did they got the shoes. They wouldn’t bring them from other sites of mass distraction, would they?
Mass destruction. When making an argument it is better to spell properly ?
I’d imagine it’s a typo from auto-correct. Happens to me a lot!
I have visited six different concentration camps in Poland, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic and each visit has been equally moving, so I really think it’s important that they visited Stutthof. However, I hope they had mentioned in the guest book entry that it was not only Jews who got murdered in those death camps – there were Romani people, homosexuals, disabled people, communists, members of resistance, and the list goes on. It’s equally important to remember all the victims even though Jews were the largest group. I have Romani ancestry, so this is a sensitive issue for me. Was this the first time either of them visited a place like this, even Kate who had all the time and money in the world to travel before her marriage?
I find this Erdem hideous. The cropped, boxy top with this skirt makes me think of a doll I had as a kid. You could bend it at the waist so that the whole torso looked like it was made of two boxy parts. Sandals were an odd choice as the soil on those camps can be really difficult to walk on as it can be very uneven. The colors of the dress were demure, but the pattern reminds me of the 90’s coach covers. However, I can understand some people felt offended by floral pattern and sandals. I remember visiting a camp in Germany as a young student and seeing a sign that simply stated that the visitors should remember the camp was a burial site of thousands of people whose remains were scattered there and who never had any other grave, so the visitors should tread respectfully and remember they were walking on people’s graves. I immediately thought of that sign when I saw Kate’s sandals. Apart from the potentially uneven ground, they are not the kind of shoes you would choose for a visit to a burial site, and particularly not when all eyes are on you, and when you certainly have a wide range of footwear to choose from. I liked the sandals, but this was not the time or place for them.
OMG Grace, I thought Kate’s floral dress innapropriated for the concentration cam just because I think that place IS a burial site and after I read your comment about the sign at that camp in Germany you visited I’m sure Kate’s floral dress IS ofensive. As some people said yesterday Kate might put a somber coat and after the visit she would take off her coat and be left alone with the dress. This was the first time I thought Kate’s secretary was dressed more appropriately than she was. But after Kate wore pink at the World Trade Center site I’m not surprsed by her choice.
That is one of the most poignant things I’ve ever read regarding the concentration camps, that the literal ground itself is a grave.
Me too. I thought it was a fine outfit. This was a solid outing for them.
What I would give to go visit one of these camps. The history and strength of the human spirit is evident within those walls. I would love to pay my respect there. I think this tour has more substance than the others due to appearances.
I’m in the minority with her dress. I felt it to be a tish casual, especially the shoes, for the first visit. I felt the outfit would have been better for the rest of the day. I think this is the best Erdem I’ve seen. And I hate Erdem.
Thanks, KMR, for your updates on both your blog and Twitter.
Hey Rhianon, slight change of subject to our favourite side eye….namely Rebecca.
Clearly quitting her job was the tonic needed to get her to improve her self presentation. Museum outfit notwithstanding, her hair is good on this tour. Ditto clothing. I feel like dancing a jig – when they are away from the camp of course.
I wll dance with you. Rebecca’s presentation is all wrong. Kate looked good.
She was attached to a royal office for 10 years, 5 with these two. I don’t remember if things were so bad with her for the first five years, as she wasn’t on my radar.
She was representing the UK and wearing florals and open toed shoes to a place where so many were murdered is just inappropriate. She had hundreds of other coatdresses that she could have worn along with the court shoes she normally wears and that would have suited. She dressed for the street party later on and not for this event. The two piece style also added to the weirdness of the outfit.
The message in the book was also in handwriting that belonged to someone else, so the chances either of them actually composed it is virtually nil. Other leaders have written their own messages when visiting places like this. As an example Justin Trudeau hand wrote a message when he visited a similar place. If neither Will or Kate can be bothered to write a short message while visiting a concentration camp, then it seems a pretty shallow visit.
Exactly how I feel.
+ 1 and it would have been very easy to put a grey or black jacket over the top of this dress, and add a pair of grey or black shoes for the first part of the visit. I was both surprised and disappointed by the outfit for the visit to the camp. It showed poor judgement on the behalf of the Cambridge’s crew
Jmo, but the Cambridge crew sound half witted…a pale grey or navy outfit with a pair of pumps would have been appropriate …time for Daddy Charlesbucks to shake things up!
+1. The statement didn’t sound like their usual platitudes. They should write their own or do nothing at all. Everything is done for this couple. It’s amazing they can dress themselves.
Do we, in fact, have confirmation of this ability?
Agree. Is it not considered highly disrespectful to wear open toed shoes at Jewish funerals? I know ‘it’s not the same’ but a little bit of common sense would tell you to tone it down. There’s a place for florals and sexy strappy sandals and a concentration camp is not one of them. I’m speechless at how inappropriate she is.
You said everything I feel.
Could not have put it better myself, Nic919. +1
Their message was obviously prepared in advance and someone selected for their handwriting skills spent a good amount of time copying it into the museum’s visitors’ book while Kate and Will toured. All Kate and Will had to do was just put on their somber expressions and put their signatures above where someone had already placed their names. Every single statement, written or spoken, formally or casually, is prepared in advance for this dim couple.
I am grateful that she wore florals. In the Soviet Union we have worked very hard to keep the memory of Nazi atrocities alive. Lots of events every year, in countless locations, most of them involving the veterans. One thing I have learned from them, and later watching/partaking in similar events in my life, is that veterans of course want to be remembered and appreciate when we express out gratitude and share in the pain they still carry over the events of WWII – but even more than that they want to see Life. They want to see us enjoying the simple state of being where we don’t suffer, bombs are not raining from the sky, where we can revel in the beauty of the world because noone is trying to kill us. They don’t want us to be somber and mourn (well, appropriate amounts at appropriate times maybe) – but rather to be full of life and appreciation for what we have, thanks to them. So I am grateful at Kate’s choice of dress today. Her behavior was very appropriate and communicated the spirit of the place and her feelings around the history of it. The colors are muted, so it does not scream “look at me and my fashion” – and they are perfectly lovely. The pattern is flowers, symbolizing beauty and continuation of lineage. This is what they fought for, what so many died for. It is practically our duty to be happy, a debt we pay them back. I don’t think she did this wrong.
