With the fresh arrival of 2012, it’s the perfect time to review the top ten missteps Kate Middleton made in 2011! It’s been a huge year for the quasi fashion icon: With the Royal Wedding and marriage to Prince William under her belt, she became a duchess, toured Canada and met celebrities in L.A., was finally able to attend official royal engagements, and scored a wardrobe budget most women only dream of. Overall, she’s been widely praised for her style, character and behavior this year. However, she’s made some major gaffes that have been too easily swept under the rug. This installment includes Kate’s blunders ten through six of the countdown to number one!
10. She was upstaged at the Royal Wedding
A celebrity was born at the Royal Wedding, but it wasn’t the “Duchess of Cambridge.” Dressed in a figure-flattering white gown, Pippa Middleton, Kate’s sister and maid of honor, made her way up the aisle at Westminster Abbey and outshone the bride that day.
In the months before the wedding, hype skyrocketed over what Kate’s highly secret wedding dress would look like – and who was collaborating with her on the design. Unfortunately, the dress she revealed fell far short of the awe-inspiring, haute couture masterpiece that was anticipated. Don’t get me wrong – the gown was lovely, but not especially stylish or modern, and it looked like it could have been plucked from a mainstream bridal shop. It just wasn’t all that special, and didn’t live up to the hype it generated in the months prior (To Kate’s credit, it suited her immaculately ;-) ).
Additionally, Kate lost so much weight before the wedding that the figure she was once praised for completely disappeared. She looked like skin and bones, and it was worrying for many observers. During the Royal Wedding, her newly-thinned jaw, prominent trachea and collarbone, and jarringly bony arms were actually distracting at times.
While her gown was voluminous to suit the grandeur of the abbey, Kate didn’t look more magnificent or gorgeous than any other random bride, despite her uniquely high-end and extensive resources.
Perhaps she was too accustomed to being the prettier, more important Middleton sister, because she clearly underestimated Pippa’s potential to outdo her in a competing white gown. Pippa wore a gorgeously tailored white dress that showcased her slim, toned, and healthy figure. Like white pearls, her dress, which also could have been a wedding gown, was beautiful in its flawless simplicity. Pippa looked like a modern bride, and compared to the real bride – who looked a bit like a skeletal, lace-encrusted snow beast from the 90s – she was simply more breathtaking (yes, even with her crazy tan). Perhaps it was an act of generosity by Kate toward Pippa. Or, perhaps Kate overestimated her own beauty and popularity…
One thing’s for sure: When selecting a bride’s maid’s gown in white for a woman of similar attractiveness Kate needed to be more careful. Unfortunately for her, Pippa’s dress was more beautiful, unique, stylish, memorable, and figure-flattering than her own. It could be speculated that Kate meant to aid the rise of Pippa that day by ensuring she looked her absolute best, but I highly doubt she meant to be share so much of the spotlight or be overshadowed.
On a separate note, it’s puzzling that Kate chooses to wear inappropriately flashy or lavish outfits to charity events and other Royal engagements, yet dressed her maid of honor up like a second bride for the one event where she could be showy and excessive - and blatantly pursue being the center of attention - appropriately!!! It’s all fine and good though, as Pippa seems to be relishing and capitalizing on the exposure she continues to receive as a result of her launch at the Royal Wedding.
9. She flashed her Royal unmentionables
During Kate’s first overseas tour – and (arguably) first and only major royal vacation *cough* undertaking – she decided to wear a pretty, flowy dress in a cheery shade of yellow for her arrival in Calgary. Oh yes, and she chose to wear it to prance across a windy Canadian tarmac where it flew all around and exposed her undergarment-free rear. How lovely for the monarchy that their newest member’s ass was plastered all over the internet! They must be so proud ;-).
This was inexcusable. Inexcusable. For a woman who seems to have little else to worry about besides her looks and image, it’s absolutely mind-blowing that she made this blunder. She’s the future Princess of Wales and Queen Consort, and she needs to start acting like it by getting this type of issue under control. Everyone makes mistakes, but this isn’t a mistake for Kate – it’s a habit. She has a regular history of showing her body inappropriately, and it’s a disgrace that she’s carried the tradition into her Royal life. Can this woman not figure out how to cover her rear and pelvic region reliably?
