Kate has ‘such fond memories of being in the garden’

Kate has ‘such fond memories of being in the garden’

Yesterday, November 29, Kate Middleton visited Robin Hood Primary School to celebrate 10 years of the Royal Horticultural Society Campaign for School Gardening where she joined in on the gardening activities and thanked everyone for having her there.

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Upon arrival, the Duchess of Cambridge was greeted by school children and given flowers before receiving a briefing about the RHS nation-wide campaign and how it helps outdoor learning.

Kate then joined the children for gardening activities such as planting bulbs in the Sensory Garden and whittling bug homes in the Outdoor Learning area.

The spaces give children an opportunity to explore, consolidate, and develop their knowledge and understanding of the natural environment while inspiring their curiosity and stimulating their desire to learn.

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The RHS Campaign for School Gardening inspires and supports schools to provide children with gardening opportunities to enhance their skills and boost their development. The RHS Campaign for School Gardening touts direct benefits of gardening for children, among other things, as: improves physical and mental well-being; builds life skills such as confidence, teamwork and communication; and teaches about the environment and sustainability.

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After visiting the outdoor space, Kate was given an overview of the School Gardeners of the Year competition and met a group of parents, before cutting a cake to celebrate 10 years of the program – which has, so far, enabled 34,000 schools to get involved in gardening.

Kate cuts cake at primary school s
[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

Kate spoke to the crowd at the end of the engagement. Her little speech begins at 1:23 in the video below (prior to that you can hear her speaking to the children during their activities). She says:

    “Hello, thank you so much for having me here today, it’s been lovely to meet all of you. And thank you so much to all the children who’ve shown me what they’ve been doing in their gardens – it’s really inspiring and, um, exciting to see what you’ve all been up to. Um, I’ve got such fond memories of being in the garden and being outside from my own childhood and, um, I’m sharing that with my own children, George and Charlotte, um, at the moment, and I’m really excited with what you’re doing here, and taking inspiration from that in the school environment as well. But thank you again, and, um, good luck and happy gardening for the future.”

I think this is one of Kate’s better speaking moments: while she clearly has a note card in her left hand which she takes a peek at from time to time, she isn’t reading off of the card like she does during normal speeches; she is looking out at the crowd the majority of the time; and her voice sounds more confident than usual. I left in the filler words in my transcript because it seems to me like she didn’t use as many filler words as she usually does when speaking without reading off of a piece of paper.

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Kate went Full Repeat with her dressed down outfit for this engagement: Barbour Ladies Waxed Defence Jacket (which she’s had since 2012), Temperley London Honeycomb Tunic (which she’s had since at least 2016), Penelope Chilvers Long Tassel Boots (which she’s had for over a decade), and Kiki McDonough Lauren Leaf earrings (which she’s had since 2015), and black skinny jeans.

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Overall, I think this was a good engagement for Kate. She seemed engaged with the kids (judging by the video), she got involved with the activities, she spoke to the crowd and was more confident than usual while doing so, and she wore all repeated clothing. I think Kate did very well here.

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Here’s a photo of Catherine Quinn.

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This is where they put the whittled bug homes: Bug-ingham Palace.

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A photo of the cake.

[Kensington Palace @KensingtonRoyal]

Kate was photographed in the afternoon on the 28th driving with her mother, Carole Middleton. You can see the photos at the Daily Mail. Kate is wearing a checkered coat from Zara in the photos.

171 thoughts on “Kate has ‘such fond memories of being in the garden’

  1. She looks great and so does Catherine Quinn. She has never looked great dressed up-casual, country is what suits her best. These are the types of engagements she needs to be doing, this is her forte. I never got why she was shoved into or chose charities that don’t suit her. I still think she is best suited not to be around kids as she is so awkward with them, but oh well.

    The star of the engagement is that cake, though!

    1. I agree that Kate’s best outfits and behavior seems to be on these very casual outings. I liked her outfit, and her speech was good…for Kate. But that bar is set pretty low.

      I liked Bugingham Palace best. I am accommodating one of those in my yard, unintentionally.

  2. Today was a total win for Kate! She was engaged, appropriately dressed, gave a speech and didn’t buy anything new. There is nothing to critique.

    I love her outfit. It is something I would totally wear and have worn similarly. I prefer her dressed down clothing. She appears more youthful or her age when she is casual. I have always loved that sweater-wish it was in my price range. It looks so comfortable.

    I also thought her speech was good. Especially after how nervous she was talking to the reporters yesterday. Today she appeared confident and hardly looked at the note in her hand. It was a brief speech, but it felt natural.

    I loved todays appearance from her. I want her to have more days like this! 🙂

    1. Overit +1
      ‘I loved today’s appearance from her. I want her to have more days like this!’
      Me too.

      I also like how Catherine Quinn is discreetly present.
      She just gently hovers in the background.
      Rebecca by comparison seemed to be front and centre.

      1. Me too Spectator. It’s funny because when I watched the video earlier today, I was looking for Quinn and never saw her. I thought she wasn’t there. I didn’t know until KMR posted a photo. She definitely makes herself blend in (in a good way). She dresses much better than Rebecca did too.

        1. Overit this is not the video I was searching for (it appears to have disappeared into the ether).
          Catherine is at the back on the left with the assistant who was with Kate at the Foundling Museum. I have also noticed that if Catherine thinks she is going to be in a photo or video she will step away. I like that. From what I have observed of her to date I believe Catherine to be an asset and support to Kate.

          1. Yes, Catherine Quinn handels these things in an intelligent and thoughtful way. There are so many people today that lack this knowledge how to handle things.Stepping out of a picture, staying in the background, if it’s not about oneself. She is a great asset!

