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Should The Real Kate Show Herself? She Already Has...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Camilla Tominey wrote a piece for The Express in which she argued that Kate needs to show the "real" Kate. You can read the piece in its entirety here, but to summarize, essentially she says that we can see that the proper and perfect Duchess of Cambridge is not always so perfect and proper. She has a more contemporary side and Ms. Tominey thinks it would be to everyone's benefit were Kate to drop her Princess exterior and run with the Kate Middleton vibe.



I agree that the Kate we see on walkabouts and at public functions is not the same as the private Kate.   That is one of the reasons I love the paparazzi shots of Kate. I love seeing her leaving Starbucks, playing with Lupo, running around with George, and yes, sometimes kissing William. I love those photos because we are seeing just a little peak at Kate's private persona. I disagree that we need to see more of private Kate--or perhaps to put it more precisely--that Kate owes us that "real" side--I always love to see more... ;)


Kate isn't a "plastic-princess" and she isn't a Stepford Wife. Kate is a lady. I am not always sure that in our society we still have a clear idea of what a lady actually is.  I don't think anyone here would be an advocate of the reality TV shows that allow us to follow certain families around their day and indeed, some of their most intimate moments, but perhaps it has unwittingly shifted our perception of normal.  It is good to have some decorum. My mother used to always lecture me to stop "letting it all hang out."  She wasn't talking about my clothes, she was talking about letting people see every emotion and mood I was feeling. It is good to have a sense of time and place. Everyone has their professional face, a business-like exterior that you use at work or with those to whom you are not close.  We all let our hair down at home and with the people we love. That doesn't make either "persona" false, it makes us socially acceptable.


Kate is a lady.  She is warm and real, she connects with her fans, she laughs naturally, she sees people, she shows she cares, but she is not overly familiar. We are not her confidantes. A lady is not a fake woman: someone who pretends to be one thing while actually being another. She is a woman who adopts the appropriate decorum for the appropriate situation. You don't wear a bikini to a black-tie dinner, and you don't wear a floor-length dress to the beach. Similarly, you don't treat your grandmother like your drinking buddy or your boss like your husband. All relationships are not created equal, and a lady determines the appropriate relationship and she ascribes the correct behavior to that relationship.


Kate and William indulge in many public activities where their more relaxed selves are on display, and this contributes to their massive popularity without saturating the public with what could only be described as far too much information. We love the candid moments when they are interacting in "private" but the same situations knowingly played out for public consumption would feel cheap and make them look like exhibitionists.


Personalities play a role in this, too. Some people are more outgoing and so that will change the way they interact. Kate had to walk a very delicate path for years, and years, and years, while she tried to hold her relationship together and not make a false move. That woman has developed a shell and she will never lose it and I don't think that she should try. She has every right to jealously guard who she is when she is safe and surrounded by the love of her family and close friends.


Comparisons to Princess Mary aren't entirely fair, either. Not just because Mary has been married quite a bit longer, but because Mary holds a different place in the royal hierarchy of her country. She is Crown Princess of Denmark, which is the equivalent of Princess of Wales. To use the ever popular baseball metaphor, Mary is "on deck" while Kate is "on the bench." The BRF has a balance to maintain. The Queen is...the Queen and very beloved, and William and Kate are glamorous and wildly popular. But, we can't forget about Charles. Charles, who is 65 years old, is standing "on deck." He is the next monarch. Kate and William cannot and should not look as if they are on par with the Prince of Wales. They are not, no matter how much the world loves them. They have to wait their turn.


I have been one of Kate's harsher critics when it comes to her public speaking. She often feels awkward to me, but public speaking is hard! Mostly, public speaking improves with practice, which Kate has not had a lot of, but I am confident that as the years roll by she will be very polished at the microphone. Her slip up was charming and I was struck by her speech in Australia, which was very natural and relaxed. The best yet!


In her "professional" life, Kate does an impeccable job of being herself without crossing the line to the overly familiar that in the end would benefit no one. I have used the example of William and Kate's relationship, since the extreme can be useful to illustrate the more proximate situations, but the same theory applies to every level of Kate's interaction with the public. If Kate tore down her boundaries and was the private woman William fell in love with and married, I believe it would be bad for her and for us. Not because she isn't great at a cocktail party, I guarantee you she is, but because some boundaries are not meant to be crossed.


