Long before Kate Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge, there were many doubts as to what kind of wife and future Queen consort she would make. Reportedly, courtiers thought Jecca Craig was better suited to the role while Prince Charles was of the opinion Isabella Calthorpe was the best match for both William and royal duties. William’s friends didn’t care who William wound up with as long as he was happy and it wasn’t Kate. The Queen, who has dedicated her life to duty, had her reservations about an adult woman who never held a job or did any charity work. Fully aware of the public’s perception of Waity Katie, Her Majesty advised Kate to take a break from waity-ing and actually do something. And so a long rich tradition of making excuses for Kate’s pathological laziness was born.
In 2006, against all odds, Kate found an employer, Belle Robinson, who accommodated Kate’s status as Prince William’s Beck and Call Girl and offered her a position as a Junior Accessories Buyer at Jigsaw, a part-time job Kate for which rarely showed up. Robinson explained in an interview that Kate, “needed an element of flexibility to continue the relationship with a very high-profile man and a life that she can’t dictate. She’s going to be dictated to when she’s needed and not needed.” If Kate had truly allowed William to have such control over her life that she was unable to establish any kind of parameters that would permit her to work part-time, then that’s not a relationship, that’s Stockholm Syndrome. Along with taking frequent extended holidays, Kate couldn’t even be bothered with showing up just two days a week and quit, citing paparazzi harassment even though she could have easily avoided them altogether by going out the side entrance. Such a shame, too, because if it weren’t for her dictator boyfriend brainwashing, avoidable photographers and a possible undiagnosed imaginary medical condition requiring frequent suntan oil application on tropical beaches, that Jigsaw job so totally could have maybe not really been something Kate could pretend to do willingly.
Of course, Kate couldn’t go back to doing nothing so soon after so briefly barely doing anything so she claimed she was going to study portrait photography with Mario Testino who very rudely could not even recall ever having had a conversation with her about it. How was Kate to know Mario wouldn’t be able to recall something that never happened? Whatever happened to the good old days when photographers did so many drugs they would remember having tea with the Kraken if asked about it?
With so few job listings for ambitionless unreliable prince girlfriends looking to kill time between holidays, Kate had no other choice than pretend to work for her family’s business, Party Pieces. Except that when Kate’s sister, Pippa, was asked what Kate’s job was, Pippa drew a blank and referred the press to the website. But someone forgot to update the Party Pieces website to include Kate’s name and purported title. Claims that Kate was Party Pieces’ photographer were exposed as less than truthful when it was discovered Millie Pilkington was Party Piece’s photographer. No one could really blame Kate for not wanting to do anything for Party Pieces beyond a couple of obviously staged photo-ops for the paps, I mean if they can’t even get their stories straight about a simple lie, they clearly can’t be trusted with far more complex manipulations. And obviously it was not Kate’s fault that Millie Pilkington’s parents didn’t have the forethought to name their daughter Kate Middleton.
Fortunately, when Kate became Duchess of Cambridge, she had PR reps, the press and supporters to come up with the excuses for her chronic laziness which was a huge burden that was lifted. It’s just so exhausting sometimes trying to explain one’s own idleness.
During her first year as a member of the Royal Family, Kate only managed 34 engagements which would have been an even lower number had Kate not asked to tack a visit to the US onto the back of the Canada tour so she could meet Hollywood celebrities. While the Royal Family didn’t wanted Kate to feel the same kind of pressures Diana did during her first year as a royal in which she performed 170 public engagements and did everything they could to ease Kate’s transition into royal life, 34 was low even for someone who the Royal Family had reservations about because of a long established history of laziness. Despite suggestions to the contrary, Kate wasn’t being held captive in a bell jar with sensors attached to her psyche while official engagements were dispensed slowly in the form of test pellets. Official statements from the Palace over the years have consistently indicated that the Duchess of Cambridge sets her own schedule. The very press that ridiculed Waity Katie for years elevated the Duchess of Cambridge to icon status overnight, journalists had a whole new royal fairytale to sell newspapers and magazines, they certainly weren’t going to let something as minor as the truth effect sales. So what if Kate accepted a job she had no intention of doing, her hair was so shiny.
Kate’s second year of duchessing in 2012 saw her undertake 111 engagements. The total was extremely low for a full-time working royal, while some eyes were rolled at the time at Kate’s obvious aversion to work, little did the world know that Kate barely breaking double digits would in hindsight look like a Herculean effort for the duty-ducking duchess. And of course there was that whole topless then bottomless scandal which happened while the Duke and Duchess were bagging on the Paralympic Closing Ceremonies in favor of a French get-away to distract from Kate’s event numbers. The name of Diana was invoked and blurry balcony bits gave Kate a Get Out of Criticism Free Card.
