20 Times Kate Middleton Looked Totally Over Her Royal Life

EntertainmentPublished Mar 19, 2024
By Martha Sorren
kate middleton coronation headpieceMark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

We know there are exclusive events and crowns and fancy dresses and palaces, but being a member of the royal family is not always all it's cracked up to be. Kate Middleton, who rarely shows us anything but her bright smile, has demonstrated a number of times over the years that she sometimes has had enough. Whether it's the paparazzi invading her privacy or yet another dull event to attend, we can't blame her for not being "on" 100% of the time. To be honest, we're kind of suspicious that may be what's at the root of 2024's #KateGate.

After all, the Duchess of Cambridge wasn't raised in the royal family. Her husband, Prince William, is probably much more used to giving up everything for the Crown. Meanwhile, Kate occasionally just needs a freakin' minute to gather herself. But of course any time her facade drops, the cameras are right there to capture it. Here are 20 times Kate looked so over royal life.

More from CafeMom: Kate Middleton Hasn't Been Seen in 2 Months & People Are Starting To Get Suspicious

The Paparazzi Is too Much-placeholder
The Paparazzi Is too Much
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Go Away

Kate wasn't even officially a royal at this point, and she was already super over it. Like they did with Princess Diana when she started dating Prince Charles, the paparazzi hounded Kate in the early days of her romance with William. It must have been a wake-up call for her as to what she could expect if she stayed with him.

More from CafeMom: Kate Middleton's Best Hair Moments Through the Years

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Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, Prince William commonwealth games
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Stuck in the Middle

We're not sure who decided to seat Kate between brothers William and Harry at the Commonwealth Games, but she looks so annoyed. She's even giving a bit of an eye roll. Perhaps William and Harry kept talking to each other over Kate while she was just trying to watch the game. That would be irritating.

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Morning Sickness
Danny Martindale/Contributor/Getty Images

Hospital Photo Call

When pregnant with Prince George, Kate was hospitalized for severe morning sickness (aka hyperemesis gravidarum). When she was finally able to check out of the facility, the paparazzi were there to capture her photo. Imagine if you just spent a bunch of time vomiting in the hospital and then people took pictures of you. A true nightmare.

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Here We Go Again
James Whatling/Splash News

Another Day, Another Carriage

The trappings of royal life pretty quickly became old hat to the Duchess of Cambridge. How many carriage rides is one expected to take, hmm? Being literally paraded around doesn't sound like the most fun thing ever, and she suffers from motion sickness, so we can't really blame her for having such a sour expression in this picture.

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Excuse Me?
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Not-So-Royal Treatment

During a 2014 trip to the US, Kate got a taste of that famous New Yorker attitude. The duchess was helping wrap gifts at a center for children while carrying on a conversation with some people there. She got a little distracted from the task at hand, so one of the employees shouted, "Keep wrapping!" Kate looked alarmed by the tone, as she's probably not used to being spoken to like that. She gave some side-eye but continued wrapping.

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Wow, This Game Is Really, Really Boring
James Whatling/Splash News

Watching American Sports

While in New York, William and Kate also checked out a Brooklyn Nets basketball game. The sport is not nearly as popular in England, where Kate and William are noted polo, sailing, tennis, and soccer fans. So it's no wonder that they both got pretty bored watching this game unfold. It's just not their thing.

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Kate Middleton, Camilla, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Philip, Prince Harry
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A Step Behind

Royal protocol dictates everything down to the order the family members must walk in when attending events. It goes according to rank, and Kate looks a little peeved that she's so far behind. She had to walk behind Prince Philip, Charles, and Duchess Camilla, as well as a step behind William. Poor Harry, though. All the way in the back.

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Time Has Literally Stopped
James Whatling/Splash News

Somber Event

The annual Remembrance Day event is always a somber occasion, but the Duchess of Cambridge looks more than just somber here. She looks like she's questioning her whole royal existence. It must get tough at times, being her and having to plaster on a smile all the time. Perhaps she enjoys these types of events where she doesn't have to be overly happy.