So, I love the pap shots, I love seeing Kate joke and giggle, I like to see her flirt with William, I like to see her stroke her little baby's face, I love to see her shopping with her mom, and relaxing on beaches. Those are treats--for us all--but she owes us none of those moments and she owes us no more of the private Kate Middleton than she chooses to reveal. Thus far, she has been very generous in sharing her sincerity and kindness with a sometimes harsh and critical world. When Kate steps out of the car at a public appearance, we aren't seeing some doll, we are seeing the real Kate Middleton. A strong woman who knows exactly who she is and what she is doing, confident in her public personality and unwilling to cede any part of herself that she does not deem fit.






39 comments:

  1. I agree with you, except I have one remark. Aren't you going to write anything about those bare bottom pictures? This also shows that Kate is showing the real her. I liked Kate very much and I felt a great deal of sympathy for her until those pictures came out (again), taken during their recent tour. She must be well aware of the fact that wind and loose dresses do not work together very well. On several occassions has she experienced this and has it been photographed. Why does she keep wearing a thong then, under such loose little dresses? I think she does it on purpose. But why? What message is she trying to send out? It's as if she's arrogantly saying: look at me, I'm hot. This is an aspect of the real Kate too I'm afraid, and I don't like it very much.

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    1. Well, I guess I am going to now. :) I will try and gather my thoughts. I do not think this is some brazen exhibition on Kate's part. I think it is an accident, but as I say, I will put together my thoughts.

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    2. I was wondering the same thing. When I first saw the post title, I thought it was a humorous take on the bare bottom photos. Would be interested in your take, also, Jane.

      Victoria, Oregon

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    3. I thought the same thing Victoria!

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    4. I've had a similar thought. She wore so many flow-y dresses getting off planes on the Canada tour that blew up and almost caused inappropriate pictures. You would think if she was planning to be getting off a plane or helicopter she would have learned the lesson and chosen a closer fitting style of dress.

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    5. Diane from BostonMay 29, 2014 at 12:41 PM

      I am appalled that anyone would publish those photos. It is a dreadful violation. On the other hand, I cannot for the life of me understand why such a public figure would not protect herself by dressing so that the opportunity for this kind of intrusion does not arise. What's the use of being surrounded by protection officers if you do not make the choice to protect your personal (bodily) privacy? I just don't understand it. It makes me sad, honestly. I am such a fan, and I wish she would not give the haters such opportunities to criticize her.

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  2. Very well put Jane. I totally agree about Kate having a game face. We all do. Just take note of how we all put on our phone voice even though we don't leave the house. She can have thousands looking at her and to protect who she is in private, I believe is vital in order for her to continue her very public appearences. Most of us want to look at least presentable going out, and we don't have cameras going off in our faces as soon as we are out the door. It helps to keep a little mystic. Keeps us wanting more.

    I totally agree with your comments Kate is a lady. It seems today to be a rather old fashioned term and its essence is sorely being relegated as something to scoff at. However, it can be what sets one women apart for all the others, as it does with Kate.

    KiwiNic

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    1. Yes, exactly. Some mystery is always a good thing.

      I agree it is an old-fashioned term, but it is a concept that should be timeless and that when properly adhered to protects women. And, I believe in happy women. :) To my mind, Kate pretty perfectly personifies the modern lady. She is trendy and sexy and we all know she has an edgier side. She isn't pretending that that doesn't exist, but only some people get to see it. It's perfect.

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  3. Just what I feel about Catherine! You have the great gift of putting it in the right words.
    Thank you.

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    1. Thanks, Maggie! Glad you liked the post! :)

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  4. Considering the recent press, I would suggest she still hasn't got that dressing part right yet.

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  5. I agree 110% with everything you've said here. Fantastically written! Kate owes us absolutely nothing. And yet we love her because she is so polished, yet warm and caring and relatable...I could go on and on. You've really covered every point in your post. Again, fantastic job!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I think the whole combo is why she is so, so admired, loved, and emulated. Thanks for reading! xoxo, jane

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  6. The other factor that Camilla Tominey needs to remember is Kate is a member of the Firm her behavior whether she wants it to or not reflects on them and they do dictate how she is to behave anytime there is a possibility she can be seen in public.

    All of us have a "pubic" side just not on the scale that Kate does, no one "owes" anyone anything.

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    1. Agree. Grandmother-in-law is always watching. :)

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  7. I absolutely agree with you. It's so much fun to read about the things that Kate tells people on her walkabouts or meeting people during engagements
    - she's so candid and nice that I have to say that those who call her a plastic
    doll sound hostile and jealous! Kate is doing a wondetful job - exactly as The Queen KNEW she would!! Now if she'just start wearing a petticoat when getting out of aircraft!

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  8. I can only echo what the others have said! You have it exactly right, and I wish I had your eloquence.

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  9. Well written.. and beautiful supporting pictures too.

