Monday, March 26, 2012

Stop treating Catherine Cambridge like she's made of china

Fresh off my post encouraging Catherine to develop her royal role sooner rather than later, imagine my chagrin when discovering an article in the Express. Her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, has reportedly requested that Catherine use her influence to increase a global brand of tweed.

Not the economic crisis or hunger. Clothing. Not to diminish the cause. All charities think they are worthwhile and important and deserve attention. But it makes me wonder whether Clarence House is underestimating Catherine's ability to be more than just a fashion plate or a part of their arsenal to promote their own interests.

It's obvious that Clarence House is trying to ease her into royal life. There's no denying it's a major adjustment and so far she hasn't put a foot wrong. This is because she isn't allowed to. But are they being too careful with her? Much as been said of Catherine's age, and how this will help her cope with the demands of royal life. When are they going to expose her to those demands? It seems as though Clarence House has her on an extremely short leash. If I were Catherine I would be quite frustrated by this.

Catherine will not shatter into a million pieces if she is given more to do. If she has to shake more hands, give more speeches, take on more causes, glue and paint with more small children. No one is expecting her to compete with Princess Anne in the number of engagements. No one is allowing her to even try. So far her duties have required little of her. This is a mistake. Like with any job, the only way you learn is by doing it. Then challenging yourself to do more. The royal family, of all institutions, should know better than to do otherwise.

I for one believe that Catherine is capable of more than this. One day I hope she will start to believe it too.

© Marilyn Braun 2012

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Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Marilyn, I'm wondering if it's more that Prince William is being a wee bit over protective of her in his zeal to make sure that she is better prepared than his mother was. Of course, we all know that Diana was not thrown into the deep end and left to sink or swim as her defenders would have us believe. I agree that she needs to do more and seems to want to do more. She acquitted herself well in both her solo engagements and her engagements with the Queen and her in-laws.

Rman said...

I agree, Catherine can do more and she will. Her and William's roles will increase. Catherine will gradually add on more charities to her list and she will start taking on more royal duties.

The Earl of Wessex recently spoke to some journalists and he has expressed how proud the Queen & Duke of Edinburgh and the whole family are of Catherine and how she has taken on her royal role like a "Duck to Water" and since she has got some of her official solo engagements out of the way, she will only grow in confidence in her role.

I think it's really a gradual process when you really think about it. Not to compare her to the late Princess of Wales but it really did take Diana some time to really find her footing and voice in her royal career. Although she had been a senior royal for many years, Diana's royal purpose really didn't kick off until the early 90's. It just took her some time to sort things out.

Right now I think Catherine is just finding her way. Many of the royal reporters who are part of palace briefings mentions that the palace is not only helping her with her role as William's wife but the gradual approach we are seeing from Catherine is pretty much the way she wants to do it. Many of the royal reporters and royal correspondents didn't think Catherine would give a official speech for some time but she decided to do it now. So I think Catherine have a lot of tricks up her sleeve but we just have to remain patient and just give her some space and room to breath.

It's not easy as it may look when it comes down to royal duties. The world is far more advanced than the world that previous royals are used to. There's a lot more pressure on you, the whole world is looking at your everymove and just waiting with bated breath for you to mess up and make a mistake. So I really don't mind that the Duchess of Cambridge is taking her time in finding her footing and gradually carving out her own path.

Also, Catherine is actually very busy than most people really think. The royals go through a great deal of things behind the scenes than we realize. They attend a great deal of meetings and briefings in between public engagements. So just because we don't see them on public duties, don't mean they are sitting around doing nothing. It takes a great deal of work just planning out their scheduals and roles.

I think we just have to be a little more patient here.

Marilyn Braun said...

Elizabeth, yes Kate has certainly done a great job at the engagements she has attended. Which is why I think she's ready to move to the next level and do more.


'To whom much is given, much is expected.'

If I'm impatient, I make no apologies for it. She is not a child, she can do more. She is no longer a private citizen. She is now a public figure, a member of the royal family. As such, she is expected to 'earn her keep.' The Queen does many things behind the scenes too, but she also goes out and performs engagments too. And let's face it, she is far busier than the rest of the royal family combined. Not to mention that she's also 86 years old.

You're absolutely right. The world is more advanced and there is a lot of pressure on her, which is why I don't believe she will be given the same span of time to find her role. Given that she didn't have a job before her marriage, she now has something extra to prove. Not only that, she will now owe people an explanation for why she isn't pulling her weight. And saying 'I'm still figuring it all out' won't cut it.

Also I am sick and tired of seeing her portrayed as nothing more than a royal barbie doll. And she is doing NOTHING to stop it. I realize her appearance will be focused on, but on the day of her first speech, CH felt the need to clarify the color of her dress and where it came from. Taking the focus completely off the speech AND the charity. Her PR people are their own worst enemies.

Do you honestly believe that Kate has an endless store of public goodwill? If she does not go out and do more people will complain. There will be a backlash against her and William. There are news reports of them missing the QM and PM memorial services. Right now they are on vacation. They cannot attend because of a 'prior committment'. Seriously? Royal engagements are planned months upon months in advance. If they are missing this event because it interferes with their holidays then they'd better hide for the day because if they're photographed skiing, they'll never live it down.

They can hide out all they like in Angelsey, pretending to be 'normal,' but sooner or later they'll both need to face reality. They're NOT normal and they have a duty to fulfill. There's no avoiding it. William may have his RAF but what does Kate do? Every time she is photographed getting her hair done and going clothes shopping (with full-time police protection in tow) she runs out of excuses for not taking on more royal responsibilities. She'll just prove her enemies right, making new ones in the process.

Kate is in an amazing position to do positive things. It may not be AIDS or landmines or solving the global economic crisis and it doesn't have to be. The point is she shouldn't waste the opportunity she's been given. Right now, I think that's exactly what she's doing. I'm not the only one who thinks so either.

Maeve said...

Marilyn, I think you're right that Catherine can do more and that she shouldn't just rely on her fashion and style image, but cultivate some substance as well. However, I am also fine with her taking some time to figure out just what that substance is. I don't think she should just embrace causes for the sake of having a bigger public role. I would like to see her advocate for and embrace causes that she truly cares about. For example, I find Harry's work with Walking with the Wounded and other military support organizations to be so powerful because you know that it is truly very important to him personally and that his efforts come from a genuine place.

So far Catherine has been doing lots of events with small children, mostly it seems because she is a young woman - so hey, let's put her with some kids! But while those causes are certainly important and worthwhile, maybe they don't really excite her and aren't her passion. I would like to see her find her passion and her niche and really go for it in a genuine way.

Now it can also be argued that she is a 30 year old woman who may or may not have had much of a career since college besides being William's girlfriend, and she should have figured out what she cares about by here's hoping she can transform that great style in to some real and genuine substance through causes she is truly passionate about and not just as an excuse for another photo op.

Rman said...

Marilyn, I just think everyone just need to calm down. Those who are all upset about Catherine's engagements need to take a deep breath and realize that Catherine will be doing more official engagements, her charities will increase and her royal role will become even more serious soon. There's more to come..... Just be patient. I know people are getting upset over Willam and Catherine not attending the memorial service for the late Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. I'm sure the Queen and family understood their absents. There's really no need to get upset about if the Queen okay their prior commitment.