Will Kate ever learn to avoid ‘Marilyn Monroe’ moments?

She’s been a royal for five years, yet the hair-and-hem mishaps keep coming

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge begin their Delhi programme with a wreath-laying at India Gate. This memorial is situated in the heart of New Delhi. The 42m high red sandstone structure is the country?s main war memorial, covering the two world wars, the Third Anglo-Afghan War, and the Indo Pakistan War of 1971. As the world marks 100 years since the First World War, The Duke and Duchess will in particular honour the 70,000 Indian soldiers who lost their lives while fighting for the British Army during the conflict. (Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock/CP)

Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge at a wreath-laying at India Gate. (Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock/CP)

Is it Groundhog Day? Because a feeling of déjà vu overcame me when I saw the pictures from India of Kate, duchess of Cambridge, struggling to control her skirt à la Marilyn Monroe. Laying a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Delhi, then standing still while the Last Post plays should be a solemn moment for Kate and her husband, Prince William. It was nearly a disaster. The wind picked up the hem of her full-skirted dress and tossed it around, leaving Kate to abandon all dignity as she repeatedly grappled and pushed her skirt down in the gusts, her hair flying around her head like a dust storm.

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge visit India Gate Memorial where they laid a wreath to honour the soldiers from Indian regiments who served in World War I, on April 11, 2016 in New Delhi, India. (Samir Hussein/Getty Images)

At the India Gate Memorial. (Samir Hussein, Getty Images)

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has followed Kate and her fashion. Indeed, it’s pretty much expected. For Kate’s love of full-skirted dresses and coats has caused repeated Marilyn Monroe moments. In 2014, I reported on her hair-and-hem problems, noting that, of “30 daytime public events in 2013, there were four unforced errors (13 per cent of the total), including a mid-thigh Moloh coat dress, whose back pleats went flying as she played table tennis with William at a Scottish community centre. For a royal, particularly one in her position, that’s a high faux pas rate.”

Related: Visit Hello! for everything you need to know about royal tours

It seems to happen on every high-profile royal tour, including Canada (2011), and several times during their 2013 tour of New Zealand and Australia. And also at key moments, including arrivals and departures, when wind is a virtual certainty.

Kate, duchess of Cambridge at the Calgary airport, 2011 (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Kate, duchess of Cambridge at the Calgary airport, 2011 (Phil Noble/Reuters)

Kate, duchess of Cambridge arriving in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013

Arriving in Wellington, New Zealand, 2013

There are two simple solutions:

  1. Wear slimmer skirts, so the wind has nothing to grasp. She did that on their 2012 tour in Asia.
  2. Have weighted small curtain weights—$2.50 for a pack of four—inserted into the hems of vertically challenged skirts. The Queen’s designers have used that technique for years to keep her hems down.

Kate has had five years to get used to the strictures of royal life, including how to dress appropriately for her job. Yet she fails on this most basic task.

Related: Today’s Parent on Kate’s push present

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.