Very, very well said Ecelos!
As someone whose mother, aunt and grandmother survived Bergen Belsen I am in total agreement with you.
Merely a difference in opinion and way of thinking.
I agree. I like it how she brought some “life” with this floral dress to this sad place. It is not disrecpectful for me. If she had been dressed in dark clothes, the message would be mourning not remembrance.
I could go to a concentration camp too but I will not. It is too depressing for me. I watched countless accurate holocaust movies and also learned the history in detail at school. A concentration camp is not a place where everybody could go just like some other museum.
I saw some photos where Kate teared and I am glad she could hold herself and did not cried hard because Iam sure her tears would be the headlines worldwide and not the message and remembrance.
“I like it how she brought some “life” with this floral dress to this sad place.”
My last comment on this topic (not aimed at you personally) with all the happy talk of symbolism and the language of flowers. Jews don’t have flowers at funerals and don’t bring flowers to a grave. You know what we bring? Stones.
+1. This visit and ensuing justification of this self-absorbed woman has left me in tears.
Thanks, Jen, for uttering what I didn’t have the heart to.
+1 million I love the symbolism of stones.
Ecelos, I understand what you said about the veterans wanting to see Life. I just think that a concentration camp is not a place to demonstrate “life”. Many people lost their lives there. It’s the same that going to a funeral wearing floral. And I don’t care if other royals wore vibrant colors at places like this. If I was a Royal I woul wear another color and another shoe. But dress and sandals apart, most important of all is that William and Kate seemed touched by what the place symbolizes.
Exactly my thoughts!
That’s pure bushwah and an excuse for wearing a dress fit for a garden party at a *gravesite*. If life is everything even in a cemetery why didn’t they throw a party with beer and dancing as well? There is a time and place for everything, and this comment crosses all sense of decency just to excuse this empty-headed, careless ninny. It’s offensive especially when one has to intellectuallise through ‘symbolism’ just to make her look good and elevate her in the face of unspeakable tragedy and her indifference to it and the occasion.
+1. Completely inappropriate outfit for the solemnity of the site.
None of the men in pictures are wearing dark suits, such as black or dark grey. They are all in blue, with one older gentleman in a very light blue. So why the double standard?
Most of the men in the photos are wearing dark blue or black suits. One man is wearing a light blue blazer with dark gray pants, black socks, black shoes. I don’t see any of the men in brightly colored patterned trousers, which would be the equivalent to what she’s wearing IMO.
I didn’t see any of the men wearing a floral dress with strappy sandals. If they were I’m sure we would all comment on that as well. Navy or blue would be much more appropriate.
I’ve studied the Holocaust for decades, 4 to be exact, and yes survivors do want to celebrate life, but they do not want a party at the camps. They do not want an official representative of a foreign govt to show up as if they were going to a garden party. That is basic common sense & I fail to understand how so many cannot see this. They are not you and me. Kate & Will are royals who pick and choose their royal status when they so choose.
Either Kate wanted to feel like us and dress anyway she wanted too or she was a royal who felt that she was above everyone else and would dress accordingly.
She doesn’t get a pass on this from me and I have been to multiple concentration camps, museums, Anne Franks House, etc, etc and never once were we dressed in a manner such as this and that included my children & my mother who behaves worse than Kate. If my mother can do then I fail to see why Kate cannot.
I’m sure this will be the only day that Kate didn’t change into multiple outfits and I fail to understand why she can’t change in this respect considering, as was mentioned, she has hundreds of coat dresses and has arrived wrinkled previously, that she could have done better.
Bottom line is Kate really won’t do better. She may make minor improvements here and there, but at the core she wants all eyes looking at her and I get the feeling that she is dressing for all those people who talked badly about her during her decade long wait for William. It’s always a look at what new outfit I’m wearing. Who cares if it was inappropriate cuz I’m a Duchess y’all.
No double standard from me. If Kate had been wearing a blue suit, even light blue, with closed toe shoes, then no problem from my perspective.
In fact the outfit she wore in Germany was far more appropriate for the visit. There is no reason she couldn’t have worn a plain coloured outfit with closed toes shoes. She has literally hundreds of these types of outfits to choose from.
+1, totally agree Maven.
If Kate had actually released a statement about her attire then this would be credible. But she did not and this is excuse making for someone who has proven time and again to be thoughtless about everything she does.
Will and Kate couldn’t even be bothered to hand write their “message” in the condolence book. How little effort would it take to think of, or at least memorize a brief sentence or two about the atrocities witnessed. They can’t even be bothered to do that. So no there was no thought put into the floral dress except for that is what she wanted to wear.
I was so glad to see her talk to Zigi Shipper. He is an extraordinary person. Google his story. He lives in north London, but travels around talking to schools about his experience. He comes to visit us in Manchester every year to tell our pupils his story and answer their questions. He is never bitter and has no hatred; he is charming and funny, and, even in his 90s, quite flirty! What a delightful man. Every time I talk to him I vow to challenge hatred and prejudice at every turn. A great visit from the Cambridges, and very valuable.
Thanks for sharing that, Bea. Great to have that extra perspective on Mr Shipper. Very interesting.
They say that the most beautiful, compassionate people are born from suffering 🙂 They have seen the worst of humanity and make a point of acting the opposite way so that life is better for not only themselves, but everyone they meet.
The outfit would be fine had she worn different shoes, maybe a little coat or jacket or cardigan, dressed it up a bit to reflect he formal, somber place she was at, but she came rocking up dressed for a garden party/street party.
I think the outfit was ok. One lady guiding them around the concentration camp wore a bright neon pink blazer!
I think I already posted it here, but when my school visited the KZ dachau in 9th grade, we were only told not to wear super short shorts or super short skirts/dresses and nothing with spaghetti straps. Our teachers told us to dress respectful, like for church. They did not say anything about wearing black or no patterns and when we were there, people wore all kinds of patterns and colours and nobody cared.
