Will Kate ever learn to avoid ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moments?

She’s been a royal for five years, yet the hair-and-hem mishaps keep coming

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge begin their Delhi programme with a wreath-laying at India Gate. This memorial is situated in the heart of New Delhi. The 42m high red sandstone structure is the country?s main war memorial, covering the two world wars, the Third Anglo-Afghan War, and the Indo Pakistan War of 1971. As the world marks 100 years since the First World War, The Duke and Duchess will in particular honour the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting for the British Army during the conflict. (Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock/CP)

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge at a wreath-laying at India Gate. (Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock/CP)

Is it Groundhog Day? Because a feeling of déjà vu overcame me when I saw the pictures from India of Kate, duchess of Cambridge, struggling to control her skirt à la Marilyn Monroe. Laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Delhi, then standing still while the Last Post plays should be a solemn moment for Kate and her husband, Prince William. It was nearly a disaster. The wind picked up the hem of her full-skirted dress and tossed it around, leaving Kate to abandon all dignity as she repeatedly grappled and pushed her skirt down in the gusts, her hair flying around her head like a dust storm.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit India Gate Memorial where they laid a wreath to honour the soldiers from Indian regiments who served in World War I, on April 11, 2016 in New Delhi, India. (Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

At the India Gate Memorial. (Samir Hussein, Getty Images)

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has followed Kate and her fashion. Indeed, it’s pretty much expected. For Kate’s love of full-skirted dresses and coats has caused repeated Marilyn Monroe moments. In 2014, I reported on her hair-and-hem problems, noting that, of “30 daytime public events in 2013, there were four unforced errors (13 per cent of the total), including a mid-thigh Moloh coat dress, whose back pleats went flying as she played table tennis with William at a Scottish community centre. For a royal, particularly one in her position, that’s a high faux pas rate.”

Related: Visit Hello! for everything you need to know about royal tours

It seems to happen on every high-profile royal tour, including Canada (2011), and several times during their 2013 tour of New Zealand and Australia. And also at key moments, including arrivals and departures, when wind is a virtual certainty.

Kate, duchess of Cambridge at the Calgary airport, 2011 (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Kate, duchess of Cambridge at the Calgary airport, 2011 (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Kate, duchess of Cambridge arriving in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013

Arriving in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013

There are two simple solutions:

  1. Wear slimmer skirts, so the wind has nothing to grasp. She did that on their 2012 tour in Asia.
  2. Have weighted small curtain weights—$2.50 for a pack of four—inserted into the hems of vertically challenged skirts. The Queen’s designers have used that technique for years to keep her hems down.

Kate has had five years to get used to the strictures of royal life, including how to dress appropriately for her job. Yet she fails on this most basic task.

Related: Today’s Parent on Kate’s push present


Will Kate ever learn to avoid ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moments?

  1. The problem is, she does go commando. And if you’re wondering how I know this – I saw pictures of her trip to Australia which the British and North American media didn’t publish but the German media did.

  2. Got your attention, didn’t it

    That’s the whole point…..LOL

  3. Leave Kate alone. She is doing a difficult job with panache, and everyone loves her.

    • I agree. She has great legs and hey, she can’t let Harry have all the fun! Go Kate! If you were any other young women of your age with those legs, you would be wearing a skirt up to there or Daisy Duke shorts. You can’t so why not wear a longer skirt and let it fly.

  4. The headline from today:
    “Trump rips into ‘crooked shenanigans’ in primary process”
    “NDP in triage as MPs return to Ottawa”
    “‘Raging’ fire at Newfoundland fish plant forces hundreds from homes”
    “Will Kate ever learn to avoid ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moments?”

    Which one of these is not like the other? Get it together Macleans.

  5. I can see the significance of the article, although I also understand why everyone is up-in-arms over it, since we are definitely in a no-criticism tolerated culture. However, I think it would have been better if the tone was on of solution and suggestion. I thought the phrase at the end was in poor taste, that she’d ‘failed’. There’s a finality to that statement that isn’t realistic and it coloured the whole article with a distinctly negative bias.

  6. The writer of the article says “she fails” not “she failed”. Big difference!! I think that as a ‘representative of the Monarchy’ which – apart from the obvious statement of money and power – is supposed to be about ‘poise, dignity and class’, Patricia Treble’s point is valid. I have mostly been a fan of the whole ‘Royal Thing’ but seriously, I find some of those ‘Marilyn-type shots’ of Kate truly ‘cringe-worthy’ and fail to see anything ‘sexy’ in them. They’re embarrassing. As to its being ‘news’…well is it any worse than seeing our beloved Prime Minster demonstrating his ‘yoga pose’ in a cabinet room on Parliament Hill? What exactly IS news nowadays?? Not much, I’m afraid!!

  7. Kate has proven that she is not nor will she ever be a duchess like anyone that preceded her. She has created her own unique style that appeals to both the young and older generation. Kate is the controversial duchess of leg flair which I am certain sends chill up the queen’s royal spine.

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