Wednesday, 18 February 2015 13:16
A Kate Middleton lecture in an eerie childless charity video
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Empty and cold.


These are the words that first come to mind to describe Kate Middleton’s latest video project for a British children’s charity, Place2Be.

What’s more eerie than a video about children with no children in it?

A video about children but without any children about, and Kate Middleton, in blue eye shadow and all hunched over, wearing what looks to be like a set of pajammies, telling us, in a voice that swallows vowels whole, how important children are, and how we, the public, should give money to help these children.

But shouldn’t such a video, like the one Kate recently made for Place2Be, a charity focusing on school children’s mental health, be just chock-full of children?

Children happy, children sad, children playing, running, crying, quarreling, doing childish things....

Children scribbling in the brightly-colored notebooks we can see atop the empty desks behind Kate’s back....

Children basking in the bright steams of sunlight happily beaming through the windows behind Kate’s back....

Where are these missing children whom Kate Middleton claims need our help and support?

Instead, all we see is Kate Middleton, scrunched over and round-shouldered as ever, her alleged baby bump invisible, dressed in bluish and patterned pajammies or a housecoat, and giving us a lecture about how important children’s mental health is.

So great are the coils of Kate’s hair over her shoulders that what the video really looks like is an advert for some brunette hair color or shampoo, except that those models are usually smiling, whereas Kate’s face is, well, a bit ambiguous.  And she looks just a bit different, as though she’s recently had cheek implants or botox or something.

Interspersed with her vowel gurgling is her name-dropping of “William,” presumably Prince William, her husband, who is also curiously absent, despite his great supposed caring about this charity and the children– at least, when he’s not lecturing us about a world with no rhinoceroses in it.

In the video, we see no children– only Kate.  We see children’s desks behind Kate, all empty.  Children’s chairs, all empty.  Not a peep, not a shout, not a childish giggle or shriek.

There’s not one thing to charm us out of opening our wallets to help these missing children.  The whole scene has a frightening quality about it.  One expects that, perhaps, in the last few seconds of the ad, the missing children will come, boisterously running in, giving substance to Kate’s pitch for us to send money and give support.

But instead, the video has the eerie aspect that these needy children are all....disappeared.  As though they have all been rounded up, and will not be returning unless we open our wallets.

Who created this vacuous commercial, anyway?

The one change is a photograph interspersed in the middle of the pitch that has Kate in a horrid cocktail outfit she obviously cobbled together herself, receiving a floral bouquet from a child.

But where is the interaction?  Where is the joyful outburst of love for children, the thrill that comes from lifting them up, the mutual adoration that brightens the eyes of young and old alike?

Where is all that?

Instead, all Kate Middleton provides is a sternish kind of lecture that we, the television-watching and internet public, just aren’t doing enough to help children who have emotional problems.  That while we would certainly find a way to help a child with a broken arm, we wrongfully ignore children who have been bullied, who are depressed, who are dealing with problems, who are troubled, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Can you imagine, for even one moment, Queen Elizabeth II or Prince Philip delivering such a lecture to us?

It is one thing to ask politely for money and support for worthy causes.  But it is quite another for a thirty-something who has never held a real job and who has actually helped very few people in her rather long life to give the working public a scolding that, because she and “William” are supporting a cause, we must all jump aboard.

Is it too much to ask, first, exactly what Kate Middleton and Prince William are actually doing for Place2Be themselves?

Exactly how much of their own money have Kate Middleton and Prince William contributed to Place2Be, or to any project or charity?

If the answer is “zero” or, very little, then, frankly, why should anyone give a dime, unless they really want to?

The truth about Kate Middleton’s newest video is as empty and lifeless as the little schoolroom in which she sits to lecture us all.



Sarah Whalen

sarahw2Sarah Whalen is a university journalism instructor, attorney and author.

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