In the instance in Canada, she should have been more aware of the setting and weather where she would be spending her time that day (I take it she’s not a fan of the news). Nevermind neglecting the weather – It’s not like wind of that magnitude isn’t detectable by, oh, say, looking out of a window and seeing trees, grass, or anything blowing about. I realize she and William had just arrived in Calgary, but when the world is watching, a backup plan is necessary! If she were more informed and cautious, she could have selected a more appropriate outfit for the setting. (Of course, she could have been aware of the wind, and chosen to wear the Packham dress anyway… *facepalm* -She should have worn her hair up too. She fussed with it the entire time she was on the tarmac, and it was ridiculous).
Kate should also have followed the Queen’s standard by having her Packham dress altered to incorporate hem weights. This was an outdoor appearance, and on a dress of that style, a slight breeze could have sent the hem flying. It seems like this should have been a no-brainer.
We’ve seen Kate practically naked before, but that was before she was a Royal (then, it made her look like a floozy and poor choice for William (scroll down in the link)). -He’s no angel, but he’s expected to marry someone respectable enough to keep her undergarments (or lack thereof) out of the public eye – at the very least. The world didn’t need to know that Kate goes commando under her nude pantyhose (Is there even a point to the pantyhose if she’s going to let this type of inappropriate exposure happen?). She is not a sex symbol, it was not a sexy Marilyn Monroe type of incident, and it was not a pleasure to be subjected to the sight of what’s up her skirt – I don’t care how slim her thighs are.
Overall, she simply needs to take more pride in her position and how she presents herself by keeping her rear end out of public view. If she doesn’t, she might as well start wearing sweatpants with the word “Middletrash” printed across the ass.
8. She spoke unintelligently – again
It’s rare that Kate’s words are documented, but when they are, they make her sound simple-minded and incompetent. For instance, just weeks ago at a Buckingham Palace reception for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, she made air-headed comments to Jewish News regarding a souvenir poster of her and William which the publication released in April to commemorate the Royal Wedding (1). When informed about the poster, Kate responded, “That sounds like it was a wonderful idea. I hope all your readers put the poster up!,” (1).
*Facepalm* Oh, dear. The biggest problem with her statement isn’t that she sounded clueless and in over her head speaking to members of the press (she could improve with practice after all). It isn’t even that her wish for all the publication’s readers to display her image was carelessly egotistical (1).
The greatest problem is that Kate has yet to be documented sounding informed, articulate, and intelligent when speaking, and this statement sharply supports the idea that nerves and inexperience are not the only culprits. It suggests, in addition to her other documented speech, that Kate may actually be about as sharp as a marble. In this instance, her comments were conversational – they weren’t part of a formal televised interview and she wasn’t in the position of needing to recall information (like in the UNICEF interview). In my opinion, her wish for the posters was not a narcissistic statement; it was an idiotic statement.
Furthermore, Kate also told Jewish News, “…It’s amazing to think the wedding was just seven months ago. So much has happened since then,” (1). Ah, another dimwitted comment. What on earth was she talking about? Last time I checked, she still hadn’t begun independent charity work – or even chosen charities to patron, improved her speaking skills, announced a pregnancy, or made any major strides aside from her makeover and exploring her new entitlements. She’s achieved next to nothing, and is clearly oblivious to how unsatisfactory and dishonorable she looks to the public – or isn’t and doesn’t care. Either way, it’s obvious the Duchess needs to take more pride in her verbal presentation. She will presumably need to speak publicly in the future, and while she may not do so anytime soon, she should start finding ways to improve in this area as soon as possible. She’s only stimulating the decay of her image (and that of the Monarchy overall) by sounding so mindless and unintelligent.
7. She became “thinspiration” for girls and women with eating disorders
Upon becoming engaged to William in November, 2010, Kate destroyed the healthy-looking figure she had by losing far too much weight. By her wedding and Canadian tour in 2011, she was so gaunt that websites promoting anorexia and bulimia as lifestyle choices rather than illnesses featured Kate’s photos to inspire readers – presumably girls and women suffering from anorexia, bulimia, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) – to lose weight and attain a similar state of emaciation.
With her weight loss, the Duchess became the poster child for eating disorders. But her thinness was largely swept under the rug by the press and mostly explained away as a result of the stress and nerves she was assumed to be feeling over the number of people who would view the Royal Wedding on television. However, such extremely impairing nerves seemed completely unreasonable for a woman of nearly 30 whose entire adult life (practically) was spent as a highly exposed celebrity – and who chose/embraced/invited/pursued marrying into a position where she’s expected to be under a microscope in the public eye until the end of her life. Honestly, she shies away from attention like a moth steers clear of a flame.
