Kate watches The Nutcracker at Royal Opera House

Kate watches The Nutcracker at Royal Opera House

Another very quick post. Kate Middleton attended a showing of The Nutcracker on December 20 at the Royal Opera House.

The Duchess of Cambridge was there in a private capacity, although she did met with the dancers after the show, which is how we got these Instagram photos.

Kate can be seen wearing a black Zara “Long Cloth Cape” (£95.99) and the Alexander McQueen “Petal printed silk crepe mini dress” ($2,545) she wore to the KP staff party.

EDIT: The photos were deleted, so I removed the embed.

88 thoughts on “Kate watches The Nutcracker at Royal Opera House

  1. So, is she going to be patron of the Royal Opera now? It would have been nice to have taken George and Charlotte with her and even better, remember when she took kids from one of her patronages to see The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe? That was great. I just think this was a wasted opportunity to involve some needy kids who would have loved to have seen this.

    Also, did she know these pics were taken? We all know how zealous Kate and William are re their privacy (in my head, I am pronouncing it the Brit way and not the American way.)

    As far as what she is wearing, I feel Kate is gonna flap away at any moment. It’s kind of a dour, depressing outfit. So much darkness and once again, her dress is way too short.

    Link to story about Kate and kids from her charity The Art Room at Lion Witch and Wardrobe. What was the last thing she did with them?


    1. I think that is the A McQ dress she wore recently? I think her own kids are a little young for the ballet as they can be quite long, but I agree taking some older children from one of her patronages would have been a fabulous thing to do.

      I am a bit confused by it being a private visit – ie no photos please I am on my own time here – and then getting to meet the dancers afterwards. Seems to me she is trying to have her cake and eat it, but perhaps this is normal for all royal private visits?

      Leah, whilst I have always been one of your supporters, I think using her name Kate, and giving a more reasoned argument is hugely beneficial for the good of this blog. I have always agreed with much of what you have said, but I have also understood that the way you have sometimes put it can come over as overly aggressive. So thank you for your calmer approach.

      1. Birdy, you are very welcome. I too am confused by the provenance of these photos, giving how tight William and Kate are with the press. Maybe this is a new patronage, but Kate doesn’t need anymore. I mean, what has she done lately for Action on Addiction or EACH?

        1. The top photo was posted by a soloist with the Royal Ballet, and the second photo was posted by a stage manager. The photos were posted to these people’s personal Instagram accounts.

    2. This was her private time. If she wanted to go to the show alone (or with someone else – we have no idea who she went with, if anyone), that’s her call. It’s also her call about what she wears – if she wants to wear a short dress and black cape during her private time, then that’s her call. We only know about her attending the show because a dancer and a stage person posted these photos on Instagram. Also, George and Charlotte are 4 and 2, a bit young to take them to the Royal Ballet.

      I have no problem viewing and writing about these photos, since they are out there, but I don’t think it’s fair to hold Kate to the same ‘public appearance’ standards when she’s on her private time. If this were an official public appearance, then I would agree with you, but since this is her private time I think she’s free to wear what she wants and attend the show with whomever she wants (or alone).

      1. Yea I have a preschooler and can tell you: good luck in trying to get them to sit and concentrate through a 2-3 long show ? maybe an hour at most and that really depends on the child’s temperament.

        Every year I say to myself, I’m gonna go watch one of these Holiday time shows like Nutcracker or Disney on Ice- but every year, I don’t end up doing it ?

        I am into capes and cloaks this winter and have a lovely gray one with a faux fur collar from Simons! I’m totally digging Kate’s cape!

      2. I agree with KMR and I do not have an issue with Kate not bringing the kids. Even if this was a matinee I think it would be difficult for a 4 and a 2 year old to sit still through the whole performance. I admit I am puzzled by the fact that Kate has consistently worn shorter dresses throughout this pregnancy when she seemed to be favoring the midi length, but I am not losing sleep over it.