          2. Lovely Blossom: and that’s why it was a shame that Kate didn’t hire someone like Quinn right from the beginning.

            I firmly believe that all these improvements, even where rehearsed like yesterday’s speech, and or working whilst pregnant, are Quinn’s doing.

            Rebecca was too much of a mate AND she had no experience or authority to guide Kate to do better or to be confident in herself.

            Some people can instinctively know what to do, like Diana. Others have the self awareness to seek help to improve on what they know or don’t know, like Diana.

            Kate is not just a follower, she needs instructions. You put a bad team around her, the past 6yrs is what you get.

            A few months with Quinn and she’s come up in leaps and bounds.

            I still hold that she will never work more, but she is improving in her engagements.

  3. Looking healthy and well, Kate! Glad that morning sickness is keeping at bay. She looks well engaged and dressed well. Would be nice if those jeans were a bit less legging like but they are all repeated clothes thank goodness. Well done.

    1. I am never going to like the jeggings, but at least they were all repeats and working in the dirt requires more casual wear. Weirdly (or not) she tends to do better on solo engagements.

      Always great to see another Catherine Quinn pic. She deserves credit for these improvements. Now it’s time to increase the numbers….

      1. I’ve noticed that too. I think she leans on William too much, let’s him lead, and is much more passive when they’re together. When she’s alone, it’s like she knows it’s all on her.

  4. Well done Kate! I love that coat and tunic.

    Btw William arrived in Helsinki yesterday and there seems to be very little coverage in the Finnish media. People don’t seem to be that interested in this visit, we’ll see if he gets more attention today when Prince Daniel arrives to visit Slush, a large enterpreneurship event William will also visit if I remember correctly. My friend and I decided not to go to see his short walkabout not far from where we work because the weather was, and still is, miserable. Poor him, he must think Finland is the darkest place he’s ever been to!

      1. Ha ha ha, unmade bed. You nailed that, Leah. She was a poor assistant for someone in the public eye as much as Kate. This new lady is quite impressive. I like that KMR includes photos of her, since I think Kate should be taking style tips from her.

    1. Leah why are you so focused on the apperance of women? These kind of comments are so mean and don’t elevate the conversation.

      1. We’ve always critiqued appearances here because that’s usually all that Kate gives us to talk about. Rebecca Deacon was always unkempt and sloppy. Catherine Quinn is most certainly not and seems to be a far better influence on Kate. When you are a professional in the public eye, your appearance matters. Whether you like it or not doesn’t change anything.

        1. Leah I’m curious because it seems like its one thing to be critical but not unkind or cruel. It seems like you post often and it’s mostly critical and mostly on the meaner side of the spectrum. I am genuinely curious about why you feel it is appropriate to this level of judgmental about the appearance of women. How do you judge women who aren’t public figures?

      2. Rebecca Deacon’s public presentation reflected so badly on Kate.

        I’ve worked in celeb PR and i’ve coached people newly famous about presentation and Rebecca ALWAYS made me wince.

        The fact that she stood so clearly near the prinvipal made her look worse.

        When they had joint engagements, William and Harry’s support team wore suits and always looked smart. On rare occassions they dressed casually, but in sloaney casual rather than sloppy casual.

        Unmade bed is an apt description of Rebecca’s presentation. She looked unkempt, hair unbrushed, underwear on show, clothese frequently unironed and often too casual. She dressed as if she’d rolled in from the beach on her last assignment with Kate which was at the V and A museum. Her beach dress was so short it looked like you could see the cheek of her bottom. Or perhaps that was the photo posted to the media.

        Rebecca Deacon stood out for all the wrong reasons. And with that as her sartorial guide, is it any wonder that Kaye had so many mishaps herself.

        By comparison have you ever noted the Queen’s LIWs? Or Maxima’s LIWs? Or Mary of Denmark’s LIWs? Impeccably turned out and a good visual presentation of team without anyone wondering who the unbrushed, unkempt, urchin in the centre is.

        HM with some of her LIW




        Maxima with her LIW


        Mary with her LIW



        It says everything about Kate’s own lack of professional experience that she never insisted Rebecca dress better when accompanying her. And on the flipside Rebecca’s only other job was at a record company so her idea of suitable attire or presentation was inaporopriate and she couldn’t guide Kate in that area.

        And the irony is that Rebecca joined team Cambridge when JLP was still in charge and under his leadership, Rebecca dressed better and or like a professional person. After he left and suddenly she and Jason were in charge, her self-presentation went out the window and or got progressively worse with each successive year.

        Catherine Quinn is dressed in the manner we would take for granted, and we are all commenting on her style as if she’s a unicorn. It’s a reaction to how badly Rebecca presented and was noticed.

          1. I’m with you both- though I’m not a lawyer! Hera has always been one of the supporting walls of this blog. Miss me some art historian though, ah well, at least we haven’t lost them all.

  5. I’m glad she spoke today to the kids. She sounded terrified, if you ask me, her voice wobbly. I feel bad for her but the only way it’ll get better is if she powers through and works at it. Other than that I think this was a good day for her. Clothes are meh but this is Kate, what do we expect, lol.

    1. Agreed- that is the most relaxed I’ve ever seen her addressing a crowd- I could even understand what she was saying!! Two thumbs up and a big hello to Ms. Quinn (keep up the good work- we’re seeing results!).

  6. She looked great. And its a practical outfit too. She seemed to interact well with the kids, and seemed to enjoy the actual engagement itself- as someone said previously it is her forte.

    But if I could look half as great and confident as Catherine Quinn I would thank God every day.

    1. Lovely that she’s involved with the RHS programme to encourage gardening – so many little ones these days live in flats or have both working parents so it’s great schools are getting involved.

      She looked perfectly dressed, spoke well and seemed so happy with the children – a win for me.