Richard Palmer asked Jews if black clothing was expected and they said no: https://mobile.twitter.com/RoyalReporter/status/887372888461979649
And about the floral part: The Queen wore florals for a 9/11 visit: https://mobile.twitter.com/CepeSmith/status/887371305200365569
And the floral pattern was in muted, almost washed out grey-ish colours so I think it was fine.
+1. I think people should be excited that she managed to choose one outfit for the whole day!
Rose: LOL +1
The pink blazer worn by one of the women in their group was nowhere close to being bright neon, but closer to a pale pastel. It also had black trim and buttons, and she paired it with a black skirt and closed-toe, black shoes. And while pale pink is probably not the best choice to wear for this occasion, I don’t know for sure but I suspect that this woman doesn’t have access to hundreds of thousands of pounds to spend on her clothing nor a team of supposed professionals who put her whole look together. I imagine this woman put together the best, most appropriate outfit she had, and managed to look professional, respectful and dignified. Kate did not.
I was looking all over for the bright pink blazer and then when I saw the light pink blazer (over a black sheath dress mind you), that is totally different and still appropriate. Also, like Lizzie said, this woman does not have access to literally hundreds of outfits like Kate does. She also wasn’t wearing open toed shoes with her outfit. Kate continually misses the mark and yet many try to make excuses for it. After more than six years she just doesn’t care. It’s not going to change unless there is a serious threat of money being pulled from the BRF for their lavish and thoughtless lifestyle.
I find Kate’s bright pink neon coat ‘look at me’ at 9/11 far, far worse than the offensive dress from this visit or from HM’s pale blue and white florals, which is more muted than Kate’s dress. I don’t like it, either, but I think what takes the cake are the shoes. The fun, flirty summer sandals I find worse than the dress by far, but Kate’s bright pink coat is the worst and most offensive thing, IMO.
HM wore a floral dress with butterflies because she was opening a peace floral garden as part of the event. That is an appropriate symbol of hope at that time in history to me.
I’m really sorry, but Richard Palmer asking “Jews” if black clothing was expected is akin to saying “some of my best friends are black”. Please, please, please stop acting as if a religion with over 6 million people and about 8 million opinions about everything, is a monolith. It’s disrespectful and another form of discrimination. There have been years where I’ve been the token Jew, it’s always uncomfortable to be put on the spot and forced into a position where you’re expected to answer for a people.
Usually I like Richard Palmer, this tweet made me nauseous, please don’t repeat it as if it answers any question other than whether he was insensitive.
This was a meaningful visit, nothing brings home the horror of the holocaust more than those piles of shoes I think. It is very good they went, this is the kind of work I think royalty should do, and Kate and William in particular. They are so cossetted, I think they need some of these types of experiences. I’m sure they learnt alot.
It was an unusually well written note of condolence. Surely William could have memorised a few lines in order to do it in his own handwriting.
As for what she is wearing, I don’t care. I think what she wears pales in comparison to where they are. She looks conservatively dressed and that’s all she needed to do.
Yes, and aren’t the piles of shoes ironic after reading this comment thread where people can’t stop complaining about Kate’s?
This isn’t a conservative look. It is wearing white and florals to a site where everyone else is in gray, navy, or black. It is another outfit, like the zigzag grey coat, that is designed to make her the center of attention.
What she’s wearing should pale in comparison to where they are visiting. If she had worn something in an appropriate shade and worn a repeat, her clothing would have paled. Instead she wore floral, sandals, hair all over the place, and brand new. Making it all about her clothes again.
One of the women guiding them around the site wore a pink top/sweater.
Yes, which I mention down thread. A pale pink sweater with black accents over a black dress. And that person wasn’t a government representative at the level of W&K.
The person works for the museum at the camp, though. I think if someone who works there is wearing a pink sweater, then Kate’s muted flowers are acceptable.
And that’s your opinion. In my opinion, a visiting “dignitary” isn’t supposed to show up at a concentration camp in a brand new summer floral dress and sandals. I find it offensive.
Then we will agree to disagree. I don’t think the dress is offensive, and I don’t think it looks like summer florals. I think it looks like fall or winter florals since the colors are so muted.
A brand new floral outfit and open-toed sandals to a concentration camp will never sit right with me. She chose to make it about her clothing not about the visit. If she wanted it to be about the visit, she would have repeated an outfit, hopefully a more appropriate one.
I considered the dress okay in the propriety department. Stylistically I found the matching floral top and bottom a bit much. A pretty white blouse and belt (a la Letizia) would have “toned down” the floral skirt. (My daughter and I chose a very similar Waverly print for curtains and pillows for her room during her teenage years. It was very pretty. However, when we found matching wallpaper print and added it in her adjoining bath, it was too much!!)
One of the things I have never understood about Japan is how much effort some of the museums have put in wiping out the atrocities they committed in Asia during past wars. It’s so sad. It’s important to remember the capacity for cruelty that we possess so we can guard against repeating these offences in the future. I have not had the chance to visit any holocaust museums but just watching the documentaries is heartbreaking. I am glad William and Kate visited.
The floral patterns are muted enough and she didn’t change so her outfit was ok. That being said, it wasn’t nice. I hate the skirt and top thing. It’s just too teen, young 20s for me. A shift dress would have worked better.
Japan is still at odds with China and South Korea about the horrors they did during the time they occupied both countries. To this day, SK – Jpn relations are still tensed because of the comfort women issue : Japan used SK women as a comfort for their soldier but these women were taken forcibly away for that purpose.
Another issue with Japan, is that they don’t write in their history books about the atrocities they did to China and SK, omitting it.
Now, add the superiority feeling from each country (SK, Japan and China) and a cold war for being the top dog in Asia and you get three angry neighbors hating each other. And still trying to manipulate their population. Fortunately, the younger generations seem to be aware of the past.
Unfortunately the younger generation I’ve met are only vaguely aware. Maybe because there are very few war memorials in Kansai but still I expected them to know more. They seem to know about Pearl Harbour but not about the atrocities in China, S. Korea or the Philippines. It was astounding during the constitution revision to allow more military action how many people had no idea the current pacifism was forced on Japan. I want to visit Hiroshima sometime after summer and I really hope I don’t encounter too much of the whitewashing. I often wonder if America being the ones to stop Japan has contributed to the fact that USA seems to be the only nation they don’t feel they are much more superior to.
