— If Kate looked nervous, it’s hardly surprising. Speaking slowly and professionally, she only appeared to stumble once.
"I’m only sorry that William can’t be here today," she said during her first-ever solo speech, at a children's hospital in Ipswich, England. She meant that she would have liked her husband to see the charity, East Anglias' Children's Hospices, for which she is patron. But she must have been wishing he was there to hold her hand, too.
30 years ago, in 1981, Charles accompanied Diana for her first speech. Back then, the new Princess of Wales was very different from the confident and grown-up woman her son has married. But today, you felt Kate is still learning the lessons of Diana’s life.
When Princess Diana gave her first speech, she looked daunted. The setting was a grand chamber full of men. Diana spoke fast and under her breath. She even recited some Welsh, making the task yet more difficult.
Kate chose to speak at a childrens charity, a far more relaxed setting. She wrote the speech herself, I’m told. Like Diana, she kept it simple. She wore a dress borrowed from her mom, perhaps for good luck.
One more similarity: Both Kate and Diana wore blue for their first speech. That is perhaps Kate’s small tribute to the woman who walked this path before her, so many years ago.