  7. This is the kind of engagement that I wish could be her norm: engaged with the place and people she’s visiting, appropriately dressed, speaking a bit, and looking content through it all. As Nic and I were saying, she seems to perform better sans William. I wish she could have more time on her own in low-key environments like this. I think it would build her confidence.

    1. I wish she did more things like this, too. I was surprised to see she made a short speech and I thought she did well (for her). Great outfit and good interaction.

  8. I also love such outdoor-engagements and I prefer Kate’s casual clothes.
    For me, it’s much more interesting to see which kind of clothes wealthy or royal people choose for their everyday life.
    The cake looks beautiful and tasty.
    Kate looks good and happy.
    Buginham Palace is a great idea, I guess the children were thrilled to show it to Kate.
    Kate did a good job,I’m happy for her!

  9. Oh, and I just realised, it’s not just about her clothes, but her interaction with the children, the speech.
    Kate outshined her clothes today, they were in the background.Finally!

    1. Mmmm, A “Catherine Quinn’s fashions” post would be great every now and again.

      Could be a bit hard to make it regular as it appears Ms Quinn steps away when the cameras are out.

  10. This was a good engagement. But seven years in and I still feel like I’m intruding on a royal-in-training session. Kate’s outings, for me, are now less about her and more about Catherine Quinn. I would give anything to sit in on a meeting with her.

  11. A very nice outing, no complaints from me. I think Kate always looks most comfortable in this type of setting, outside and casual. I hope Quinn encourages her to play up these strengths and do more outings like this.

      1. They also do a wonderful range of tartan coats. You really could go quite mad with things for your dog. Also I shop at a place called http://www.mungoandmaud.com for all Harley’s dog toys and I believe His Royal Woofness Lupo gets all his things from there. ???

    1. I want one for my cat. Ha!

      I have the same one CQ is wearing except aforementioned kitty peed on it so it’s hanging out in my closet somewhere. I have no clue how to wash it! It’s got a warm fuzzy lining and is wonderful to wear when it’s chilly out. It is also nicely shaped so it gives you a figure when you wear it instead of being boxy.

      1. Do you have Oxiclean where you live? That with about 1/4 cup of vinegar are my go- to laundry add-ins when my cat gets left inside and pees.

  12. This is a wonderful program.

    especially for kids in urban areas, who don’t have access to as much green space or their parents can not afford a trip to the country, it’s even more important. Being in nature has also shown to reduce some of the symptoms of ADHD as well.

    Good on Kate for doing this and wearing an appropriate outfit and engaging with kids. Kate has been out and about at least 2-3 times this week, she and Will need to keep doing this on the regular.

    1. I love these kind of programs too. In Oz, many primary schools have established kitchen gardens on their grounds and then teach the kids how to cook simple meals with the ingredients. Many people don’t know how to cook or understand nutrition, instead relying on (expensive) processed foods. So teaching children to cook also means there is a decent possibility that they will go home and teach their parents. For anyone interested in one of the Australian versions of the English program: https://www.kitchengardenfoundation.org.au/

  13. I wish there was a blog dedicated to the absolutely beautiful floral arrangements Kate and the other royals are often handed at engagements. Today’s was stunning and I’ve love to know more about it!

    1. Those flowers were stunning. She received an equally beautiful bouquet very recently. The U.K. must have some amazing floral designers.

      The outing was fine for Kate. I think this is more her wheelhouse. If she could stop with the “um”, things would improve.

      I hope Meghan and Harry step up and take a little pressure off Kate, since royal duties do not seem to come naturally to her. While she should work and contribute, H&M may be able to pick up duties Kate feels uncomfortable doing. It has been six years and little improvement.

      1. Harry and Meghan have no obligation to take pressure off William’s wife. She is a grown woman, who first and foremost should have learned to do her job properly in the first place and take it seriously. That is her problem, along with chronic laziness and an embarrassing weakness for public speaking. Get a coach already and take serious lesson and lose that fake accent. No one is buying it.

        1. I agree Kate should learn her job. Except she hasn’t in all these years. I am trying to criticize Kate less and less and focus on the happy engagement.

      2. Its not royal duties that seem uncomfortable for her- I think its work in general that’s not comfortable for her. Because working means that you actually have to keep to a schedule that isn’t dictated by you, have to get out and meet people, have to take interest in things beyond you, have to challenge yourself learn new things, maybe even deal with tension and conflict management. Then after all this, you are mentally and physically tired, but then have family to look after (not for every case tho).

        1. Well, yes, she is bone lazy. I do not know why Carole did not instill her work ethic or any kind of ethic at all in her oldest child. William’s wife has never been made to take an interest in others and she certainly has no intellectual interests to speak of.

          And she can’t take stress or conflict, it seems. She can’t take much. If William’s wife ever had to ACTUALLY work or deal with real problems, I’d wager she’d explode, she’s just that delicate.

          1. I just found this quote and had to share it because it made me so, so happy. A drama friend of Meghan’s from high school (they did Damn Yankees together) was quoted as saying, “A former schoolmate told People: ‘Meghan was really charismatic and was a very hard worker and very focused and you could tell she was going to do something special with her life… She had the talent and focus to back it up and you could tell she knew the work it would take and she was willing to put in the work.’”

            Doesn’t that sound like the most lovely change of pace?

        2. The weird part is Carole herself has a strong work ethic, even if we don’t agree with her goals. None of her kids seem to have it though. Pippa maybe a tiny smidge.

          1. What has Pippa been up to since she married cha ching? We were inundated with honeymoon updates and outfits but other than the odd pap shot of her pedalling around London she’s gone awfully silent since the wedding. And she used to be so involved with her charities so it’s too bad.