I may have met different youths then. I am really interested in Japan’s and now in Asia’s histories. Europeans, Germans especially, seem to have accepted their past (and the French are getting there, admitting some mistakes) but Asian not so much.
The Japanese want the Americans out of their country now and get control of the Okinawa military base and have more military power (threat of China). While Japanese like Americans in general, those living with them at the base dislike them and their rude behavior from what I’ve read (aka I own the world or America is freedom). While the South Koreans need the Americans military support because of the North threat.
The imperial superiority feeling still applies today : Japanese still look down to South East Asians (Philippines, Malaisia …). Koreans as well. Especially because of their “dark skin”. Yet, they still visit these countries and have second wives there.
I’ve never been to the European concentration camps, but as part of a school trip, we visited Shark Island in Namibia. Part of our history lessons on Concentration camps.
Shark Island is incredibly beautiful, you can’t imagine that it was ground zero for the camps that were later established in Europe.
Wow I did not know that. I will add that to my bucket list. Our school history tour was of the slave trade routes in Bagamoyo (Tanzania).
Are you in Tanzania?! I just booked my tix there. I’m going to Zanzibar to see the spice markets and the slave market there. Do I need to add this to my list? I haven’t heard of it. I’ll also be doing the mosques at Kilawa. That’s what I have planned for the east coast
Oh that’s nice. Have fun. I’m from Tanzania but I currently live/study in Japan. I haven’t been to Bagamoyo in years so I’m not sure what tours exist now. It’s right on the beach about an hour away from central Dar so if you find some free time, you could check it out. I think Zanzibar might have something similar because many of the slaves were taken there before going to the Arab countries and India.
Japan isn’t the only country guilty of this. Americans are white-washing our history too. Textbooks are down-playing slavery, glossing over the wars we lost/didn’t win (1812, Vietnam, Korea, Iraq…) and acting like the native Americans voluntarily ceded us the continent.
I graduated high school over ten years ago. All we learned in American history was how bad and evil white people are and how awful America is. There’s such thing as balance and educating one about one’s history, but not in schools, it seems–it’s one way or the other.
Oh Ellie you are so biased; are you white and embarrassed of your history? The facts are the facts; NA rape and genocide happened, slavery and Jim crow happened; Japanese internment camps happened; the Vietnam debacle happened. These things happened and it isn’t about ‘evil white people’ and ‘how awful America is’. We shouldn’t whitewash facts to make white people feel better.
Jessica, I don’t think she’s saying she’s biased. She seems to be making a comment about the bias in US education towards the Hyper PC end of the spectrum.
I’m saying Ellie is biased because she is. Apparently she wants U.S. history to be more ‘white-friendly’ when it already is. US education is not hyper PC because when I took AP US History they had 1 Chapter on slavery and 1 chapter on Jim Crow/Civil Rights; how is that ‘all white people are evil’ and ‘hyper pc end of the spectrum’? Quite frankly they didn’t go deep enough into the damages that genocide, rape, forced schooling did to NA culture and the lingering effects of slavery on Black Americans. Republicans have recently won in altering the textbooks to be more white-friendly.
To not teach about the treatment of the native Americans, indentured servants, and slaves is to do a disservice to our students. It’s also important to teach these things within their historical context which will include the aspects of history that we can be proud of.
Teaching the truth, even the unpleasant bits, is responsible education. Not some sort of political hocus-pocus.
As we’re getting political, this is my last bit on this. She made a comment which to me was an off-hand comment about the nature of what is taught in some US schools. You’ve read that comment as meaning she is biased.
Too much of anything is too much of anything. Balance means balance, not ascribing wrongdoing to all members of one group of people. Truth includes horrors which need to be taught IMO. Truth also includes the fact that not all people of one particular culture or ethnicity are all good or all bad. It is dangerous to go off on one extreme or the other.
I come from a very liberal town, very liberal school district, vote very liberal myself if you’re curious.
You got it Ellie. I am so tired of history being misrepresented from both sides of the coin. Balance is needed, as you said.
You guys say she is not as popular as she should be but thousands showed up to see her and William. Also, why isn’t this tour making major headline news?
Because it’s not news. It’s just filler stuff for the entertainment or gossip sections. Royals do not work in the proper sense of the word, nor are they qualified to do so anyway.
Maybe they were bussed in. Wouldn’t be the first time.
I stated above I think those crowds were bused in! They did it for someone else recently so he would have “warm welcome”
People magazine didn’t even make them the main cover story! So they’re either realizing there are bigger things to cover or they’re loosing their luster even for people.
Ha! Great minds. Yep, it’s been done before. ‘Nuff said. The country seems very accommodating in that respect.
She’s not supposed to be popular. She not supposed to be fashionable.
She’s supposed to show up a lot more often, work a lot harder, spend time preparing for her job, act appropriately, and dress in a simple working wardrobe.
The royal job is not a popularity contest, nor is it equal to being a celebrity (who at least earns their place in this world).
This appears to be the first tour in quite a long while that showed any noticeable crowds.
They weren’t mentioned in most legitimate news organizations because she isn’t news and most don’t care what they are doing. At least that’s the take that I see.
Some have mentioned in other forums that currently it is a high season for tourism, especially in Germany and so that would explain the higher number of people (especially kids who are out of school) who would be there. But really it’ shouldn’t matter if they are popular in Poland and Germany but in the U.K., where they take money from the taxpayers.
I also read that crowds were bussed in Warsaw for the US president and it is likely this was done here too.
Makes sense if the host country bused in people to try to pretend this event was of interest. They will receive a lot of criticism for spending money on the tour of government employees from a country being the first to start tearing apart the EU. The host country needs the PR of hired crowds.
I didn’t mind the florals so much, but I really thought the sandals were inappropriate for the visit. Everyone around them had closed toed shoes and Kate is not a tourist – she’s there representing the head of state and it would have been easy for her to switch between events…and it would show that she planned a serious event followed by a fun event. It would visually show a recognition of the division of the day. But, I am glad they visited and thought their demeanor was very respectful and appropriate.
“It’s important to remember the capacity for cruelty that we possess so we can guard against repeating these offences in the future.”
