In 2011, Kate Middleton’s marriage to Prince William changed her life — and the royal family — forever. She became the Duchess of Cambridge and wife to the man who will very likely become King of England one day in the future. Since marrying a prince, Kate has certainly had a life that plenty of little girls can only dream of. However, the life of a duchess also comes with its difficulties. As a prominent member of the royal family, Kate is under constant scrutiny from members of the press and public.
Like every royal, though, Kate has made her fair share of faux pas throughout the years. And while the Duchess of Cambridge is known for being poised, elegant, and positively regal, she has also had the occasional slip-up. It turns out, Kate is a lot more relatable than many of us would think! Here are the most awkward moments of Kate Middleton.
Kate Middleton got her heel stuck in a grate in front of a crowd
Members of the royal family are tasked with always looking effortlessly composed and elegant. Usually, Kate Middleton does a pretty good job of floating through public events and appearances without a hitch. However, at one heavily attended event, Kate suffered a seriously awkward wardrobe mishap. In 2013, Kate paid a visit to the Irish Guards Parade to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Things went wrong for Kate when the heel of her shoe slipped into a grate and got stuck.
Apparently, Kate wasn’t too rattled by the awkward accident. In fact, it seems she handled the situation with the effortless grace she is famous for. Marie Claire explained that the duchess reached for her husband’s hand and smilingly bent down to pull the heel out of the grate herself. Trust Kate to deal with an embarrassing situation so elegantly!
Kate Middleton's uncomfortable DJing during a royal tour
Most of the time, royal events consist of greeting crowds, giving speeches, cutting ribbons, and so on. However, every now and then, the royals are sent to an event that is a little more unusual. In 2014, Kate Middleton and Prince William ended up in a DJ booth while touring Adelaide, Australia. According to Marie Claire, the couple were given a little tutorial by DJ Shane Peterer — before they hit the decks themselves.
In a video by Sky News, you can even see Kate in action as she tries her hand at some vinyl scratching — definitely not an activity that most royals are accustomed to! Kate clearly felt a little uncomfortable trying out her new skill, giving a slightly awkward thumbs up to the crowd. Based on the smiles and laughs of Kate and her husband, it’s clear that the couple had tons of fun learning this unexpected new skill — even if they looked and felt a little awkward in the process!
Kate Middleton shrugged off Prince William's hand during this Christmas special
Anyone who follows the royals will know that a public display of affection is not always considered appropriate for royal couples. As royal etiquette expert Myka Meier told People, there is no official rule against royal PDAs, but most royal couples choose to refrain from showing affection during official visits. As Popsugar noted, Kate Middleton and Prince William have only exchanged a few PDAs throughout the years.
In 2019, the couple had an awkward moment when Kate seemed to shrug off a rare affectionate gesture from her husband. The incident occurred on BBC’s Christmas special, A Berry Royal Christmas. At one point during the show, Prince William reached out to touch Kate’s arm, but Kate seemed to instantly shrink away (via Entertainment Tonight Canada).
While Kate didn’t let her face give anything away about why she shrugged off her husband’s hand, it looks as if the gesture made her uncomfortable. We’ll never know for sure why she dodged the prince’s hand, but perhaps she simply thought a PDA simply wasn’t appropriate for a televised Christmas special.
Kate Middleton allegedly shared an awkward moment with Meghan Markle before a shopping trip
The relationship between the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister-in-law Meghan Markle has been a source of speculation. While some are convinced that Kate Middleton and Meghan have a frosty relationship, others believe that their feud was largely fabricated. Whatever the truth may be of their relationship, it’s clear that the two women have shared some awkward moments.
In the book Finding Freedom, sources reportedly close to the royals revealed some secrets about the two women and this supposed “feud.” In an excerpt shared by The Times, the duchesses were said to have never have fought or argued, but their relationship was uncomfortable. Apparently, the women never bonded.
In 2017, when Meghan and Prince Harry were dating, Kate allegedly came across Meghan at Kensington Palace. “Although both were heading out to go shopping — in the same street — Kate went in her own Range Rover,” it was revealed. It seemed that Meghan had hoped that Kate would take her, an eventual duchess, under her wing and “give her the lie of the land,” but instead the relationship remained distant and awkward between the two.