          2. I honestly have no idea. I thought for sure she was going to use the wedding publicity to launch a career doing… something. But she hasn’t.

          3. I’ve wondered if, after everything surrounding the Middleton/Matthews wedding spectacle, BP said enough and not-so-subtly “advised” that Pippa quieten down. Either that or William has been making threats to the media again.

          4. I have a theory about Pippa.

            I think that you are all right that wedding PR and extravaganza was going to be her big relaunch.

            And then i noticed something peculiar on the wedding day. And it got me to thinking other things.

            1. Her new family is aggressively media-shy. On the wedding day, all the photo agencies got lots pictures of various mathews family. Media like the DM wrote lots of articles framed around various guests including the various mathews.

            By the afternoon, only Spencer’s pictures remained up. Where he is pictures with others, they were cropped out or blurred.

            Even the groom’s parents. I think only one clear picture of them remained up. The rest are blurry. Or so far in the background you can’t be sure it’s them.

            If you didn’t know who they are, you might not pick out think too much about the blurred people around the married couple or the Middletons.

            2. there are perhaps 2 articles about the entire family on the internet. One is just the standard guff about their hotel (no pictures), the other is the one about James from an interview he gave over ten years ago.

            The DM posted an article with pictures about the Mathews sister and her family and that was taken down a day or two later.

            3. James, being a hedgeFunder, is very unlikely to welcome any media spotlight. Hedgefunders are notoriously secretive and private. It’s the nature of their business. I thought it unusual that James was allowing Pippa to be so prominent in the media because of the attention that would bring to him and his business and clients.

            So my theory is that Pippa was indulged for the wedding, and has now been shut down. Much more effectively than William’s efforts to shut her down.

          5. Ray wrote: “What has Pippa been up to since she married…? …she used to be so involved with her charities…”

            She’s still involved with her charities. Pippa is a patron of Disability Snowsport UK. On Nov 27 she was at a ‘launch event’ for a fundraiser linked to the Paralympics. Photos at their twitter account dsuksnowsport. (Yes, I do wonder if someone gave a second thought to that group of letters.)

        3. @Red Tulip: …”Because working means that you actually have to keep to a schedule that isn’t dictated …”

          Yours is a very apt description of what Kate should be doing; a word that comes to mind is that Kate is *atemporal*. I don’t think Kate cares enough to make such permanent changes. IMO, she’ll soon tire and slip back into her old self and routine. Perhaps, she might be having a good chuckle and thinking to herself, you’d all better enjoy this now as it will soon be over when baby #3 arrives.

    2. I have to say- I would love to be princess if I could get these gorgeous free bouquets. I’m envious. I would be asking who the designer was, and would take them all home; one can’t have too many flowers, IMO.

    3. Fallon – not blogs but glorious floral eye candy from a few fab florists around the globe on Instagram.




  14. It looks like I am the only one who thought those scruffy riding boots were out of place. If you look at how the kids are dressed, they are all in uniform and wearing their regular shoes. It’s not like they were going out into fields to garden! With the kids dressed smartly in their uniforms, Catherine would have looked more appropriate in some tailored slacks and low boots or flats. Just my opinion! But I agree, she is making a good effort to mix, get involved and give a short speech. And she even stayed long enough to have a mug of tea!

    1. I agree, and I still dislike the jeggings. But she did well, and I appreciate the uptick in engagements and performance. I think this is CQ’s good influence.

    2. I don’t remember if I included it, but there was a photo of Kate with some of the other adult women and all of them were wearing boots similar to Kate’s. so I don’t think Kate’s boots were out of place.

    3. If the boots were buffed they would probably look better. Again I can’t understand how a person who lives in a palace with servants and nannies wouldn’t have someone monitor this.

      1. I can’t either. But we know that she doesn’t have someone to help with hair and makeup either, or monitoring if her skinny jeans are totally washed out. It’s obviously in her blind spot, and everyone has them. But hire someone to do it for you, if you’re so keen on hiring staff!

  15. Aw, look at everyone being positive today. Someone bookmark this blog entry for the people that claim we never say anything nice about Kate. It seems she performs best

    1) outdoors
    2) in casual clothes
    3) without William
    4) and with the guidance of Ms. Quinn

  16. Um, like I posted yesterday, I, um, was not impressed. These little, um, PR visits lack substance of any kind. When Michelle Obama gardened with children at the White House, there were messages there. The importance of organic vegetables, and how they should be available to people of all incomes. That children who grow food, and help their parents prepare food, generally are better eaters. They try new things and learn to eat healthy. That tending to a garden and watching something grow is an experience that gives confidence and satisfaction to all who do it. All that came from her gardening events, which were also fun for the kids who attended, and made for great articles and photos.

    Is it too much to ask that some kind of message could have been hidden in this visit, too? Maybe it was there and I missed it. It just seemed to be made for photo opps and the opportunity for Kate to wear the kind of clothes she apparently most comfortable in. And, yes, she did look great in the clothes. I thought she was pleasant to the kids, but would you really expect anything less? And, to me, the pregnancy is not an easy one. The photo of her holding the tea cup shows how tired she really is. So, hat’s off to Kate for getting out there to work.

    Fair and balanced, I hope. Frankly, her events are boring the life out of me of late. I guess they always did and I am just fed up. Oh, and Catherine Quinn! Whatever she wears, she looks great!

    1. +1

      There’s no ‘there’ there except the pretty and perfect photo op, and how many have we seen of those? It’s a great way to muzzle the likes of me, though! 😉

    2. Jenny, you unpack a wonderful example of Michelle Obama’s gardening with children and the layers of information flowing from that interaction. Now that’s an engagement and MO engages in real work Royal engagements would do well to emulate them instead of turning up for PR photo shoots. This is why they are superficial. That said, Kate performed well though this isn’t her bag at all. CQ seems to be a mature support to her which surely gives her some confidence.