I thought the outfit was fine for a different occasion, but given Kate’s habit of wearing insensitive colors/ outfits to memorials in past royal visits, I was disappointed but not terribly surprised in this choice for a Holocaust museum/ site visit… I agree, it was not as jarring as the image of a hot pink coat at he 9/11 memorial, but….I mean, would it kill her to wear a navy or charcoal dress?? Also, I agree with KMR that the open-toed shoes were an odd choice.
Maybe she didn’t have time to change in between engagements and just wanted to wear one outfit for the whole day… but given that this rarely is the case for her (I feel like she always has time for a costume change), bringing along a more muted outfit to visit a former concentration camp might have been a well-advised idea in this case…
It was as jarring as the pink outfit to me.
It was to me as well. That plus the open-toed sandals that are a no-no at Jewish funerals. This is a burial site and the site of atrocity. Floral and sandals are completely inappropriate.
She could easily have worn one of the many outfits she already has in navy or gray. That outfit would have been appropriate for the entire day, as they is not reason she dress like a tourist at a picnic for later events on her schedule.
My impression is that that was a very busy day! Kate did well to choose an outfit which would by appropriate for such a range of activities. I disagree with other commenters about the florals- I find them very tactful in this case. They are a symbol of life, and of hope. These comments largely made me sad. It seems like Kate did a lot of good today but all most noticed were her toes.
Today she wore a blue coat dress that would have worked far better and would have worked for the street party and other events. There is no evidence that Kate has ever attended any concentration camp prior to this one so it is imputing far more thought into her outfits than she has ever shown before that she wore florals to make the survivors feel better. There is no evidence she did that. She wanted the pretty florals , and hair down for the more festive events after. This woman has assistants to help with her hair and clothes and has people carry all she needs. She could have easily worn a more appropriate outfit and then changed it after visiting with the survivors.
And Willy condones it. Because he knows nothing too. One would think he has a greater sense of occasion at the very least. What is wrong with him?
And if we caught wind that he had told her not to wear a certain dress we’d probably be railing on him for being so controlling.
No I disagree he has far more ‘royal’ experience he should definitely be giving her advice, it seems to me that no one is advising. Didn’t he say at the engagement he was going to guide her. She has refused other help e.g. From Sophie so he needs to be advising.
Given the commentary about William being controlling about privacy and such, if it were known that William were influencing Kate’s wardrobe choices, loads of people would talk about how controlling he is. Especially since he’s jokingly talked shit about her wardrobe choices and hair in the past.
Just. No. Everything is not equal. This is about advising someone, steering them and guiding them as he is said to have asserted- that he would show her the way. He already controls her body anyway. This is just standard protocol and it looks like no one is doing the driving. Surely he should be advising her on protocol.
What do you mean by ‘controls her body’. I’m interpreting that in a really negative way. Do you mean that as seriously as I’m taking it.
If he told her not to wear a floral outfit to a concentration camp then he should be applauded. However, he controls her in terms of wanting long hair or not wearing nail polish, things that make him more sexually attracted to her. He has yet to advise her on protocol, because it’s not like he stopped her from flashing numerous times. Six years later and he has yet to tell her to be more conservative.
She used her body, weight, appearance as a tools for popularity and male attention long before William was in the picture.
If he likes long hair, she would have kept it ridiculously long instead of cutting it recently. The only public comment I’ve ever read from him about her hair was when it was at the longest – and he referred to it as a nightmare. She didn’t cut it then, but years later. To me that shows he isn’t in charge of her hair, she is.
No fingernail polish has been BRF royal protocol for many years. If he doesn’t like fingernail polish, why would she have toe nail polish? Seems far more likely it is related to royal protocol.
Her clothing choices? I don’t think it is related to William, but rather her 20 year track record of needing to be seen as “sexy” to any male around. Since William hates everything to do with the royal job, he isn’t going to care if her skirts aren’t weighted because he wants them both to do poorly in this job.
I think he likes that she fails so frequently in this job. He doesn’t want a wife that would do the job well, seeing as he doesn’t want the job either.
I bet he is that perverse. Fits his personality.
Any middle finger to the royals is a win for him.
He would never want a wife like a Letizia or Maxima, who would push him to be better in his role. Because he hates the role, expectations, and the Family Firm that provides his wealthy lifestyle.
Part of my point was that people often complain when she makes so many outfit changes. I personally thought that it was an appropriate look. I’m not saying she wore florals to make anyone feel better, I’m saying they are a symbol of life and hope and I appreciate the way they offset the dreary mood of such a site, but with an appropriate color way. If she wanted all the pretty and hair down, why wouldn’t she do the same the next day?
Trying to reply to KMRs comment …there’s a difference between influencing and advising. Advising is giving her the right information to enable her to make the right choices herself. He should know more about issues of colour, wearing hats, open toe shoes etc, who to shake hands with first, who she needs to curtsy to…that’s advice. Saying she looked like a banana in that yellow dress is different.
You’re assuming that he did not advise her. Perhaps he, like many of us, found the dress suitable for the occasion.
Perhaps, as usual IMO, he just doesn’t care what she does. Given the photos of stoney faces from the evening event? They’re not in the best of places in this relationship.
Well if he did advise her, he needs to take a remedial course in royal protocol (which he wouldn’t finish, I’m sure).
I still can’t get over how he told someone how Kate needed to lose more weight after having George.
That is the worst crap out of his mouth I’ve EVER heard.
Ellie, has there ever been any confirmation of that or is that a rumor? I’ve never read that anywhere other than here. We have confirmation on things like him saying her long hair was “a nightmare” because the press reported on it. And his absence after their son’s birth, because she was quoted directly by the press on the AU/NZ tour.
This comment about her weight keeps being put out there, but I’ve never seen evidence of it from a direct published quote by the media. She has a pre-William history of using her body and weight for male attention; it is a pattern established long before he came into the picture.
I think on tours it’s even more noticeable that kate has an incompetent team. I don’t know if it’s their incessant need for privacy, refusal to accept real help or just doesn’t think they need it but it’s always glaring to me.