Kate Middleton got a little too excited about Harry Potter
When it comes to royal photo ops, it’s customary for the royals to get immersed in their surroundings. When the couple attended a training day for the London Marathon, they took part in a race; when they visited an elementary school, they took part in the children’s art program. So, it’s no surprise that when they visited Warner Bros. Studio, they were pictured interacting with props from some of the studio’s films (via Hello! Magazine).
During one of the funniest moments from the event, Prince William and Kate Middleton were asked to duel with wands from Harry Potter, The Telegraph revealed. In a video of the event, the couple are seen learning some wand waving techniques, before they are tested on their moves in a pretend duel. Watching the couple pretending to duel — complete with their own sound effects — is undeniably hilarious — as is the look on Kate’s face when she realizes what this photo shoot involves! While the couple are clearly a little uncomfortable to be waving wands around, it’s also evident that they’re having heaps of fun too.
Kate Middleton versus the wind
Kate Middleton is regularly seen wearing stunning designer dresses because, after all, she is married to the Prince of England! Most of the time, Kate looks impeccably put together. However, when Kate attended Princess Eugenie’s wedding, she nearly experienced a seriously embarrassing fashion faux pas, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Kate was wearing a gorgeous fuchsia Alexander McQueen dress with a full skirt. So far, so good. But when she stepped outside of St George’s Chapel, a sudden gust of wind turned her dress into a sail, blowing her skirt straight up and creating a Marilyn Monroe moment.
Luckily, Kate felt the breeze just in time and managed to pin down her skirt with her hands before the moment got any more awkward. What a pro. It turns out, though, Kate has a system in place to (ideally) prevent these moments. She often wears static bodysuits to discourage her skirt from flying up in the wind, according to The Sun, but the fashion hack clearly didn’t work this time. Still, Kate handled the close call with grace and couldn’t help but giggle.
Kate Middleton seemingly forgot the Pakistan army's salute protocol
In one seriously awkward moment, Kate Middleton appeared to get confused about the salute and handshake protocol with a uniformed soldier. The mishap occurred at a government-run school during the royal couple’s tour of Pakistan, according to the Mirror. Prince William greeted the soldier first, waiting for the soldier to give his traditional salute prior to a handshake. However, when Kate greeted the soldier, she immediately presented her hand. Unfortunately, the soldier had yet to perform his obligatory handshake, which meant Kate was left hanging with her hand awkwardly outstretched.
Luckily, the soldier reacted quickly and shook the Duchess of Cambridge’s hand as soon as his salute was complete. While the handshake mishap may look like a small blunder, it must have been pretty embarrassing for Kate, who is expected to know this type of etiquette inside and out.
Kate Middleton and Prince William struggled to contain their anger at this awards show
The royal family is expected to keep their composure in awkward situations. However, when Kate Middleton and Prince William attended the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards show in 2020, their facial expressions made it pretty clear that the couple was seriously displeased with some of the speeches.
At one point, Margot Robbie accepted an award for Brad Pitt and spoke on his behalf. While reciting his acceptance speech, she made a jab about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the royal family. “His words, not mine,” the actress revealed. When the cameras cut to William and Kate, the couple were laughing — albeit a little awkwardly — at the joke. However, when Rebel Wilson made a dig at Prince Andrew in her speech, Kate and William were clearly uncomfortable.
According to Fox News, the couple was not expecting awkward jokes to be made about the royal family. In fact, U.K. media commentator Neil Sean told the publication that the reaction shots were actually edited to make the couple look less uncomfortable. That’s right, it seems the royal couple’s original reactions to the jokes were even more awkward than those we witnessed on TV.
Kate Middleton embarrassed herself the first time she met Prince William
The love story between Kate Middleton and Prince William began when the couple were both students at the University of St. Andrews. Before marrying Prince William, Kate had never had any experience with royalty, so it’s no wonder that she felt pretty awkward during their first encounter.
In Christopher Andersen’s book about the couple, William and Kate: A Royal Love Story (via Express), he explained how Kate allegedly curtsied when she first met her future husband. And, apparently, Kate’s charming awkwardness caused Prince William to spill his drink all over himself.
In Kate and William’s first official interview together since getting engaged, she recounted the couple’s first meeting. Kate explained, “I actually went bright red when I met [him] and sort of scuttled off feeling very shy about meeting [him].” This royal couple is seriously sweet — even if they are pretty awkward!