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  10. Too many people think that the term lady is in reference to Gaga, which , of course, could not be further from the truth. I too love the casual photos, the heel clicks, William's hand on her leg, sitting on the ground with George. These were all in public places where there should be a reasonable expectation of cameras nearby. But I don't want to see shots of them at Viscount Linley's pool, or in their own bedroom even if the photographer was not trespassing. The same people who complain that we don't see the real Kate are probably the same ones who complain about her twirling her hair at the Remembrance Day parade, or that she doesn't "work" enough even before they married. Those people will never be happy without something to criticize.

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  11. Jane, I've been following your blog for a while and normally agree with many of your points, however ots ironic that you posted this so soon after yet another shot of kate has been sold where she is exposed. The world has now seen nearly every party of her and yet you spent a long time explaining how kate is a lady. Why can't such a lady sew weights into her dresses?

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  12. Jane - Can you weigh in - no pun intended - on why Kate repeatedly fails to have weights sewn into her clothing to avoid mishaps such as the latest in Australia? Why after it happened the first time, would such an intelligent woman ever let it happen again. By "it" I mean flashing her bottom to the public when the wind catches her skirts. In pics of the recent mishap in Australia she doesn't even appear to be wearing underwear! Strange to observe such a complete lack of judgement from her.

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    1. Kate is "showing us her real self". That's the sad irony of the timing of this post. It's also ridiculous when you see all of the wardrobe mishaps on one page. She spent so much time preparing and putting careful thought into her outfits such as the fern she had on her bespoke Jenny Packham- yet malfunction after malfunction. I used to be a fan, but how can a person simultaneously put so much thought and effort into her sartorial choices and make so many mistakes?

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  13. Hi Jane,

    I got quite a chuckle from the title of this post today, given the recent photos of Kate in Austrailia. Frankly we've all seen more of the "real" Kate lately than we should. Really, the woman needs to wear some underwear in public. The first incident in Canada I can understand but this is, what the 4th or 5th time we've seen her bum? As your mother said, she needs to stop "letting it all hang out".

    After reading this post, I agree that Kate is wise to keep a private and public persona. As we all know the Queen is quite different around her family than she is in public, after 60 years she's learned to seperate the two. It seems to me that part of the problem is that the public doesn't know anything about Kate. She makes very few speeches, hasn't attended a function for any of her charities in some time and almost all of the upcoming events she will be attending are "royal" related, not any for her partonages. It might seem to some that she is simply content to sit back and let William make all the decisions. I know that I beat this drum quite often but she has such a platform to inspire and make a differance in the lives of others, I just wish she would realize it.

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  14. My gripe is she seems to be too "protected" still. In the very beginning that was fine and understandable, but now it gives me the impression she can't handle this. I think she needs to make more of an impression (im not sure if that's the best word)

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  15. If the Royal family is upset about these photos being published, why do they keep happening in the first place? Something odd is going on...is it Kate's way of showing she will do as she pleases in certain aspects of her life?

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  16. I have a couple of thoughts. I believe the people compare Kate now with Dianna when both her boys were in school - after Dianna had established her relationships with her charities and was doing an amazing amount of work. Comparisons are odious. People are so complex and there are so many influences for every situation that is deminishes everyone in the comparison. (Gets off soapbox.)

    The other thing is, I believe the newspapers would love the days of Princess Diana back and there are articles and comments to pressure Kate into feeding that situation. I agree that Kate has no intention of doing that. I also agree with you that that kind of frenetic publicity is not in the best interests of the Monarchy or their public (us).

    I haven't caught the recently released photo. I used to get upset about those kinds of photos until I realized how many photos the pressmen take and how the editors pick the ones they wish to print. Also, they have cameras that take pictures like movie frames so they can catch a microsecond of time. The press can present the impression of an issue that does not exist. I would be Very Interested in reading your thoughts, Jane.

    Thank you so much for being so thoughtful,
    Leah

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    1. "Ms. Tominey thinks it would be to everyone's benefit were Kate to drop her Princess exterior and run with the Kate Middleton vibe."
      Ms. Tominey needs to get a life. Kate is a Lady, as you so aptly put it, and she doesn't owe us a thing. I'm even uncomfortable with the spontaneous, private photos taken by the stalker press. I enjoy the public photos and the ones they release showing their happy family. They are not celebrities (thank goodness) and certainly not trashy Kardashians. When Diana finally shared all with the press it was cringe-worthy. TMI. It was manipulative and beneath her. Kate seems to have better sense, and I doubt we'll see any more of her than her public persona, which is just fine with me.

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  17. Wonderful article! Completely agree with you, thank you for writing this out. She's definitely not fake; she is a proper lady.

