Category Archives: Substance

Identity: Catherine vs. Kate

Identity: Catherine vs. Kate

This month, I have the pleasure of writing to the WWKD readers while I’m on vacation, visiting my family in the Northeast USA. I use the word “vacation” loosely in this context, as I am here with my two little ones, my husband, mother, sister and my sister’s two little kiddos. It’s a full house, but full of love, laughter…and a few family squabbles.

In the 30 seconds that I have to myself every day, I have become more aware of the different roles that I occupy with all of the above family members: I am Mother, Daughter, Wife, Sister, and Aunt. I speak to my children differently than I do to my sister’s children. I talk about certain things with my sister that I might discuss in a different way with my mother. My relationship with my husband undergoes small but notable changes when we are surrounded by my family. While I greatly enjoy all this time together, there is also some stress that results from this switching of roles, this change in identity.


Thinking about my personal identity lead to me ponder Kate’s identity (or identities). At times, I have to remind myself that I have no idea who Kate is. This is especially true after the three-week Kate-watching marathon that was the Australia/New Zealand tour, or when I notice that the bulk of my Twitter feed is devoted to Kate news. I remind myself that I have never met her and have only extremely rarely heard her speak. I remind myself that much of the information that I read about her is in the public sphere, in her official engagements and that anything personal is (1) overheard during public events or (2) completely made up to sell newspapers. I also remind myself that, while the substance of Kate’s identity still remains unknown, the underlying idea that she is able to successfully maintain these complete, separate, and likeable identities is a useful skill. We all have private selves and public/professional selves. We all have to develop these separate selves, realize which “self” is appropriate in which context, and yet also retain a core sense of who we are independent of whatever situation we find ourselves in.


How does Kate do it, and how is she able to do this successfully? My first theory is that it is vitally necessary that you have a safe location in which you can be your authentic self. For Kate, I think she is able to find this at her parents’ home in Bucklebury (perhaps a reason why she and William went there after the birth of their son) and hopefully at her home in Kensington Palace. These locations are safe from the prying lenses of the media, safe and secured from unwanted visitors, and yet also provide ample space and comfort.


Of near-equal importance to a safe space in which you can fully be yourself is finding safe people around whom you can be your genuine self. These people can be family or friends, and you may find that only one or two people that you know fit within this “inner circle” of trusted people. It is within this inner circle that you feel safe enough to share your deepest opinions and honest thoughts without fear of shame or misunderstanding. These people, like the safe space, can serve to ground you, to help you find your genuine self, as you transition between different roles in your life. Kate appears lucky to be able to find this safe inner circle with her parents, her sister, her spouse, and perhaps with others in her life.


Lastly, how do you identify your authentic self? The key to this is to spend quiet time with yourself – not surrounded by the opinions of others, not distracted by music or movies or other media, so that the only voice you can listen to is your own. In these quiet times, find out what you like and who you are. What is your favorite color? What do you do to comfort yourself when you feel down? What do you really think about our current political system? Where do you see yourself in 10 years? The only answer to these questions that matters is your own! Further, while spending time with yourself and investigating your own thoughts, wishes, and preferences, you might find that you don’t know the answer some of these questions. For example, perhaps you are trying to identify which community issues interest you and motivate you to get involved. Careful research is important, but most necessary is experimentation. Try your hand at hands-on volunteer work and at behind-the-scenes administrative work. See if you like to actively fundraise by writing grants or going door-to-door in your neighborhood on behalf of an organization. Try to develop a community outreach project or give public relations work a shot. The options are endless and it is though trial and error that you will find your niche!


Identifying your true and authentic self is a lifelong process, and also an ongoing process, as we change throughout our lives due to our relationships and experiences. I remain interested to see who Kate is and what she does with her position and power. I am also interested in your thoughts on finding your own identity, and on Kate’s journey thus far.

The Modern Princess: Self-Care

The Modern Princess: Self-Care

As a psychologist, I have seen many women come in to my office feeling depleted, overwhelmed, and fatigued.  Upon discussing their history and relationships, a familiar — and unfortunate — pattern emerges.  These women balance their jobs, spouses/significant others, children, parents, siblings, and friends and never seem to take any time for themselves.  I believeContinue Reading

What’s in a Royal Title?

