Kate Middleton's 'crippling fear' ahead of marriage to Prince William revealed

The Duchess of Cambridge had to tackle a very common fear before her royal wedding to Prince William

Kate Middleton's 'crippling fear' before wedding revealed
(Image credit: Getty)

Kate Middleton may seem like a natural public speaker, but according to an inside royal source, it hasn't always been that way. 

Kate Middleton suffered from a 'crippling fear' of public speaking before she married Prince William, according to a royal expert. 

The Reading native soared to global stardom when she wed Charles and Diana's eldest son in April 2011, shedding her commoner status and becoming Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge in the space of a few short seconds. The prestigious title came with some pretty hefty duties, including supporting charitable causes, attending countless engagements—and, of course, making speeches for strangers on the regular. 

Now over a decade into the role, the Duchess has been repeatedly praised for her regal oratory skills, with many experts claiming Kate copies Princess Diana's behavior when addressing the public. 

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge makes a keynote speech to launch the "Taking Action on Addiction" campaign at BAFTA on October 19, 2021 in London, England.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge makes a keynote speech to launch the "Taking Action on Addiction" campaign at BAFTA on October 19, 2021 in London, England.

(Image credit: Getty)

While the 40-year-old may come across as a natural at the game today, it's been reported that she hasn't always felt so comfortable speaking in front of an audience. According to royal expert Camilla Tominey, the Duchess struggled to overcome her fear of public speeches when she first joined the Royal Family—having always preferred to stay on the sidelines rather than assume center stage. 

“I think it’s difficult for Kate individually because I think she’s intrinsically quite shy. I think she could give herself more credit by speaking more," the Telegraph writer said in an interview for the 2017 BBC podcast Images of Diana. 

The Duchess has historically found public speaking, in particular, a difficult part of her role as future Queen. After delivering her first speech at a children's hospice in 2012, she reportedly admitted to a guest, "I find doing speeches nerve-wracking."

Duchess of Cambridge makes a speech during a visit to The Treehouse in Ipswich, eastern England, on March 19, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge visited to formally open The Treehouse, a children's hospice service for the counties of Suffolk and Essex

Kate Middleton made her first speech during a visit to The Treehouse hospice in Ipswich in 2012

(Image credit: Getty)

"She’s had this crippling fear of public speaking,” Camilla continued, adding that she and "the rest of the people in the press pack" have witnessed the mother-of-three's nerves "first hand'. Kate has been forced to "get over" her jitters, however, in order to properly reflect the changing face of the British monarchy. 

“Because if the royals are to be modern and very 21st century, princesses need to be heard as well as seen," Camilla added. It's understood that Kate even had elocution lessons ahead of her wedding to Prince William, to give her the best possible advantage for delivering speeches and interacting with members of the public. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.