    3. Look at the organisation who is arranging this programme – the RHS -it’s about gardening and plants, learning to garden that’s the theme. – an exellent one – gardening is a British tradition.

      Respectfully, the message you describe would have been off-topic and quite frankly inappropriate for the event and that’s not what royals do.

      They interface with a charity or organisation and what they say is approved. Most of all it’s important that they not become political – a statement about vegetables being available to all incomes, however worthy, would be a political one, unless it is the goal of the organisation involved. You don’t offend the inviting organisation or make the event about your own agenda.

      Kate has visited a similar project teaching children about working farms and where food comes from and she has talked growing organic vegetables. I’m certain it’s an interest for her.

      Yes, royal engagements tend to be bland – and that’s the point. The public doesn’t want royals to act like presidents’ wives. Some may want that to change but most royal supporters don’t. Respectfully again, it’s not a photo-op – it’s a quieter, more British way of promoting good works and one the new coming princess is going to need to understand.

      1. Julia, why are you always pointing out what Meghan has to do and what she shouldn’t do? I don’t get it. You make it seem like she is some King Kong of an American or what Henry James called “The Ugly American.”

        1. No, she didn’t Leah. And Julia is right, be honest with yourself here, it doesn’t matter what country Meghan is from- she will be expected to conform. And she will, otherwise she wouldn’t have accepted Harry’s proposal. The new Meghan will be a pale comparison to the one you currently love. She CAN’T be the way she was before and she’s ok with that. We’re going to have to understand that and learn to be ok with it too. Yes, she will be better than Kate in a crowd and I do love her style but everything is about to change in a big way and that all started with her “erasing” her on line presence. She’s cool with this or she wouldn’t have given being part of the BRF more than a fanciful thought.

          1. +1 Ray. I really don’t think Meghan is going to be this big Wonder Woman, revolutionary, that many hope she will be. It starts by the fact that she has given up a lot of things that were a part of her life for a very long time, in order to get her Prince. If it were me in this situation, I would pull more of a Chris move (Swedish Princess Madeline’s husband). I don’t need the titles and giving up my career, especially if I am not marrying the direct heir.

      2. Julia,I beg to differ concerning Mrs. Oama’s program. it was not splashy, and was most befitting to a woman of her stature. Being a First Lady is a role that requires dignity and she did her job well. As many First Ladies do/did, even if not Royal.

        I also don’t particularly understand why you need to make a point about Meghan needing to learn how to approach her new role in a way befitting a Royal. She’s not disrespectful and certainly not a person that Harry needs to be ashamed of in any way. She carries herself well and has a myriad of important interests that pertain to making the world better place. Oh, but I’m sorry, she’s American, so she must be doing things in an improper way.

        I also understand that this was not a vegetable garden event, but I just would have liked to hear a more interested Kate talking to the children about gardening of all types.

        As a child, I learned quite a lot about many things from Princess Diana’s interests. Kate is not Diana,but in a modern world, where little girls often look to people like her as role models, I was pointing out what bothered me about this event. We think differently, so more power to each of us.

        We are all entitled to our opinions. That’s mine. And, to be honest, your snide remarks about Americans rub me the wrong way.

        So many seem to think Kate had a win here. As others point out, the bar is so low that I can’t fall all over her for this appearance. It was fine, but not outstanding. And, it does not have to be splashy to make an impact. Just wanted to repeat that.

        My keyboard is sticking,so pardon the typos.

        1. That’s fine we can agree to disagree.

          My comments are not specific to Americans. It is for any man or woman who is marrying into a royal family when coming from another nation. I have Dutch friends (admittedly not royalists) who have commented on Maxima. Mary lived in Denmark for three years and learnt to speak the language – should she have continued to speak English! It doesn’t mean one country is right or wrong – only that if you are holding yourself out as a representative – you should understand what you’re representing.

          A royal represents their nation – that means understanding that country’s values, and their way of speaking and expressing themselves. I see nothing wrong with that.

          You wouldn’t expect a diplomat from the US to have a toffee-nosed British accent, as I believe it’s called, and that way of speaking – I’ve heard it mocked in the US many times, it would sound very pretentious.

          It’s a two-way ocean. And the only thing I’ve said about Meghan is that she should take the time to learn differences – which comes from experience.

          In business, this is a huge issue – there are books, courses taught, so people don’t offend nations they are visiting. I used ‘American’ here but I’m always careful to say ‘people from the US or the States” when talking to a Canadian.

          I didn’t use the word splashy and Mrs Obama was fine for what she was doing. There are many fine causes that are political but royals must stand completely above politics.

          1. I also agree that Julia’s comments about Americans rub me the wrong way. They seem very patronising that that Meghan being American is the wrong background for being a royal and that Meghan being American and just being American is something to be ashamed of.

            I am very proudly American.

          2. The idea that royals are ever “completely above politics” is fallacious. Their very existence is political–it supports an old class hierarchy where accident of birth into a particular family determines rulers, and their personal spousal choices become high visibility “representatives” of the nation. Then people such as CQ are hired to manage their image and behavior, and shore up the old order.

            On this blog, Kate is compared to other married in royal consorts who have found favor with their peoples by shining enthusiastically in their chosen job. There is no reason that Kate could not have talked with the children about sustainability, or ecology as the European royals do routinely—horticulture and has also evolved. Did she ask them, for example, what part bugs play in gardens? Gardening is not mindless.