    Blessings!

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  18. I think instead of criticizing the Duchess for not being more careful, criticism should be directed toward the person who took the picture. My understanding is that this person did not realize they had a picture of the Duchess's bare bottom until she saw the actual photo. Instead of deleting it as any honorable, decent person would do (I am reminded of the photographer who could have taken a picture of the Duchess when she was entering the hospital in labor but didn't), she sold it to the highest bidder! Yes, the Duke and Duchess are public figures but that doesn't mean they are fair game for anyone willing to exploit them for money. Maybe the Duchess should take precautions but to me, that doesn't mean it's her fault when someone is crass enough to sell pictures that do nothing but cause embarrassment.

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    1. How nice to hear from people who feel the way I do. Most people taking photos do so from the front or side, so as to get the face of their subject.
      The very fact that this photo was taken from the back made me suspicious of the motive. I haven't seen the pictures and don't wish to do so--but why did it take so long to produce them?

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  19. Maybe Kate doesn't take precautions because she expects others to be as much of a lady as she is.

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  20. Thank you so much Jane. You expressed so much of what I thought when I read that horrid article. I especially agree with you that too few people know what it is to be a Lady in today's world. In fact, so few have set themselves up as ladylike role models that HRH really stands out from the crowd of narcissistic "celebrities" (Kim K's recent wedding comes to mind). Thank goodness for the Duchess. . .

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  21. I've always been a fan of the duchess, but really, these photos are very surprising. I agree that for the most part, she does a good job of being a lady. I just don't understand how or why someone in her position would go out in public without proper undergarments. This isn't her first rodeo, y'know? Her clothes are specially curated and tailored for her, probably weeks in advance for a tour like this. She should have had underwear that covered her bottom, a slip, and hem weights. Any one of the three would have prevented or at least lessened this mishap. I agree the photographs should not have been published, but someone in her position should, by now, be doing a better job at not creating opportunities for these types of photographs. Remember this? http://www.pinterest.com/pin/44543483785501797/ Princess Diana learned from that mistake, and I don't believe it ever happened again. Why can't the Duchess learn from her mistakes?

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  22. Have you seen the pap photos from Australia during the rest day at Government House? There is a video of her clicking her heels and playing with George on her shoulders!

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  23. First of all I would like to thank you, Jane for daring these delicate topics and honestly sharing your thoughts and attitude.
    To be honest, I liked the article, not every detail but in summary. I think it is not meant that she should “let hang out everything” but just be more natural and less controlled. It’s ok she chooses the safe way as always being observed and rated. It’s also maybe because of the strict rules in the BRF and I wouldn’t like to know what’s going on in the firm behind the walls. The comparison to Princess Mary is ok in my opinion because to me it’s not about places in hierarchy but finding your place in a royal family as a non-royal und playing your own part – not only being “decoration” for the family. And as we are in the 21st century this should also be “allowed” for the second in line and his wife. So it’s the question if or rather how far thumbscrews are applied.
    And I also see the problem with Kate being a role model – popular, always perfect, always beautiful – what a pressure. Heading to be 30 years, I’m able to consider it correctly. I’m not sure if I personally would like to know the REAL Kate. Maybe I would be disappointed. I once met a popular german singer who is said to be so nice with people and I was sad because I noticed her status and arrogance completely. I like the picture I have of Kate and how I feel “related” to her. But she possibly could be not half the nice person she is said to be. And honestly, considering her life after she met William and everything she had to go through after that, she has to be quite tough, I think.
    I hope, as years go by, she will express herself more often and do her own thing. But I also hope she can protect what she absolutely wants to keep in privacy. It’s right: She doesn’t owe anything but if she likes to show more of herself, it would be interesting, fun and just likable and great.

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  24. What a well-written article Jane. It was a pleasure to read and gave me a lot to think about. I live in a small community where most people know me and I know most people. Your explanation about boundaries also made me realize things about my own "world". Thank you for giving me not just beautiful images and well-thought through ideas about Kate, but also some "lessons" and ideas/thoughts for my own life. Best wishes, K

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  25. Kate a lady? Are you kidding? No lady would expose herself in public the way the Duchess of Cambridge has time and time again. Keeping a sense of secrecy is one thing, but being so bold in one's dressing and flashing does not go hand in hand with a sense of not revealing her true self. Jackie Kennedy was known for not revealing too much about herself in any way. She swore off interviews. Swore off the tell all situations that many others find themselves in and she never let her true feelings show. Kate may wear a constant smile to ward off her true feelings, but unlike Jackie, she always lets a piece of herself hang out!

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