The offense was not simply that Kate lost weight. It was that she seemed irresponsibly unaware – and/or uncaring – of her position as a global role model to girls and young women. As a 29 year old who had never held a proper job or been significantly charitable (with little promise of changing), and with her significant fashion and hair makeovers, she came across as petty and vain. Her weight loss was logically considered a result of her vanity – part of her attempt to become more beautiful for her wedding day and subsequent royal role. With that, she (and the press) sent the message that an emaciated, unhealthy figure is more desirable than a healthfully slim one (as she had to begin with). Whether or not she was a good role model, she was a role model nonetheless, and her status as “thinspiration” confirmed that young women were negatively affected by her example.
To date, Kate being anorexic, bulimic or having EDNOS has not been confirmed. However, she continues to look like she has an unhealthy relationship with food and exercise. Sadly, she still generates praise from the media for her appearance, which continues to make her potentially harmful to the physical and mental health of impressionable girls and women – whether or not they like or look up to her.
The Duchess has a responsibility to be an exceptional role model and maintain the best health possible for herself. She should also be aware of her image and considerate of how it can affect others. Disgracefully, she doesn’t seem to be taking those things seriously yet.
6. She dressed ostentatiously to meet with the grieving families of riot victims
In August, Kate tagged along with Prince William to meet with the families of three men who were hit by a car and killed during the Birmingham riots the previous week (2). Up until that point, she had primarily been sporting more affordable High Street ensembles and recycling her outfits on a regular basis (Here’s a slide show). At the time, she was being applauded for her modesty and acting “just like us” with her fashion choices. But to meet the riot victims’ families, out of the blue, she decided to make a high fashion debut by wearing a ritzy, military-inspired, $2100+ (£1375) Alexander McQueen outfit with $775 (£500) Prada pumps (3).
Apparently, the Duchess felt the somber event was a fitting opportunity to draw even more attention to herself and assert her newly acquired wealth. And she accomplished just that. Endless press articles praised Kate’s selection and claimed her style revealed the once-commoner could carry off high-end designer looks superbly. Riots? Tragic deaths? *sarcasm* Who cared?! It was all about the star of the event: Kate and her shiny-buttoned McQueen pieces, topped with wig-like Disney Princess-pageant hair.
By her costume-like military ensemble, one would think she was attending a festive event. Since she clearly wasn’t, her fashion choice was totally disrespectful and telling about her true priorities. She may as well have had her own personal red carpet and runway because showing off her wealth and looking her best for the cameras seemed like her only goals that day. At the very least, they appeared much higher on her priorities list than genuinely comforting and supporting the victims’ families and the public servants she was there to honor (2). Many in the media and blogosphere declared that her look substantiated her status as a “fashion icon.” However, what it really seemed to substantiate was that the Duchess was completely inconsiderate, self-absorbed, and arrogant. (Although… with her inexcusably ignorant UNICEF interview in mind, I have sadly entertained the idea that she may not have even cared enough to learn the details of why she was in Birmingham in the first place).
It goes without saying that Kate should have saved this outfit for another day. For this appearance, she should have worn something much simpler and less flashy, and her hair should have been plainer or pulled back (Her gigantic head of bouncy curls was in poor taste for the occasion.). The families of the victims were grieving, and to some degree, she should have used her style to express that she was also mourning the loss. Instead, she looked like she was ready to celebrate in the biggest fashion risk she’s taken to date.
Although she’s no beauty, Kate comes across as infinitely preoccupied with perfecting her physical appearance, yet seems minimally concerned with improving her behavior, knowledge, and abilities. Clearly, her backwards priorities and unchanging shortcomings are responsible for many of her blunders and are starting to take a significant toll on her image. In Part II of Kate’s Top 10 Missteps of 2011, the countdown will continue with increasingly dramatic blunders – the top five, and the reveal of Kate’s number one most atrocious mistake of 2011.
(1) Ferrer, Richard. “Kate thanks Jewish News readers for all their mazeltovs.” totallyjewish.com. 12/1/2011.
(2) Earl, William. “Prince William & Kate Middleton Support London Riot Victims — They’re So Compassionate!” Hollywood Life. 8/19/2011.
(3) English, Rebecca. “Keep fighting, William and Kate tell victims rebuilding their lives in riot torn communities.” Daily Mail. 8/20/11.
© Enclave 24, January 2, 2012