            I also love the bouquets and flower arranging. She could easily take a minute and ask about the particular flower choices and their origins, the designer, etc. As for Meghan, apart from being American, she is much better equipped for the job than Kate, not only temperamentally, but in education and world experience. Harry may be over the moon for her, but part of her appeal to him has to be that she would be an enthusiastic partner in the royal work. She will want the public to like her–and will work at it. Clearly, this is nothing William thought about.

      3. I find Julia’s comments insightful and her tone always polite. She even said “respectfully” when she was refuting a previously brought up point. I’m American and have never felt she was slighting us in any way.
        Despite KMRs requests there has been a definite change in tone in the comments section by a relatively new commenter who seems to always come out swinging at any perceived slight towards Meghan or any positivity towards Kate. It’s a shame. I can’t see it improving as the wedding preparations ramp up and I wouldn’t blame KMR if she walked away from this.

      4. I’m still waiting for the vegetable garden she spoke of approx. 18 months ago. Or, was that to eclipse Charles and his organic garden? I remember a while back someone mentioning that Kate is not a competitive person, but IMHO, I think that she definitely is, and likes to be in the limelight.

        1. Kate and Pippa were going to set up something selling organic produce. Nuts grown on the Anmer grounds were mentioned. This was a time when Pips was meeting with people who were marketing healthy foods. Can’t recall other details.

          1. That was a rumor in the press. Who knows if that were ever really true or if the press wholly made that up.

    4. I loved MO’s garden and message behind it but that was one of her platforms. She could talk about the quality of lunchroom food. kate has talked about organic foods at another charity, I think it was the farm one? I went to their website, they planted daffodils, so don’t think talking about sustainability and organic foods would have worked messaging wise. Also, these are young kids so would be kind of lost on them. She stayed within the guidelines of the charity, which is getting young people involved in gardening and bringing a little green into urban settings. It worked for me

    5. Tbh, I was thinking these kind of urban gardening or the ‘farm in the city’ visit that she did a few months back (which was another event where Kate was praised for,in here), could have a tie-in for children’s mental health. I knows royals can push for wider social change and social conversation, so wouldn’t it be wonderful if Kate used her platform to subtly push for more elementary schools, especially in the inner-city areas, to have gardening, food growing and food share programs? I daresay it would have a positive impact on mental and physical health, teach lifeskills to kids such as growing and prepping your own food and build a sense of community too.

    6. She was there to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Royal Horticultural Society’s School Gardening program according to WhatKateWore.com

    1. She’s always reminded me of myself in pregnancy— it’s not there, it’s not there (because I’m not keeping anything down and living on Pellegrino) and the boom! For me I start showing perceptibly six months.

      1. I’m 4 months now with my second baby and boy oh boy, do I feel every bit of those 4 months! I am showing too! I have a friend, who is tall and definitely on the very slim side: with both her boys, she didn’t even show noticeably until she was 7-8 months along. Kate can work on her work ethic and her clothing choices; she can’t work on the size of her baby bump, now.

    1. I was thinking the same thing. A shame the royals can’t cross-pollinate (gardening pun) their charities. Kate could promote the mental health benefits of gardening, since she is keen on the issue. I love taking care of all my plants. It makes me happy to see them bloom and grow.

  17. I appreciate the effort to keep things in a more positive tone, KMR, thank you for that.

    But the simplicity of this event, the lack of depth (“what is your favourite thing to plant?” “and also, you over there, what is *your* favourite thing to plant?” “let’s go round the circle, shall we?”) is something for which I can not praise Kate. She is a grown woman who spent an hour of her afternoon gardening. This is so entirely basic that it should be standard. Not a good day, not a bad… Just standard.

    It irks me to no end when we have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find compliments for Kate’s work. Please tell me if this comment is out of line.

    1. I’m curious about why you follow Kate if everything she does is wrong? It seems like it would be less toxic to follow someone who you actually like.

      1. I’m sorry, I have to do this – I’m curious why you’re commenting on this site, chastising regular participants for diverse and critical views, knowing full-well that is the tone of this blog. It would be less toxic for you to not read this blog and its comments, no?

          1. I don’t think you should be sorry! I’m just curious. I think there are legitimate criticisms of the monarchy but a lot of what some (not all!) of the commenters say is so petty and foolish.

            I’m curious about why some people are following someone they find to be so awful. It’s not quite trolling but it seems to be satisfying something in these women (I’m assuming they are women) to write really mean things. So what is going on in their lives that makes this a good outlet? Who do they approve of? Do they think they aren’t being toxic or that this is healthy way to view the world?

            The name calling especially just seems really unhealthy. Some of the people who are the worst offenders with the name calling also talk about having children. Where do they draw the line with bullying? Is it ok to talk about a public figure this way but not a person you know in real life?

            It seems like the comments section are dominated by a level of nastiness that makes it difficult to want to participate and I don’t think that is what KMR wants. I don’t think KMR intended this to be a site where women could bash other women but that seems to be what some of the longtime, frequent commenters want.

            I’ve been a long time reader but never participated in the comments until recently because they were so negative.

          2. No one is obligated to explain themselves or satisfy your insulting curiosity. We are not animals in a zoo or lab rats and you are no social scientist. I remember someone else who didn’t contribute who tried the very same thing just a while back..

          3. And likewise I wonder what someone gets out of making her only contributions in the form of trying to cause friction with other commenters. If you don’t have anything constructive to say about the posts and don’t like it here, why bother coming here? Something definitely does it for you, so we can just as easily pose those questions to you. As Maven said, we aren’t animals in a zoo or an experiment. So, why?

      2. Look – the extremely negative comments that make most participants uncomfortable are actually very few and far between on this site. They are typically ignored. They only become a problem when someone who is not KMR comes on to police them. This back and forth you and I are having right now? This is making the comment section suck for other people (I do apologize to them for that). The “negativity” policing makes the comment section too long to read and thus less enjoyable. Please, just scroll by Leah et al if they’re too negative for you, and let’s move on.

