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Duchess Training: The Duchess of Cambridge

This year will mark the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 5th wedding anniversary and five years of Catherine being an official member of the Royal Family. When the couple’s engagement was announced, many started to speculate what or if Kate would undergo any training for her new role. I for one can’t imagine that she would not have had any, I have been lucky enough to compete in pageants for many years and represent my country on the international stage. To do this, I had to train in everything from how to get out of a car without a wardrobe malfunction, how to sit in a chair like a lady, media training and the most difficult- how to always be “on”. So if someone like me had to go through this, surely one of the most famous women on this planet has had some sort of similar training.

Today Kate turns 34 years-old, her transformation over her years is inevitable and I thought in honour of her birthday it would be fun to take a look at some of the training that she has undergone or things that I imagine the future Queen has experienced.

SAS anti-kidnap training

Ahead of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, reports came out the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given SAS anti-kidnap training as their profiles rose and the couple became at a higher risk to be abducted.

The training that was to take place at the SAS base in Hereford was not the first security training that Kate took. The previous year she took a personal protection programme that is usually led by an SAS, personal protection or MI5 officers. The program is described as “very tough, physically and mentally” and teaches key survival skills.

“VIP kidnap protection training teaches how to cope both mentally and physically,” said a source.

“The mental element involves reacting to unusual situations, such as when there was a stranger in the Queen’s bedroom – and she just started talking to him.”

Queen Elizabeth, Prince Harry and Prince Charles have all undergone the same program that is usually for politicians and diplomats.

Lessons on the workings of the State

In late 2011, after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge returned from their trip to Canada, experts on government, the arts and the media were asked to give Kate one-on-one lessons to “ensure she has a thorough knowledge of the Establishment” according to the Telegraph.

The lessons were to help Kate prepare for her duties as a Senior Royal in years to come. A source said: “The Duchess is being briefed on how the State works, getting to know our national institutions better and learning more about organisations such as the arts, the media and the government.

“It is a process that will carry on for several months but is being done privately.

“As well as meetings at St James’s Palace, the Duchess is spending time carrying out private research of her own.”

Duchess of Cambridge at Portrait Gala 2014

Duchess of Cambridge at Portrait Gala 2014

The art of being “on”

Since Kate rose to stardom, lessons across the globe have been offered by etiquette experts how to achieve the pose of a duchess. While no official reports have been given on if or what lessons Kate had these are just some of what I am sure she was instructed.

Firstly, how to sit like a lady. Next time you go to sit down, take notice of how you do it. Most likely you slump down, curl up or cross your legs, now imagine Kate or the Queen doing that- almost laughable isn’t it? Stand up and try it this way- find the edge of the chair with the back of your legs without looking at the chair, then slowly sit down keeping your posture, to finish fold your left ankle behind your right knees slanted to the left with one hand over the other placed on your lap. I bet you feel more regal already!

A handshake says a lot about a person. Too hard could hurt the other person and too flimsy who are seen as weak. The perfect handshake sees the meaty part of your hand at the bottom of the “v” between your thumb and pointer finger touch that same part on the other person. Be firm but not controlling and two pumps is plenty.

Being “on” was the hardest thing I ever had to learn, it seems simple but when you have a camera on you at all times it is a lot harder than it looks. When at her events the media never leaves Kate alone, she can’t slump, look tired, grumpy, bored, yawn, twiddle her hair and so on. For hours on end, she must be picture perfect. It was just recently that the media went crazy over an eye-role that Kate gave when an event organizer told her to keep wrapping gifts at the Northside Center for Child Development during her trip to New York. Meme’s galore were made of the moment, so no doubt Kate has made a notice not to repeat the incident and continue to always be “on”.

Happy Birthday Kate! We look forward to many more years of learning your duchess lessons.

Photo Credit: By See Li [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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