        1. It’s her pregnancy thing. Her hemlines get shorter when she’s expecting. I think she has serious body issues and cannot fathom drawing attention to anything growing on her body, so she shoes off her legs in an attempt to detract from the belly. Doesn’t work, but she thinks it does.

          1. I actually think it is because loose shift and swing style dresses are both readily available now, are conducive to wearing during pregnancy because of their loose shape, and are almost always a shorter above-the knee length, 1960s mod style. Whenever I clutch my pearls about girls today in their short dresses, my mother in law likes to remind me that she wore even shorter skirts back in her day, lol.

      3. I took my 5 year old to the Nutcracker for the first time this year. The audience was 70% moms with their young daughters dressed up in beautiful Christmas dresses. So cute! My girl did great, but it helps that the first act is a story with lots of kids, mice, toy soldiers,etc… and the second act is mostly musical shorts. Her favorite music is the Russian dance.

    1. Her hair looks fantastic in the back. This is a very flattering length and she can still wear it up for tiara moments.

      I think this is the black cape she wore for the Christmas lunch. She is getting a little mileage out of a $149.00 cape. It comes in black and camel.

  2. Love the cape! She looks good.

    I hope in the future we’ll get pics of her and the kids, maybe, when they are old enough to enjoy a ballet like the Nutcracker.

  3. She is doing a good job.
    She was there private, but met with the dancers, that’s great!
    Her outfit and hair are pretty.
    It’s nice that we can see a bit of her interests here and I’m glad she could go there privately, without masses of people who want to take a photo of her.

    1. As an ardent fan of ballet I would have been more than happy to use my entitlement as a Royal to “do a good job” and meet the dancers after a performance.
      I think this visit was not only private, but a clever work of PR, too, following the release of Meghan’s and Harry’s lovely engagement photos. Even a Royal can’t just climb on the stage and meet dancers after a performance without arrangements in advance. Of course, Kate could rely on some cell phone photos being made, which would be published in social networks. Perhaps a clever idea from Mrs. Quinn ?

      1. I am sorry, i am not kate or meghan supporter, for me non of them is better than the other, they each have their own flaw, and its too soon to form a solid opinion about meghan, but i respected some commenters who already support each one of them aggressively, because people do have different opinion and preference, but some of harry and meghan fan really getting of my nerve lately, must everything kate do is because of H&M, i mean cant kate even enjoy private time, or going out to do something without people accuse her doing it because of H&M, i mean seriously lighten up people!! not everything is about H&M

        1. Silverbullet I am sorry, if you have got the wrong impression from what I wrote. I did not accuse Kate of anything. I just wondered why she wanted to meet the dancers after a public performance and did not forbid photos when the visit was strictlyl private. As Catherine Quinn is a very clever woman I thought it might have been her idea.
          What on earth makes you so aggressive when people realize that there is a lot of media attention for Harry and Meghan and Kate’ s appearences are increasing all of a sudden ?

      2. If she’s there in her private time I wonder – did she pay? Did she phone up for tickets months ago to secure good seats? Is she refunding the taxpayer for use of RPO’s during this private time? I have a sneaky suspicion the answer to all of the above is no.

        I’m not saying they are not allowed private lives. I just wish we could get a clear public / private demarcation of funds. Even the clothes she is wearing are paid for if worn on a ‘public’ event. Basically she has gotten transport, security, clothes, (possibly) comped tickets in the best seats in the house and a backstage pass on this ‘private’ visit. To anyone else that is a lottery win, to Kate that is ‘normal’.

        I just hope she paid full ticket price for her seat.

        1. Did she pay? Don’t be silly.

          Did she book months in advance? Don’t be silly.

          Should royal finances be clearer …as I imagine a President’s must be? Absolutely.

          Given the age the Windsor’s live to should we consider only the heir being expected to work and be financed as a royal? We are getting to the point too many are dipping into the public purse. Charles, if he is still young enough to make changes, or Will, will need to really look at this . How many royals should work, how many financed by taxpayers? Freedom of information should not exclude anyone but the monarch ..if that.