    2. All gardeners have a neat trick or tip they can pass along. She could have done that with the kids so it would be a teaching moment. That’s real engagement.

      1. Sarah, no one is bullying but voicing opinions and it is not your job to police those opinions. Nor is it your job to speak for KMR. You don’t know what she wants and you don’t run or own this site in case you forgot. And the comments you just made are bashing women, too.

        If they comments offend your sensibilites, ignore it.

          1. I think that would be for the best because if this carrys on for much longer there won’t be a blog to be curious about.

            KMR asked for this to stop yesterday and for the sake of her sanity and well being can I ask that we all respect her wishes and do just that. Now.

  18. Overall, a win for Kate. This is what I expected to see shortly after her wedding. She seemed nervous, but did a good job with the speech, only checking her notes periodically. She interacted well with the children and brought attention to the project.

    I don’t think she looks great in black. I love that sweater, but it emphasizes her tiredness. A colored one would have been better and the brown boots wouldn’t have stood out so much as the only non-black item. She looks great in casual wear, but was dressed even more casually than the other moms or children here, so maybe she could have been just a teensy more formal for this engagement. But I nit-pik. Overall, this is a win. If she does this well a few times a week for a few months, in a few years she’ll become the pro we were promised at the wedding.

    1. “If she does this well a few times a week for a few months, in a few years she’ll become the pro we were promised at the wedding.”

      Agreed graymatters.

  19. That cake looks yummy! Do they do vegetable garden type thing or is it floral? I couldn’t tell from the pics. I ‘ve read where some schools now do their own gardens that the kids tend to and they use the produce in their meals. I love that idea. Kinda farm to table for munchkins. Nothing like fresh produce!
    Kate looks great here. Can’t say she hasn’t gotten her money’s worth out of those boots! I love her jacket! So another win. Where was this Kate 6 yrs ago??
    Yay CQ looking fab as usual!!

  20. These are my favorite type of events for Kate. She really shines in outdoor engagements. She looked relaxed, engaged and most importantly, happy to be there.

    That bouquet is gorgeous!

  21. My only quibbles are those painted on pants and not having her hair in a more functional ponytail. She should stick to this type of engagement. It’s a subject she actually knows something about and enjoys. After 6 years she should be much better at the job but by now I’m resigned to thinking this is the best it’ll ever get.

    Catherine Quinn presents herself perfectly, as usual.

    1. Catherine Quinn is my spirit animal. Her accomplishments are admirable… although I do wonder why she decided to take this on.

      1. I tend to think she saw a role which can be used for so much good failing to be used to its fullest potential. It seems she’s had an immediate impact too. Kudos to her.

  22. I think Kate did a good job. I enjoyed the video. She did pretty well interacting with the children while they were putting holes in the sticks to go in the bug house. She turned to the child and said something like “it is quite hard, isn’t it?” She was making a connection there. I think her speech was decent. I was a little worried about how it would sound because I read the transcript first (Umm), but it wasn’t all that noticeable. The children seemed to really enjoy the visit, so I call this a win.

    I think having children of her own (who can talk now) has helped Kate in her interactions with children. Also, I’ve seen an improvement since CQ joined the team. I’m not bashing Rebecca, but it is probably easier for CQ to guide Kate since CQ has more professional experience and is older than Kate.

    1. This is the time I like William……when he forgets to be William and is George’s Daddy. His love for his little boy is the most endearing thing about him IMO.

      1. Mrs BBV, you’ve watched the royals for longer than I. Is there a model that William is following about making negative comments about your kids? Or is it just him being… a weird anomaly? This is such a pleasant difference in how he often speaks of him.

        1. Philip kind of behaves this way towards Charles. I remember recently in the last year or so he took them to Poundbury (them being HM and Philip) and Philip commented to Charles something about what a waste of time it was and Charles’s face just fell.

          I think it is just a case of William being a jerk.

  23. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

    I love these programmes which teach kids about being outdoors and growing flowers and especially vegetables. I hope it inspires some (hopefully all?) to want to garden and especially to grow their own food. Of course this may not be possible if the children live in built up areas but I’ve seen allotments which have produced large amounts of vegetables to feed a family plus the neighbours.

    Kate was on point this day. She was dressed appropriately (though I’ll probably always moan about her collection of sagging faded black jeggings and still think those boots need a clean). She engaged with the children. This is what I was expecting Kate to be like 6 years ago. I’m with the other commenters who asked if this was the “Catherine Quinn effect”? Kate’s got better support now with a much improved Private Secretary and it shows.

      1. I absolutely concur here. I think maybe a contract wasn’t renewed? A kinder way of letting someone go as Royals don’t tend to sack employees.

        But whoever did it was spot on. Rebecca was way, way out of her depth for what Kate needed at this time in her working Royal life. I’ve always suspected the PoW was behind this appointment but it seems to be slowly, albeit very slowly, making some tiny inroads.

      2. Hmm – that would not surprise me re Rebecca. It has seemed clear that the KP office is not as “professional” as I would have expected. Some of the recent “holitours” have IMO called into question the judgement of those setting the agenda – too much emphasis on light and fluffy stuff. For sure include something of particular interest to W&K, but these tours need more depth to them. Perhaps this will happen now ms Quinn is on board

    1. I would agree but then she got the Order from the Queen, so would she really get that if she was basically turfed? It isn’t like the Queen to hand out Orders like candy, especially since she hasn’t given one to Kate yet.

      1. It’s standard for high level retiring employees to get some sort of order.

        And in Rebecca’s case, this would have been a William or Kate request for her to receive it.

