The Mail Online rang me this week to ask if I’d write an opinion piece on the Duchess of Cambridge from the perspective of a mother of two, about the media slamming her for being frumpy and lacking sex appeal.
I was at the park with NG and NC so after I’d spent a few seconds deliberating over whether to do it (it’s the Mail) and imagining a picture of the DoC next to me, I shook the last bits of duck food at the swans, shoved my children back in the buggy and sprinted home, where I rang my mum and begged her to babysit. Then I sat down, wolfed chocolate and coffee and hammered it out. The article appeared three hours later in the Mail Online and you can read it here but as they changed it slightly, I thought I’d post the full content on Right Royal Mother. Also, the comments at the end of any Dail Mail article terrify me but I thought if I posted on my own site, they might be slightly less scary.
Anyway. The fact is, I don’t actually care particularly what the DoC wears but it seems to me that if she’s ANYTHING like me, she has sort of lost her way a bit in the fashion stakes, what with having no sleep and it being rather difficult to wear heels AND bend down to empty a potty. And that’s ok. What do you think? Should we stop Mum slating Kate?
The piece below published in the MailOnline on April 18, 2016. Find the full article here.
“Poor old Kate,” pities the Huffington Post this weekend, calling for the Duchess of Cambridge to “reclaim her sexiness” whilst the Sun says ‘mumsy style was a mistake’. But, as a mother of two children the same age as George and Charlotte (plus dog), I’m putting it out there: stop mum-slating Kate.
George and Charlotte are exactly the same age as mine: under three. And that’s exhausting, whether you’re a lady-in-waiting for the throne or just waiting at the Ladies with a potty.
Why should Kate be ‘sexy and glamorous?’ The Guardian reckons she’s too ‘staid and sensible to generate the sort of crowds Diana did’ but lest we forget, she’s just represented the country and dined with the King and Queen of the Dragon Kingdom (Bhutan), whilst (probably) trying to recall the names of the Dinopaws for a Skype session afterwards with G&C. That’s a monster achievement.
In writing Right Royal Mother, which is a humorous blog about how life with two small children might compare to the Duchess of Cambridge’s, I have a theory: Kate might be suffering from that difficult-to-dodge-even-if-you’re-a-Duchess condition, lack of self-confidence (don’t scoff) because, really, parenting is mentally, majorly draining and motherhood like Kate’s might not be that great.
Imagine the pressure in India last week. Princess Diana visited the Taj Mahal when William and Harry were 10 and 8 – a crucial age difference which, friends with older children tell me, makes ALL the difference. Getting one’s hair trimmed when you’re sleep deprived and pretending to be a duck for three hours straight is as much as most mothers can manage. That Kate managed to travel, look bouncy and wear all the colours under the sun in India without looking like Upsy Daisy from The Night Garden is a true achievement. She doesn’t need pressure to wear Myla underneath; M&S will do quite well at this stage of her life.
When asked if they had spoken to their children, William and Kate said, ‘yes, many times,’ and that they missed them ‘massively’. I can only imagine how hard it must have been to pretend to give a sh** about the fashion police trumpeting about your sartorial fashion choices for feeding a baby elephant when what you’re really worried about is whether George’s stuffed one is on the right side of his bed.
“Bollywood is all about sex! Why is she getting it so wrong?” Possibly because sex isn’t at the forefront of her mind? Lack of libido, sleep and time take their toll when you’re a mother and I doubt Kate is any different from the rest of us. At the moment, George could quite likely be King of Kate’s world – William’s can wait (he’s used to it). And don’t get me started on the flack she took when she missed a day of work before the India tour, wanting to spend it with her children. Shamrock shame is not, thankfully, something we ‘ordinary mums’ have to face.
Of course, Kate has staff at home to help but running after my two myself means head-to-toe grey works best. (And it’s usually unwashed ‘muzzies’). To add insult to injury, she has been described as ‘some Jane Eyre parody’ and criticised for not having the curves for a sari. Who cares? There are more important things going on: give the girl time.
We know the DoC can do ‘sexy Kate’ if she wants to; we’ve seen the figure hugging body-con; the floaty, bra-less premiere dresses. Diana was a devoted, some would say ‘dowdy’ dresser when her boys were young. Surely it’s ok that right now, her focus is on CBeebies’ Bing, rather than bling. Wait ‘til George and Charlotte are out of toddlerhood. Maybe then the Duchess will dazzle on her own terms. I hope for Kate’s sake she does.