What’s in a Royal Title?

If you’ve ever been on Twitter during a “what is Kate’s last name” debate, you know to stay far, far away from that fire. For whatever reason, the most hotly debated topic is Kate’s official title. On her wedding day, Catherine received a royal title befitting of her new royal status as the wife ofContinue Reading

WWKD’s New Guest Submissions Program!

WWKD’s New Guest Submissions Program!

A few weeks ago, WWKD sent a request for applications for a regular writing position on our team. We were overwhelmed by the number of applications, and it was very difficult to make a final decision. Ultimately, we eenie-meenie-minie-moed and welcomed two  new contributors – Christina and Gemma – to the WWKD family.   ThisContinue Reading

The Royal Tour Dream Team

The Royal Tour Dream Team

The New Zealand and Australia Royal Tour is almost here! We are so excited to see the various events, wonderful cities, and photo opportunities (mostly of Prince George of the Chubby Cheeks, of course) during those three weeks down unda. Along with William, Kate, and George, there will be a professional team of royal aidesContinue Reading

What does Kate do?

What does Kate do?

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.  ItContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Cell Phones

Rules of EtiKate: Cell Phones

As we have discussed before on WWKD, we rarely see Kate with a cell phone. She does not walk down the street chatting into her iPhone or text while she shops. She focuses on the people she is with and the world around her, something we can all do a little more often. I amContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Traveling

Rules of EtiKate: Traveling

Kate and William are known to enjoy traveling, whether it be for engagements in the US and other parts of the world, or going to Africa on holiday. Wherever you are traveling to this holiday season and beyond, here are some tips and tricks to maintain a regal elegance even when you are 30,000 feetContinue Reading

Kate’s Year in Review

Kate’s Year in Review

This past year has been an incredible time for the royal family, but most importantly The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. 2013 brought amazing memories, fantastic events, and – oh yeah – a baby. We couldn’t end the year without a spectacular review of Kate’s best moments. There were so many wonderful things happening inContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Hostessing

Rules of EtiKate: Hostessing

Now that we have all learned how to have a flawless table setting, we can start hosting fabulous dinner parties! Whether it is a small get-together, a swanky cocktail party, or a five-course formal sit-down dinner, here are some etiquette tips on how to be a gracious and regal hostess. Send out invitations far inContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Setting a Formal Table

Rules of EtiKate: Setting a Formal Table

While the last two EtiKate posts have been a bit aspirational (Meeting the Queen and Curtsying), this week’s post will focus on setting a formal table, a skill we can all use, whether it be at our next dinner party or the next time we sit down with our takeout. This diagram from Emily PostContinue Reading

Christmas like the Duchess

Christmas like the Duchess

For all you Americans, Thanksgiving is over and the Christmas season begins – for us in the UK, all of the shops seem think Christmas began three months ago, I digress however – and I feel that now it’s just a two days until December, we can now all allow ourselves to get that littleContinue Reading

Rules of EtiKate: Curtsying

Rules of EtiKate: Curtsying

This week’s EtiKate will look at the act of curtsying. Curtsying is a gesture of respect or reverence made by women by bending the knees with one foot forward and lowering the body. It is considered the female version of the bow. In the past, women would curtsy to anyone of superior social rank. WhileContinue Reading

Growing Old(er) Royally

Growing Old(er) Royally

We all get older. Ok, so I’m only 19 and still in the depths of endless acne treatments but even I look in the mirror every day just to see if I’ve got any lines on my forehead yet. Recently, on London Poppy Day, we saw press photos of Kate with the first signs ofContinue Reading

A Role Model To Women

A Role Model To Women

This past week, I counted not one, but three, women celebrities posting photos on Instagram missing major parts of their clothing exposing or alluding at very private parts of their bodies for the whole world to see.  These photos not only made it to the popular page of Instagram, but were talked about by allContinue Reading