In 2013, Kate only managed a meager 44 engagements. It was announced Kate suffered from Hyperemesis Gravidarum while pregnant with George which effected her ability to perform her duties. She could still run around in heels, shop, drive back and forth to her parents’ house, take Caribbean holidays, along with other activities genuine sufferers of Hyperemesis Gravidarum noted would never be possible if Kate was truly suffering from it. Kate was somehow able to manage nine hour flights but was too sick to undertake official engagements which range in duration from fifteen minutes to an hour, with only a handful ever extending past the one hour mark. The convenience of the symptoms Kate experienced caused many to suspect that Kate was merely experiencing the same kind of regular morning sickness that tens of millions of women deal with each year as part of their regular lives, but Kate’s pregnancy was tagged with the graver Hyperemesis Gravidarum for the benefit of a woman who never turns down a good excuse.
In 2014, Kate only managed to undertake 91 official duties. Kate disappeared after a tour of New Zealand and Australia which was extremely light on events, the official itinerary matching what most of us do on vacation. Kate had only managed a handful of events through the summer when it was announced on September 8th that Kate was once again pregnant and suffering from Hyperemisis Gravidarum which would cause her to cancel upcoming events. Of course, it didn’t explain Kate’s dismal numbers for the rest of the year and sightings of a duchess shopping and traveling back and forth between her parents’ house and Kensington Palace once again cast doubt on the veracity of Hyperemisis Gravidarum claims.
Even if Kate did suffer from some highly convenient form of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, other royal women have experienced far worse and still managed to perform their duties. During her second year of marriage, Sophie, Countess of Wessex suffered from a life-threatening ectopic pregnancy resulting in a miscarriage. Sophie was still working full-time running her PR company, RJH Public Relations, and performed 125 royal engagements, more than Kate has ever managed in one year.
In 2003, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, managed to perform 175 duties while pregnant with her daughter, Lady Louise. It was a difficult pregnancy that almost ended Sophie’s life. In November, Sophie suffered from a placental abruption that caused her to lose so much blood, Prince Edward was warned he may have to choose between his wife’s life and that of his unborn child. Doctors were able to miraculously save both and despite her near-death experience, Sophie knocked out 185 engagements the following year.
With such a well-established pattern of pathological laziness, supporters of Kate have tried to explain why Kate performs so few engagements. One excuse that gets brought up quite a bit is that Kate is only married to the second in line to the throne so she doesn’t have to work as much. Interesting theory, but it wouldn’t explain why those who further down in the line of succession do so many more engagements than Kate.
This is what the official numbers for 2014 were, broken down by individual member of the Royal Family.
In 2014, Prince William only did 27% of the amount of engagements undertaken by Prince Charles who is first in line while Kate only undertook 41% of the total of engagements performed by Camilla. Both Kate and Camilla performed significantly fewer engagements than their husbands (at 68, Camilla suffers back problems, struggles with osteoporosis and deals with other health issues), so I decided to keep it blood royal to blood royal and spouse to spouse.
This is what the annual engagement numbers for the British Royal Family would look like based on the excuse that place in the line of succession should somehow determine the work load .
Sophie, Countess of Wessex, would only have to perform 12% of her 2014 workload, Princess Anne would only have to show up for one engagement each year, while the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra could permanently retire. Total yearly engagements would drop by 57% to 1,763. That’s a pretty massive upheaval, maybe instead Kate could just show up for work every once in a while.
Then there’s the suggestion that Kate should be excused from royal duties for now because she wants to focus on being a stay-at-home Mum. When Kate became the Duchess of Cambridge, she accepted a job that came with the expectation of continuing the bloodline and performing royal duties. As Prince William wrote on the birth certificates of their children, Kate’s occupation is Princess of United Kingdom. It does not say stay-at-home Mum under mother’s occupation.
According to one source, Kate isn’t the maternal type, even before Charlotte was born, Kate spent little time with George, instead choosing to spend the majority of her time to her own mother, which would suggest Kate identifies more closely with being a child than a mother. Even if that source’s assessment were to be completely discounted because she had an axe to grind, Kate does have staff to take care of her children, her home and her royal duties. Considering the vast majority of Kate’s official engagements are under an hour, undertaking a few a week would mean very little time away from a home and children being well tended to.
As more time passes and it becomes even more clear Kate has little interest in her role as duchess and representative of the UK, the more others are forced to come up with excuses for Kate to perpetuate the charade. The Palace has been actively padding Kate’s event totals to reduce the inevitable backlash against her paltry figures which have for the past four years put Kate at the bottom of the list when it comes to total engagements. The Queen is obviously aware of the issue, she’s the one who signs off on the Court Circular which this year is counting Charlotte’s birth and private christening as official events.
While many view the Middletons as the Modern Boleyns, to me Kate and her ferociously social-climbing family have reminded me of Snakes on a Plane. I keep waiting for the Queen to have that classic Samuel L. Jackson moment where she finally says:
How Her Majesty has gotten this far without getting in touch with her inner Samuel L. Jackson is a mystery but hopefully soon she’ll tire of the excuses and the ever-present in-laws because usually there’s only a small window of time in which anti-venom is effective. Or maybe the Queen is far more pessimistic about the future than any of us realize and feels the monarchy is going down anyway, its demise should at least be interesting.