Kate Middleton tripped in front of the cameras, but she took it in stride
It turns out, members of the royal family can be clumsy just like the rest of us. Even though Kate Middleton is usually the perfect picture of grace and poise, she had a pretty embarrassing — and quite literal — slip-up in 2019, as reported by Cosmopolitan. The embarrassing moment happened when Kate and Prince William were leaving the Troubadour White City Theater in London.
The duchess must have placed a foot wrong, because she appeared to stumble just before she reached the car. What made the awkward moment totally adorable, though, was how her husband instinctively reached out to steady his wife in case she fell. Luckily, Kate regained her balance on her own. Still, we loved seeing Prince William’s ultra quick reaction. As the couple got into the car, they could be seen sharing a little giggle about the embarrassing trip. Isn’t it sweet to see them laugh off an awkward public moment together?
Kate Middleton and Prince William shared a super awkward and cold greeting with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Kate Middleton and her sister-in-law Meghan Markle are reported to have a somewhat uncomfortable relationship — and some of that discomfort has been captured on camera. At the 2020 Commonwealth Day ceremony, an awkward interaction between the two couples ensued. As Entertainment Tonight Canada pointed out, the event was the final official appearance of Prince Harry and Meghan. It was also the first public meeting of the two couples since before Meghan and Harry announced they would be stepping back from the royal family.
When Kate and Prince William arrived at their seats, they briefly greeted the couple sitting next to Meghan and Prince Harry, but things got really awkward when Kate and her husband seemed to ignore their two family members. While William ultimately looked to briefly acknowledge Meghan, Kate avoided eye contact altogether. Yikes! While it’s unclear if Kate and her husband intended to snub Meghan and Harry, the clip looks seriously awkward.
Kate Middleton couldn't keep her cool during a tense final at Wimbledon
Kate Middleton was known to be passionate about sports as a child. Based on some of the duchess’ appearances at sporting events, it seems her love of competition hasn’t faded. In fact, Kate can’t help but get involved in the action whenever she gets the opportunity. When Kate isn’t able to play, though, she enjoys getting to support her favorite teams and players from the stands.
In one memorable instance, Kate and her husband were seen in the stands at Wimbledon Men’s Final in 2019. Kate pulled some exaggerated faces that were nothing short of hilarious and just a bit awkward to see on a member of the royal family. By the looks of things, Kate went through a whole series of emotions during the game . She was seen with her head in her hands, her mouth agape, and her hands over her eyes. While Kate is usually stoic and composed, her over the top reactions to this tennis match revealed that she can’t help but get emotionally invested when it comes to sports.
Kate Middleton was called out for neglecting to visit one of her patronages for nearly a decade
The royal family members tend to become patrons of various organizations as part of their royal duties. As of 2019, Kate Middleton was reported to have 19 patronages (via Express). One of these patronages is Action on Addiction. In 2020, things got seriously awkward when it was publicly revealed that Kate had been a little lax in her duties. During a virtual tour of the Action on Addiction facility, Kate mentioned that she hadn’t visited in a while, and a man from the organization replied, saying that she hadn’t been since 2012. That’s eight whole years!
Although the man may not have been trying to throw some shade on the duchess, the moment was certainly cringey. One user commented on a clip that was shared to Twitter, writing, “Why was this made public? The embarrassment! [Eight] years!” Yikes. We wouldn’t be surprised if Kate goes on to pay an in-person visit to the organization to smooth things over.
A group of school children ignored Kate Middleton in public
Kate Middleton is often praised for being good with children. After all, the royal has three of her own. However, at one royal appearance in 2019, Kate had a seriously awkward encounter with a group of school children that left her looking pretty silly.
At the event, Kate was meant to help a group of children pick out Christmas trees and make Christmas decorations. Some onlookers noticed a hilarious and super awkward moment for the royal. According to Kaitlin Menza, a commentator at the event, the kids weren’t very interested in Kate’s status — nor her Christmas tree!
Apparently, Kate picked out a tree and tried to get the attention of the kids. Menza told Royally Obsessed, “No kids were paying attention to her. The kids were not looking at her at all” (via Express). It’s ironic that Kate has the world’s attention, but struggled to get the attention of a few school kids. That being said, she may be used to vying for her own kids’ attention at home.
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