  24. From what I saw I thought Kate did well today – repeated clothes and older footwear purchased years ago are much more suitable for a gardening visit than something new – I wear my oldest clothes in the garden as they get wet and muddy. We all know Kate is not a gifted public speaker – but she made a good effort. And if she continues with a more frequent schedule than she has in the past then one day what she says might get more attention than what she wore.

    1. This engagement reminded me of the other times she was outdoor with children: scouts & the bread-on-a-stick, and the farm visit near Gloucester. Last year at this time she was visiting scouts too and joining in on their activities. She was sharing in the childrens’ activities as invited, appeared happy and involved. Wore clothes that could get muddy. There wasn’t much more to do with an engagement like this. She fulfilled her role. It’s good. It brought attention to the anniversary of their program , which was intention.

  25. I think the overtly negative commentary and personal remarks and assumptions about other posters is meant to stir things up and make it too tiresome for KMR to deal with it and run the blog at all. That would be a pity, because it delivers legitimate criticism, along with lots of fun historical data and essential tiara info.

    1. I don’t know people’s motives, but it is most definitely tiring to deal with such negativity and bickering.

      In my opinion, any overly negative commentary and name-calling that goes on delegitimizes the valid criticism that we have.

      1. Couldn’t you delete any of the super negative comments? I am trying not to be so negative myself, and I notice it can be kind of like a gang. One person says something, then another and we all go on about something and can be pretty nasty. Human behavior…

        1. Yes. The only problem is usually by the time I see the problematic comment(s) other people have already responded and it’s already become a big problem. I can’t be on the blog monitoring comments at all times.

      2. KMR, if my comments about my disinterest in Kate’s latest venture were viewed as hostile, I am sorry. I was expressing my opinion about how tired I am of all the fluffy events. For the most part, I am usually very polite when expressing my opinions, but I read the comments directed at me improperly, I assume. After reading the follow up comments. I stand by my idea that this event — to me — was shallow and not worthy of the praise that so many showered upon Kate. Not only here, but elsewhere. Look, people are indeed entitled to their opinions. I have stressed of late that I am bored to tears with Kate, and I think you do a creative job in presenting your posts.

        I also apparently took some comments as anti-American. It irked me, but it’s been explained they were not, so I will accept that. Even though, when I re-read them, I saw the words First Ladies and assumed they were directed toward American Presidents’ wives as my initial post commented on Michelle Obama.

        Yes, I am tired of Kate and her amily. I wish her well with the new baby and I wish everyone here the best. I’m exiting now. I remember some comments months ago, where people said they were leaving because they were bored with the Cambridges. I found that interesting and almost left myself at that time. But, I decided to stay.

        I’m realizing that nothing is ever going to change to my liking with Kate. Even with Ms. Quinn’s expertise. Kate is not going to become the figure that I think most women and young girls would be interested in following. That’s me. Others, are entitled to their opinions.

        That said, there are many wonderful and loving people who comment here and their friendliness and support of one another are absolutely terrific. I would like to continue to follow other Royals on this site and will meander over to the Meghan site now and then.

        In the meantime, thanks for all you have done over the years and that you continue to do. And all good wishes to the caring people who have been so interesting to get to know through their words.

        1. It wasn’t you, jenny. A troll came on here to make trouble and this is the result. You voiced a valid opinion and backed it up. Your view is much appreciated. Don’t let the constant troll (happened a couple of months ago as well) crush you or drive you away, which is their goal- they rub their hands with glee at the thought that they are puppet masters.) You’ve always been a fabulous and thoughtful contributor (unlike the troll).

          And yes, I agree, after 7 years, it’s obvious Kate is uninteresting as a person and beyond disappointing as a patron. It’s like she’s a black hole. Unlike the emerging new mega star. Ha!

          Don’t let the trolls get you down. And if anyone thinks that trolls don’t hit this site, please think again. They are so disappointed with their lives they need to disrupt. So do the fanatics.They seek out reasonable, fair-minded, kind people. Of which this site has many. And a relatively harmonious site like this one.

          1. Thank you, Maven. Your advice and kind words are more than helpful. I must admit, however, that it is wearing me down to keep visiting this site when I don’t see much of an amazing turnaround in Kate. Yes, maybe, this was a spectacular, or decent visit, in the minds of many, but from the day I saw it on the DM, I was not “wowed.” Yes, I thought she was interacting better with the kids, but it’s all so dull and uninteresting to me now. I keep thinking, “Who cares?” Even, when KMR writes so creatively about all that occurs around the Cambridges.

            Kate is Kate. I don’t think she will change that much. If she works and tries to be better, good for her, but I am so over the Cambridges. I guess she is a nice person, but who knows. I get so little real feel for her at any of these appearances and it’s disappointing.

            I will hopefully visit this site to read news of other Royals and drop by the Meghan site now and then, but for the time being, I am through.

            Wishing you the best and hoping the holidays will be joyful for you and yours.

            Trolls? They come and go, right? This particular incident, if caused by a troll (which I don’t know), is not the reason for my departure. I just feel that I’ve had enough. Thank you, though, Maven!!! Bless you. Abd,your comments always make people think and are funny, touching and insightful.

  26. Just saw the photo of Kate at the train station. I was surprised at how relatable she look. She looks like a working woman coming from or going to work on a Friday. I’m going to duplicate that outfit, just with a bag similar to Meghan’s.

  27. If you read a post that disagrees with your point of view, whatever that is, and you don’t post a reply that states your disagreement without rancor, but instead calls the poster rude, jealous, derogatory, etc., you do realize you are indulging in the very behavior you are criticizing. I hope there can be an end to pot-stirring arguments. Let’s give everyone a break, and especially KMR, who has done a great job on a very busy few days.

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