Someone once said her hairstylist was once cut William and Harry’s hair, which explains why her hairdos are always so terrible and consists of 3 styles- down(curls optional) tweet and old lady updo.
A real stylist would either make her go to her fittings or give correct measurements. They would do intensive research on weather and appropriate attire for their occasions. They would find clothes to fit your body type and not try and do shoddy tailoring to mask/elongate parts. Stop hiring friends and get a real appropriate team to advise you. And then listen to them
Sorry about mini rant but her team is so incompetent it’s frustrating
If the survivors don’t care about her floral dress I am nobody to criticize her for it especially that I also think this outfit was appropiate.
Kate and Will did a great job to visit a concentration camp and meet survivors.
I don’t mind who wrote the message in the guest book untill they signed it.
I’m curious as to your point of view. Why is it ok for them to sign something someone else has written. If they were so moved why not write something themselves?
That’s a good point, Birdy. I guess they were so moved they were speechless/expressionless.
Well, they could write it themselves, yes. But if they just signed it, it is ok for me. Because when someone write his/her own name after some message, that means he/she agree. Furthermore we can not sure about who wrote that massage originally. It could be Will and Kate. Maybe Rebecca or some other staff copypasted it for them to save time etc. I don’t know.. I like to be as positive person especially if we has zero news about what happened behind the curtains.
I already pointed out that other world leaders who actually run government have taken the time to hand write their own brief messages, so just signing your name to something is meaningless. It’s not like they are working full time jobs and writing a brief message themselves shows they actually care, just signing your name does not.
I think Kate is rather smart at choosing this floral outfit which fits both occasions. The only thing is that it is not flattering. i agree that a coat dress or a dress would look better.
Her choice shows what was more important to her, what her priority was. Moreover, the officials with them are dresses sombrely and guess who stands out, just like the 9/11 memorial.
I don’t think her outfit was wrong or distasteful. I found it to be very pretty – especially when you start to look at Polish flower traditions and what they mean. The roses on the dress look similar to the national Polish flower- corn poppy. Also roses in Poland can mean unity. On another note, the Queen wore a brighter floral dress to the 9/11 memorial in 2010 – which really is no different in my opinion – which many of us Yanks didn’t find offensive. I’ve also been to a concentration camp in Germany and the Ann Frank house and for me it’s not about what you wear as I was a tourist and in jeans and a t-shirt – but rather remembering and paying your respects and condolences.
The rose was also taken up as a symbol by resistance fighters during WWII. All in all I think this was a nice bit of sartorial diplomacy but an unfortunate shoe choice.
Kate is not there as a tourist she is there representing our HoS. Huge difference imo.
So was it then inappropriate for the Queen to wear a floral dress at the 9/11 memorial site?
QEII laid a wreath at the site of the South Tower and then opened a flower garden planted as a memorial to the British victims of 9/11.
Like Kate, she made one dress work for two occasions. Like Kate, she went with muted florals. Unlike Kate, her accessories were all very formal (gloves, hat, closed-toe shoes) and that elevated the outfit for the first occasion. Kate was underdressed for the first visit, and a bit to stuffy for the second, IMO.
With due respect that’s just another rationalisation through intellectualisation of her carelessness and indifference. People seem to be twisting themselves into pretzels to make it better and make her look as if she actually gives a toss and has any taste.
I’m not impressed by the queen’s choice either. What it says to me is that it’s one of a series of memorials but not top drawer.
People just have different opinions. Some people find it offensive, but some people do not. We all need to agree to disagree on this since clearly no ones opinion here is going to change.
Again replying if I can to KMR , I agree , this is getting unpleasant. It’s a serious subject that we all feel strongly about. Let’s agree to disagree and move on. We all agree that visiting a concentration camp is a very difficult and moving event. It is difficult for anyone , one of us normal people in our jeans and t shirt, or for a royal. Let’s remember the dead and those who made so many enormous sacrifices to help the Jewish people and others who were tormented by the Nazis. That’s so much more important than arguing over sandals and a dress.
What is important is opinions about government officials doing poorly in their jobs. This is another example of their complete lack of preparation.
As noted upthread – flowers are not part of Jewish funeral or mourning tradition. Ergo, floral dress at a Jewish funeral (or site of a death camp) is completely inappropriate.
Wearing florals is not appropriate for going to a place where thousands were murdered. Especially when you add the open toe shoes. She wouldn’t dress like this for a memorial service and shouldn’t not have dressed like this here.
I find it distasteful and offensive, having friends with relatives who perished in these atrocities.
She could have chosen an outfit that was appropriate for this visit and worn it all day. A simple dress in navy or dark gray would have been appropriate for this event and for the later events in the day. But she had to 1) be disrespectful and 2) make it a fashion show as usual.
The kiddies are so cute on their departure from Poland and arrival in Germany. It is a shame nobody in Britain sees them.
I was impressed by this visit to Stutthof. K & W clearly understood the gravity of this hell-hole. The stories of Siggy Shipper and Manfred Goldberg, are so harrowing. Their desire to survive was amazing given the conditions and how they did not lose their faith in that place is a testament to the human will. I like to think that K & W have come away with a better understanding of this time in history.
I do not have a problem with Kate’s choice of outfit, despite the fact it looked like a dress that Maria made from the curtains in the Sound of Music. The colors were muted and it was modest. I really just want to focus on the place and not on her.
I went to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem 2 years ago and people were dressed in all sorts of ways, shorts, pants, maxi dresses, sleeves, sleeveless etc…that did not affect what people were thinking as they went through the exhibits.
She is not a tourist, she is a government representative. If you look at the photos, 95 percent of the people in the wide shots are wearing black or navy. One woman is wearing black with a pale pink blazer with black accents. Two others are wearing pale blue/gray.
She deliberately wore something new to make it a fashion show, an outfit that made her stand out like she wanted.
Yad Vashem is not a graveyard, nor the site of atrocities where people suffered and died horrendously. I’ve been to Yad Vashem and lasted 3 minutes, and then cried the rest of the day. And I was dressed like a tourist, in jeans. If I were to go to a concentration camp you bet I would wear something sombre and appropriate (a dress). The Cambs were not tourists either.