          It’s a minefield and it will blow up at some time , if not in my lifetime then certainly this century.

          1. Hasn’t the ‘dipping into the public purse’ been going on for quite some time? The Queen has directed monies to her children and grandchildren for years, either directly or indirectly(eg taxpayer-funded security upgrades etc see Zara and Peter).

            The charity work introduced in the early part of the 20th century was intended to raise royal visibility and relevance, therefore prolonging its existence in the public’s eyes and access to its purse. But does charity work need to be paid for? Should the public pay for it?

            Here’s a thought: restrict public money to the monarch and to state-sanctioned occasions. Pay her/him a modest stipend for such work, and include security. The other family members need to get jobs, pay their own living costs and generally live private lives.

            No-one should be exempt from FoI, monarch included. All public monies should be transparently monitored. Given Charles’ wish to transfer the Duchies – worth billions – from public ownership to his family, it would be like putting a fox in charge of the hen house. And while he talks of trimming down the monarchy in detailed ways, there is none regarding reduction of public funds ever mentioned. It’s an almighty, unsustainable mess, and as you say, a minefield.

        1. Agree, but she and CQ did know they were coming out so the original argument still stands.
          It’s difficult to know what’s going on and why, but I certainly think something is changing in the House of Cambridge..subtle changes, but changes nonetheless.

          1. Personally I’m more inclined to be looking at Jason, rather than CQ, if these “leaked” photos were meant to be a distraction from Harry and Meghan, or maybe even Carole?

  4. I wonder why she got to meet them after if she was there to watch the ballet on private time? Didn’t she, and Pippa, and her mum go last year and were photographed out at dinner together? Maybe it’s a tradition for them.

    I agree with you, Leah, it would have been nice to make this some engagement of bringing kiddos who’d love to see it to the ballet to have a nice, special day. Like kids from EACH who are well enough or something.

    1. She could still meet them even on private time. When phantom was in town, one of the performers was living next to one of my friends, so when we went she gave us a tour of the costumes (those dresses are heavy!)and met some of the other performers afterwards! So if little peons like me get to do that of course Kate would be be given that courtesy.
      Plus in the arts, you never want to turn down someone who could be a potential donor =)

  5. I had no idea Kate had an interest in dance…reading a post above it sounds like her family has gone in the past too. after seven years, its surprising how little we know about Kate. We know she was an art major, but what time period interests her? What styles? Who are her favorite artists? She’s chosen to be a blank slate, perhaps so she can be anything to everybody and never be controversial, but I think it does her a disservice. Having interests makes one interesting! I hope Catherine Quinn is brainstorming ideas like ours (bringing kids to the Nutcracker) for the future.

    1. I would LOVE for her to show any real interest in something related to her major. It would make her more relatable and give her more credence as a “working” royal. She doesn’t have to get into everything, just SOMETHING other than asking stupid questions that go against everything we’ve been told about her keenness (I’m really starting to hate all forms of that word) for art.

      1. Next year the National Portrait gallery is doing an exhibit on Lewis Carroll’s pictures. I believe her thesis was on that subject so it’ll be interesting to see if she goes and if she has anything interesting to say about it if she does.

        1. I believe you’re correct re: her thesis. She should step up well before then but it’s one engagement she should knock out of the park.

    1. I don’t know how to check the CC but has it been definitely confirmed that this is a private event? She needs all the help she can get to boost her numbers.
      I don’t take issue with her attending, and her kids are still young enough they could be difficult at a ballet, but it was no coincidence she was caught on instagram. CQ is no dummy especially since the Christmas photo didn’t come off as planned. I think Kate is ok with being seen more in public, but William is the problem.

      1. No one can convince me anymore that now that Meghan’s come on the scene Kate isn’t upping her PR game in response. A lot of us predicted it. I can’t wait for the walk to church.

