The internet was a-buzz last week when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge jetted off to the Maldives for a short break before their New Zealand and Australia tour. While most people were envious of their escape to warmer climates, others were disgruntled. To many, it seems that the Duchess of Cambridge does nothing. It is human perception to think that Kate only does what we see her do – go shopping, walk Prince George in a pram, and attend an event every few weeks. So, I was unsurprised to hear the question: “what does Kate do?”
The answer is that Kate does a lot. A large portion of her professional “Duchess Duties” occurs behind the scenes. While we can only make informed speculation on this secretive part of her life, she certainly has professional requirements and duties to tend to each week, including meetings with advisors, researching charity visits, and tending to public correspondence.
Kate’s schedule is another thing that she will have a heavy hand in managing. Everything, from George’s nap times to professional meetings and public engagements, must be carefully and thoughtfully planned out. Whether on a large calendar, an iCalendar document, or in a stylish day planner, the Duchess of Cambridge must maintain a detailed and organized schedule for every aspect of her life, not just social engagements and charity events.
You may think that Kate shows up to an event, stays for an hour, and her work is done. The reality is that these royal events take a lot of time, effort, and planning. Royal engagements are planned weeks or months ahead of time, although the public is not informed until much closer to the date. Kate’s attendance must be thoughtfully organized – her activities should be timed to best suit both her needs and the needs of the venue. Arrivals and departures also require detailed planning, including the mode of transportation, the best routes to take, traffic schedules, and privacy concerns. Royal security needs will be tactically planned while the press must be informed and managed. And that is just the logistics of an event.
Research and Preparation
In addition to studying for public events, Kate needs to be well informed on cultural events, the government, the monarchy, social culture, and local news. Her required learning will never stop considering she should be up to speed on these topics at all times. This could come in the form of a newspaper, a book, or watching the news, but it is still a requirement of her lifestyle.
While she undoubtedly studies these topics on her own, she will often meet with her advisors and personal secretary to discuss similar matters. These frequent meetings cover important topics such as government affairs, local events, and other issues that the Duchess should be aware of, as well as upcoming engagements, potential events that require planning, and anything else about Kate’s life. Her advisors and personal aides help manage both her private and public schedule, so the Duchess’ life runs smoothly. These meetings take time, effort, brainpower, and preparation from both the advisors and Kate herself.
Fitness and Health
Beauty and Appearance
Physical fitness is a personal priority for Kate, but physical appearance is a priority for everyone else. Certain incidences, such as Kate’s “grey hairs” or the bandage on her finger, made international headlines. To think that Kate does not have to be well groomed and beautified is a naïve misconception. That upkeep requires time and planning. Monthly facials, monthly haircuts, bi-annual hair treatments, makeup lessons, beauty consultations, eyebrow grooming, regular blowouts, dental appointments, personal training, manicures, outfit selections, doctor appointments, nutritionist appointments, etc. – these events take time and they are a required part of her life. Some people are able to wake up, comb their hair, and run out the door every day. Kate’s beauty routine would require hours out of every week.
The Royal Lifestyle
On top of her professional duties and personal priorities, the Duchess of Cambridge is a wife and a mother. She employs a part-time housekeeper and a part-time nanny, which certainly helps. Nevertheless, even with someone watching George and Charlotte so she can check e-mails or picking up groceries so she can go out for a walk with the pram, Kate’s life has responsibilities, duties, and requirements very different from our own.
So when the question comes up, as it inevitably does, of “what does Kate do all day?” I explain these things to them. Royals lead lives we cannot fully understand, because they are very secret, and very different from unroyal lives. To some, it seems an easy, unstressful, charmed life filled with manicures and holidays. To others, it seems a frightful burden masked in great clothes.