It really comes down to one thing…..to honour and respect the dead whilst acknowledging the sheer inhumanity of what happened there
Thank you Mrs BBV, I like those words you wrote. This is a subject for me that is not easy to express my thoughts about but as a person of the Jewish faith, I still maintain W & K behaved/dressed appropriately and their presence is what mattered. To me, their presence acknowledged the evil that was perpetrated by the Nazi’s and even if it was their first time experiencing something like this, I hope it gave them pause to think about humanity. While I can not know what they were thinking during this event, to me the clothing was secondary.
Mrs BBV and Boston Brahmin: + 2
I was much more impressed by her clothing choice here than at the 9/11 memorial or at Rajghat ( the Gandhi memorial in Delhi). I realize that she wore new clothes and almost new shoes, but her demeanor along with that of William was much more appropriate. I’ll take expressionless over rolling eyes or grimacing to suggest interest.
I used to be a supporter of the British royals up to my early thirties but am not now. That said, I’m impressed by the work ethic of Queen Elizabeth’s generation, royal and non-stop alike. I like the Queen, Princess Alexandra, the Duchess of Kent,and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. I admire Prince Charles’s efforts in doing something productive, rather than swan around like his sons.
I have to admit that I come to this site more for Felipe, Letizia, Victoria of Sweden and their kids. Especially, Victoria’s kids. I can’t feel anything much for George and Charlotte, which is sad given the interest I had in their births. George reminds me more and more of King George VI (the Queen’s father) these days I hope he doesn’t end up with a stammer or stutter.though.
Thank you, website owner, for your updates. Thank you, commenters, especially Herazeus, art historian, Mrs BBV for your links and explanations.
Personally, I haven’t found Kate’s touring clothes to be particularly flattering. I thought the McQueen coat she arrived in was fine, but I just don’t think she’s choosing clothing that are suited to her body type.
I didn’t personally object to the floral (other than I thought it was hideous). And then I thought about it. Kate and her handlers had to know that floral on white was going to get a reaction. They HAD to…when I was 16 my camp took us on a trip that included going to Auschwitz (yay Jewish youth movements!) Every single one of us wore funeral clothing. The counselors didn’t have to even suggest what appropriate was…we knew. So, assuming Kate has the sense of a 16 year old, she knew she would be causing a hubbub. So why do it? She owns plenty of dark clothing that would be more than appropriate. Heck, she could have worn one of her (many) dark coat-dresses over the floral, and taken off the coat for the afternoon. Unless she was intentionally trying to divert attention from of the actual purpose of visiting a concentration camp, I don’t understand her reasoning.
On a practical note, every time I’ve been to a death/concentration camp, I’ve ended up burying my shoes, I couldn’t wear them again, it felt too much like walking on people’s graves. I can’t imagine going in sandals, I’d feel too dirty, getting dirt and ashes on me.
Eve, thank you for your perspective, which made me think more deeply about what is going on with royal clothing choices. Unfortunately, I’m not sure anyone at KP thinks about the clothes, or perhaps they don’t have any influence. Anyway, the India memorial fly up skirt was the end of my giving her and her advisors any credit for thoughtfulness, dignity, and sense.
The Erdem was not terrible for Erdem. I agree that it was fine for the street party. A duster coat and shoe change would have been easy and uncontroversial. I also agree she is not picking clothes that flatter her body type. But at least this Erdem didn’t have ruffles.
That’s very interesting about your shoes. I actually brings home the horror.
So eloquent, eve, thank you for that. I don’t think I could make it through a concentration camp when I couldn’t make it through Yad Vashem. I completely understand burying your shoes-that gesture really hits the heart.
I forgot to mention, when we leave a Jewish cemetery, we’re provided with water to ritually wash our hands and say a blessing after being in contact with death. Descendants of the Kohen (the priestly class) still are forbidden to enter a cemetery. So, graveyards have a momentous import for Jews.
Maven, thank you for your information about what you do when leaving a Jewish cemetery. It’s rather lovely as I feel it honours the dead, taking a moment to say a blessing is such a nice thought and shows respect.
I’m not sure if I would be brave enough to enter a concentration camp. But if I did then I would make sure that I was wearing a suitable colour and suitable clothing. I would not wear open shoes, sandals etc as the whole area is a grave site. IMO that is so disrespectful. I do feel that the commenter above had the right idea to bury her shoes afterwards. I think that anyone who was in a camp and goes back is incredibly brave! I take my hat off to those 2 gentlemen.
As for that comment in the visitor’s book written by someone else? And then signed by William and Kate? Tacky! It would have been better to have said something themselves, or just signed the book?
It would have been easy for Kate to have put on closed shoes and a dark colour jacket in the car, if she was organised. Some people mock Charles for having a valet, but the valet’s job is not to dress Charles every day but to make sure he has the right uniform with all the correct bits and pieces, or the right tie to go to the right function (imagine turning up to an Army event wearing an Air Force tie?). This saves him from embarrassing himself or embarrassing the host. I wish Kate would learn this and thereby learn the importance of a dresser?
Eve,…..that is a beautiful and very moving thing to do. Respect to you. Xx
I wish you were employed by the Duchess on some protocol things. You could really help her……..IF she decided to listen.
Christ could they look anymore bored in that last picture
Tip to these two who never prepare. You are going to a concentration camp. If you think you might actually care about any of it or be even slightly moved, bring a hankie. Do not use your hand to wipe your face-and-nose, then shake peoples’ hands.
I personally would not feel comfortable going to a concentration camp wearing anything but something simple in a black, gray, blue, or green color with minimal jewelry.
I have heard of people being asked to wear bright colors to a funeral if that was the deceased’s wishes. I have seen the parents of a two year old boy who passed ask people to wear Thomas the Tank colors because that was his favorite.
But this situation is about remembering pain, suffering and death not a celebration of life. As a royal, Kate’s sartorial choices are highly symbolic. She primarily communicates through clothes. Therefore something more subdued would be appropriate
If we’re talking about us personally, then I personally would wear white since white is considered a symbol of hope.
I would do white or grey or maybe light blue.
White is also good. I thought Kate wearing that simple white dress at India Gate was appropiate if it hadn’t flown up in the wind. I think young children are asked to wear white at funerals because it is the color of purity.