        1. What’s silly is that she could up her game instantly by, you know, working. Engaging. Doing something other than shopping and making the extra effort to pop up everywhere else.

    2. Mrs. BBV/KMR–off topic. Several months ago you and other commentators recommended “Bertie” by Jane Ridley. I thoroughly enjoyed the audio version (plus the narrator). I’ve also listened to “We Two” by Gillian Gill (I’m on Queen Victoria and her family “kick”). Are there some other biographies you and KMR commentators have particularly enjoyed?

      1. Wasn’t Bertie great?

        It is a thick read but Victoria by AN Wilson is amazing.

        I’m trying to think of other royal books I’ve read but honestly, not much in the last year; I’ve re-read Bertie three times! Haha.

        1. That’s the other book I think was mentioned along with “Bertie” and I’ll go look it up. Thank you. I have listened to “Bertie” several times as well. I’m enjoying the audio versions of books while doing certain activities. Also listening to some helps me get to sleep by focusing on the narrative. A different and fun listen “Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime.”

  6. Glad to see Kate repeating the dress she wore to the staff party, and I’m actually digging the cape!

    I’m sure there are plenty of things Kate takes G&C to privately, the idea of sitting through a ballet performance with two preschoolers sounds like a fresh new hell to me, lol.

    1. As my five-year-old melts down over her clean clothes touching the floor, I can’t help but agree with you. A parent taking their child under 8 or 9 to the ballet is simply masochistic.

      1. Aeons ago when I was five, my parents took me see the ballet Sleeping Beauty. I danced in the aisles for two hours. The only reason my parents didn’t take me home is that dozens of other little girls were aisle dancing, too. So two and four are probably too young. But that performance did light a lifelong love affair with the ballet for me.

  7. Kate may have had a bespoke version of the MacQueen dress made. The one in the photo from MacQueen has bell sleeves and in the photo above you can see what looks like the sleeves of a cardigan . Putting a cardigan over bell sleeves isn’t practical so I’m thinking she had a bespoke piece made with a cardigan type top.

      1. And next season too by the look of HN’s lookbook……except it’s on a white background for Spring Summer. I like it. They are petals apparently…..I thought they were hearts. ?

  8. Another off-topic. But we do critique clothing and tailoring. I recently looked at a series of photos of the Japanese royal family showing fashions worn by the various members of different ages. The silhouettes, cut, textiles, and fit are exquisite. Their tiaras are creative and reflect historical Japanese motifs.

  9. Kate’s hair does look good. It actually looks as though she had a salon visit that day.

    Have to say, the Christmas season is absolutely exhausting as it is, and if I had two very young children and were pregnant there is absolutely no way I could stay awake if given the opportunity to sit undisturbed for an hour or two at The Nutcracker.

    1. This why we love a good Pantomime in U.K. They are noisy, raucous and actively encourage children to go a bit wild but all in the confines of a theatre. A lovely introduction to the stage.

  10. Yay The nutcracker! I’m so glad she went. It’s always bummed me out that she and William aren’t big supporters of the cultural arts in their personal time. It’s one thing to be seen going for”work” and another to support it on your own. I get that it may not be for everyone but usually if you’re raised going you enjoy it in your adulthood.
    I think Charles and Camilla go.

    1. I agree. C&C are big patrons of the ballet and opera, I believe. The younger generations don’t seem interested. So sad. I would jump at the chance to attend both, and I would arrive on time.

      1. Hamilton just opened in London so I wonder if that will lure some one younger Royals out? I think Harry and Meghan were seen going to the theater so maybe they’ll be seen going more, especially with her acting background.
        There’s something magical about live theater! I know it’s a great production when I tear up just because it’s so good! I’m a sappy Sarah! =)

        1. You’re right,Sarah.
          Theater is captivating, in many ways more than movies could be.
          I’m fascinated everytime when I see the great skills of the actors, the costumes and settings.

