Last Friday, Kate Middleton unintentionally sent the media into a tailspin. The Duchess of Cambridge was attending an event for the youth organization, SportsAid, for which she is a patron.
I took a look at the charity’s website. Below is their slogan.
Proudly supporting the next generation. SportsAid helps the sports stars of tomorrow today by giving them cash awards during the defining early years of their careers.
SportsAid helps both disabled and non-disabled youth athletes, ages 12-18, achieve their sports ambitions. All in all, the organizations provides the gaps in funding for a youngster’s sport endeavors. It keeps kids off the streets and actively engaged in whatever sport they love the most.
Aside from mentioning the organization’s name, none of the major media sources thought it was relevant to divulge this information.
So what caught the media’s eye this time? I’m sure Kate wishes it was the awesome charity or even her quick reflexes on the volleyball court, but no; once again, the media elected to fixate on her slim figure and “poor” choice of outfit.
I’m not even going to comment on Kate’s incredibly slim physique that caused jaws to drop in shock. I know she just gave birth to Prince George three months ago, but honestly. Kate’s always been thin. Always. Pictures of her baring her midriff didn’t jolt me in the least.
As her first solo engagement, Kate dressed semi-professionally, sporting skinny jeans, a dark blue blazer with striped blouse and a toweringly tall pair of wedges.
Many articles questioned her wardrobe choice, but I for one, applaud her. First and foremost, she’s attending an event. As a royal engagement and patron of the charity, the Duchess wasn’t at SportAid to play a competitive match of volleyball. She may have stepped out onto the court, but never was there an expectation for her to tie her hair up and spike the ball over the net.
Hence, the semi-professional attire.
All the criticism that I read got me thinking: how many other events has Kate played a sport as part of an official royal engagement? Well, the answer is four. Four times, she’s picked up a racket or kicked around a soccer ball prior to her attendance last Friday. And all were in the name of the Royal family.
The first instance occurred in March 2012. Kate’s wearing bright coral skinny jeans, a gray sweatshirt and a pair of tennis shoes. What most people have forgotten is that when she arrived, Kate was wearing heels and a nice blouse. The heels were removed before stepping onto the pitch and the gray sweatshirt was given to her at the site.
The entire purpose of her visit was to support Team GB prior to the 2012 London Olympics. If you zoom into the photo, you can see Team GB on the sweatshirt. So essentially, Kate was wearing a type of uniform to an official event for which her role as Duchess of Cambridge called her.
The second instance happened just a few months later in July when she and Princes William and Harry visited a London school. Again, this engagement was all apart of the Crown’s promotion of the 2012 Olympics. In addition, the royal trio were launching Coach Core, a new charity that trains the next generation of sports coaches.
Though in a dress and wedges, Kate was still a good sport (no pun intended!). She kicked a soccer ball around, picked up a pingpong paddle and even stepped onto a judo mat to referee. Again, her first priority was promoting the royals’ support for the Olympics as well as kickstarting a new charity. She had fun along the way of course, but she didn’t attend with the sole purpose of playing a soccer match.
The third instance happened at the end of last November, just before Kate announced publicly that she was pregnant. She unveiled a plaque to open a new hockey pitch at St Andrews and then later joined in the game.
As a former student, Kate was attending to support her alma mater as well as dedicate a field. In spite of wearing a gorgeous Alexander McQueen dress coat and sky high heeled boots, she picked up a hockey stick and joined the kids on the pitch for a good humored game.
The fourth and final instance was in April of this year when Kate and Prince William were visiting a homeless shelter. In spite of being six months pregnant, Kate played pingpong and shot hoops with some children at the shelter.
That brings me back to Kate’s latest attendance at the SportsAid organization last week. I believe the media has lost sight of the real reason the royals are patrons of so many charities. They wholeheartedly believe in the organization and are there to support the many great causes out there. That is their sole duty as patron and as a member of the royal family – to look professional, garner public support, perform their duty and smile for the crowd.
Playing a match on the court or the pitch is just a bonus in addition to showing their support. The royals, Kate included, should never be reprimanded for dressing up too much for a royal engagement.
I hate to say it, but perhaps next time, the media should focus on the organization and not so much on the Duchess’s attire.