And any shade of blue would have worked. I’m thinking of one of her solid color coat dresses in navy or powder blue. She has at least ten.
I don’t know if there is a dress code for tourists but I have recently been appalled by people posting pictures on social media taking silly selfies at a concentration camp. That is just tacky and disrespectful.
What continues to be noticeable here as an American unfamiliar with the royal family’s public role, is that there is controversy over various sartorial and behavioral choices that could have been easily anticipated and avoided. The better choices in personal appearance should not detract from the occasion by being in and of themselves controversial—it could have been anticipated that the flowery dress and sandals would be noticed and commented on. Why is the standard not the most possible respectful and tactful outfit for a very serious occasion, rather than whether it was OK enough to get by? KW have a gravitas problem—they are not believable royals without it. So they should err in the direction of seeming more serious, better prepared and less adorned. They should wear British designers exclusively, other than when visiting another country and wearing someone from there. Every public clothing choice should be carefully made. Her outfit would not have been right at the 9/11 museum. (That regular tourists wear all kinds of unspeakable garments there is irrelevant) HM was opening a garden–she was appropriate. Her outfit was also quite different. The forged comments in the book also convey “can’t be bothered”.
Well said, vivian.
Yes. Vivian, perhaps you have a future career in public relations.
I don’t know how this comment was intended, but part of what I was trying to say is that all of this is self-evident—it does not require a P.R. professional (which I am not in any way) to make the kind of common sense observations I have done here. Anyone could make these kinds of judgement calls. I think the failure to do this (since they have professionals of all kinds at their disposal) is a low level acting out of adolescent rebellion, and refusal to behave as regular mature adults, let alone royals (for whom, if they are going to exist at all, should be held to a higher, not lower, standard.
Vivian, I agree with so much of what you have said. I also think that the people responsible for “advising” W and K are from the generation that does not see the importance of tradition, hard work, researching events, and following through on even the smallest of details. They have purposefully hired those who will not only “yes” them to death on everything, but people who don’t seem to have a high work ethic at all. I’m sorry, but I think that is very true. I honestly don’t think many of the staff would have thought, “Oh, Ma’am not a floral print to the visit.” “No, to open toe shoes and painted toe nails, too.” I’m surprised Rebecca actually wore a navy suit. Sorry, I did not see any photos of her. If she did, perhaps, I am coming down to hard on the entire staff. Maybe, it is true that K and W just don’t listen and whistle their own special tune!
I am through disgusted with Billie, Cathy & Harry’ behavour!
Another observation, consistent with what I said upthread, is that (again as an outsider) and as someone who has been a mother and a teacher to adolescents, teenagers, and\ young adults, to me WK seem stunted at adolescence where they are reflexively defiant to authority figures, and are slackers—they get away with as little as possible, and are perfectly willing to let other people do their homework for them- There do not seem to be developing advancing into mature adults.
I agree. They do not act like normal 35 year olds at all. Sadly they are coddled and their carelessness is always defended by some when they need to hear more criticism so they could develop as people.
Agree with all. Now, it’s on to Germany in a bright yellow dress to roll pretzel dough and laugh, smile and have fun. Yes, I give them credit for visiting the concentration camp site. I think they would have to be inhuman not to have been considerably moved (which they seemed to be), but after such duress, yes, a roll of pretzel dough is certainly in order!
My God, how would W and K and their merry crew have dealt with the horrors of WWII?! I’m sure they would have been moved as far away as possible from the London barrage of bombings. Had they visited, it would have been a mistake, I am sure.
This tour does not make any sense to me.
I quite agree Kitty, much better for them to visit Commonwealth countries. I do wonder what they spoke to Angela Merkel about over lunch? Is she going to give us a better Brexit deal because she liked Kate’s dress?? I think not. Does anyone remember when Kate last repeated an outfit? She doesn’t seem to realise things can be washed and worn again, even striped tops. And this lady lives pretty much in the shadow of Grenfell. It beggars belief quite frankly.
And the kids? Yes they are very cute, but they are being used as a PR tool I just don’t think it is appropriate . Three weeks downunder? Yes take young kids, but other than that leave them home. Let’s them be introduced to little events in the U.K. When they are not jet lagged and exhausted. Charlotte seems to cope better than George. But that just makes George a little shy boy at the moment. Lots of young kids are shy and they grow out of it with gentle encouragement . I am sure George will too.
Funny you should mention a striped top……Jeggings and striped top made an appearance today !!!
Oh I’ve seen the yellow dress. So she changed today.
She sure did. For the boat race.Millions of pics on Dm as usual
It is a diplomatic choice Birdy, don’t you know it ?. After all, Germany has yellow in their flag and she is giving a nod to the host country. Isn’t it amazing ?
The last DM article is having me sick with the over sugarness of it. I must go and recover from it.
I am far from a Kate apologist, but I find this kerfuffle about her outfit and shoes to be much ado about nothing. I spend a lot of time visiting historical sites, including a lot of Civil War battlefields (where many soldiers are buried). While not an extermination, thousands, and some times tens of thousands, were killed at each. Many young men, and many patriots. And at every one I have been to, there are tourists wearing shorts, sneakers, flip flops, etc. I myself usually wear sneakers because they involve a lot of walking, like Gettysburg and Antietam. I have nothing but respect for the soldiers that were killed preserving this country, as do the other visitors, I suspect. She is wearing a muted floral dress that is, while ugly, not like a crop top or something.
Sarah my dad was a liberator of five concentration camps. He was a Sargent in the 65 Infantry Division. The largest camp he helped liberate was Camp Mauthousen in Austria. I’ve written a book about this and sold it to
actress Diane Ladd to make a movie about this. My dads wish on his death bed was for the Holicaust to never be forgotten so that history won’t repeat its self. I lobbied for the Mississippi Commission on the Holocaust it was passed to be Bill 1269. Now the Holocsust and that time in history is taught in all public schools in Mississippi. A teacher from the National Holocaust Museum in Wash D.C. Comes to
Mississippi to hold a days conference to teach our teachers how to conduct their classes in teaching about this horrid time. You can read about my dads time in Camp Mauthoussen on my web site
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