        2. I tear up too. I cried at a really beautiful Nutcracker I saw a few years ago. That’s why I go. To be entertained and, hopefully, moved.

        3. Oh I am definitely wondering who will be the first royal to see Hamilton. Tons of stars went to see the shows in NY,Chicago and LA. (I would love to see it myself because it is a musical with so many levels. Lin Manuel Miranda is a genius. And seems to be a decent human being as well)

          1. I’ve been listening to Hamilton as I cleaned the house for our Christmas Eve party. I love it so much. I’ll try to see it when the tour comes through.

    2. I’m happy for this visit, too. Many ballet companies survive on the money Nutcracker brings in, so the publicity is welcome.

  11. I appreciate that she went on her private time but this could’ve been a big engagement, especially if she had taken some older children from one of her patronages. Still, I think she looks good (short hemline aside, but that’s just something I’m going to have to expect to see) in a repeated super expensive dress and a cape. You can never go wrong with a good cape.

    One of the photos says “removed from Instagram” on my screen so maybe KP is already making them take these down?

    1. KP may have said something, but I would suspect that the response from the public is one of the reasons why the women took down the photos (one of the women also turned her account to private). But who knows. It may have been their Royal Ballet bosses who said something to them.

      1. It’s such good exposure for the ballet that I couldn’t see them demanding the photos be taken down. But people do things contrary to what’s good for them all the time. Again, I shrug.

    1. They’re going to ream her over most anything (depending on the day – I’ve seen some really sugary stories) but the spending is one I can get on board with. Her spending seems profligate considering everything else going on in Britain. If most things are given to her at a steep, steep discount, fine. If she rents things and returns them, fine. If they’re “borrowed” from designers and she doesn’t really pay, fine. Be honest about it. But considering she seems to go for the same colors and styles and repeats some things but not everything I’m inclined to believe it’s all bought and just makes for racks and racks of wasteful spending. She could auction things off for charity and that’s one Diana comparison I would shrug off because doing good for charity won’t be faulted in my book, and lots of folks do it. Just. Be. Honest.

      1. If Charles writes off the cost of clothing then she isn’t returning it and it is probably not deeply discounted. This is another area where the sketchy royal accounting needs to be audited.

        They have certainly never said she gets discounts.

    2. I have an issue in that they included her bridesmaids dress in this total. Did going to Pippa’s wedding count as actual work?? If so that’s another issue in itself. If not, and that was private money spent then it shouldn’t be counted in her total. I also forgot how ugly that dress was and now it’s back in my mind!! Aghhhh

      1. Is including clothes for Pip’s wedding, a private event, an error on the Daily Mail’s part? Or are they suggesting that all Kate’s clothing, whether work or private, is funded by Charles and not all should be a tax write-off?

        The dress to the ballet here was worn once before to a Christmas party for staff. One could argue whether the latter should be classified ‘work’; the former, no. So many grey areas.

  12. Her spending is insane and it does not match up for the amount of work she does. And what is puzzling is that she often spends a ton on outfits that look just alike. It’s weird.

  13. Off topic, but did Diana continue to attend Church Services with the BRF post divorce? I just saw a pic of her from 1994 doing so. Weren’t she and Charles divorced in 1992?

  14. I love the Nutcracker story and look forward to seeing the ballet. I went to see the Nutcracker Play with a friend last week. I like that Kate is getting out to the Royal Opera House and meeting the performers and crew.
    That cape sure looks impressive. I can’t see if Kate is wearing a dress. I know that for something as elegant as that a dress and shoes is the right dress code. I hope Kate continues to support the Arts. It will be interesting if Kate goes and opens the exhibition on Lewis Carroll in the new yea

  15. I just came here to take a break from the ‘other’ blog. Couldn’t remember which blog I was on. All the K comments are so mixed with the M comments that I had to look at the URL to recall where I was. So I came over here to the quiet room for a little tranquility. Move along, nothing to see. :-/

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