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Prince George and Kate Middleton
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Royal Kid Meltdown

Prince George was being naughty while serving in Kate's sister's wedding, and Kate was totally over it. She scolded him, resulting in one of the few photos of her looking truly angry. She must have been extra mad when she learned that the paparazzi snapped this photo. Can't a parent deal with a troublesome child in peace?

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Will This Ever End?
Retropix/Splash News

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Fans of NBC's The Office know this look all too well. It's a total Jim Halpert look to camera, breaking the fourth wall to convey confusion or frustration. Whatever was going on here, Kate wanted the photographers to know that she was not happy about it. Maybe event organizers should stop seating her between Harry and William? That rarely seems to go well.


Feeling Defeated

Not only did Kate not win this sailing event against her husband in 2019, but she also came in dead last. The Duchess of Cambridge seems like she would be a pretty competitive person, so losing to William would have been hard enough, much less losing to every other team there while everyone is taking your photo. Yikes.

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Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Acting Like Everything Was Fine

In real life, when you don't like someone, you don't usually have to spend a whole bunch of time with them. Not true for royal life. Although Kate and sister-in-law Meghan Markle never really got along, they had to keep showing up to events together and look like one big happy family — lest the photographers notice the truth. The facade fell a bit sometimes.


No PDA, Please

The Cambridges must have been going through a little spat when they filmed this holiday special, because Kate was not having it when William tried to put his hand on her shoulder. She quickly shrugged away. Or perhaps she was just trying to abide by the royal protocol to keep their PDA to a minimum. No fun at all.

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Kate Middleton, Camilla, Queen, Remembrance Day
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

So Annoyed

Um, we would not want to be the Queen at this event, because she's just one woman standing in the middle of a staredown between Kate and Camilla. We know that Camilla hasn't always liked Kate, but the expressions on their faces here are truly outrageous. Something was definitely up.

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Prince George, Kate Middleton, Princess Charlotte
James Whatling/Splash News

Get it Together

George must have been misbehaving moments before this picture was taken, because Kate appears to be giving him a talking to about how to conduct himself. As she knows all too well, your real emotions must be left at the door when you step out for a royal event. She's prepping him early to put on a brave face like she does.

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This Is Going to Be a Long Day
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Steeling Herself

Even Kate apparently needs a talking to every once in a while about her own game face. Heading into this royal outing, she looked less than thrilled while stepping out of the car. Silly Kate — don't you remember that the cameras are always watching? Time to put that smile back on! That's royalty, baby.

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Sure, Will
Charlotte Graham/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Another Boring Meeting

We have no idea what William is droning on about here, but Kate looks pretty bored. It appears her mind has totally wandered to something else. Maybe she's thinking about what she'll eat later or when she can slip out of her heels — anything besides the topic at hand. This meeting seems like a snoozefest.

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Just Go Away
Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images


Kate actually does do a really good job of putting up with the paparazzi, but there are some times when you can tell it's grating. In this photo, she was just trying to enjoy a picnic lunch with her kids at their dad's polo match, when all of a sudden the cameras were in her face. Leave a mom alone!

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Kate Middleton, poland
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Party Pooper

The Duchess of Cambridge caught a lot of flak when the photos from this event came out. She was in Poland celebrating the Queen's birthday, but she looked totally miserable. Perhaps she was just having an off day/night, but unfortunately she still had to show up and be "on."

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kate middleton prince william prince harry meghan markle
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Rather Be Anywhere Else

Meghan and Harry's final official event before they stepped back as senior royals was the Commonwealth Day service in 2020, and it was awkward to say the least. There was clearly so much tension between the Sussexes and the Cambridges, and Kate looked like all she wanted to do was get the heck out of there.

Kate Middletonroyals#kategate#KateGateBritish royalsroyal familyPrince Williamthe royalsPrincess KateCatherine Princess of Walesprincess of wales
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