Confessions of a republican with a Kate Middleton style crush.

Jamila: “I told myself I would stop”


It happened again yesterday.

I told myself I would stop. I know it isn’t good for me. I gave myself one of those stern internal lectures; determined not to let the demons get the better of me yet again. I tried desperately to put own personal fulfillment and happiness aside in favour of the greater good, ala Harry Potter.

But my efforts were all in vain. Because it happened again…

I fell down the deep, dark internet rabbit hole of gazing at seemingly endless photographs of Kate Middleton’s outfits.

And who could blame me, really?

The woman’s mix of high end fashion and chain store bargains is something to be marveled at. Middleton’s ability to dress appropriately ‘royal’, while keeping her look attainable for those of us who can’t afford a horse and carriage is both impressive and really very polite.

All this is topped off by the fact she has to keep half the world’s paparazzi and fashion critics (plus a super traditional grandma with a fondness for yellow twinsets) happy with everything she wears.

I know I’m not alone in my lavish praise either. A Google search for ‘Kate Middleton fashion’ yields a massive 127,000,000 results.

But here’s where the real problem lies: I’m an Australian republican.

“I promise to no longer swoon over the navy v-neck, floor length Jenny Packham frock from the 2014 Portrait Gala…”

If I’d been old enough to vote back in 2001, I would have proudly selected the word ‘yes’ when asked whether or not Australia should cuts its remaining ties with the British monarchy.

I first joined the Australian Republican Movement at age 19, and soon graduated to proudly shouting various not-so-clever slogans about how “we’re a country in our own right” through a university campus megaphone.

I believe that the pain and shame of what happened to our indigenous brothers and sisters at the time of colonisation cannot truly be repaired without Australia taking this final step to full independence from Britain.

We need to be able to celebrate the birth of our nation on a day that recognises our Aboriginal ancestry and our multicultural diversity, as well as acknowledging our roots in British history.

Having a head of state to call our own – someone who is chosen by the Australian people rather than someone who happens to be born to a super rich lady in a castle in England – is fundamentally necessary for our country to heal wounds of the past and move forward with confidence into the future.

And while I respect the traditions of the monarchy and acknowledge the many benefits our nation’s ties with England have brought us, it really is high time Australia said kthxbye to the royals.

Our parliament is independent from Britain, our courts are no longer bound by decisions of the Privy Council, and thanks to illegal internet downloads we get all of their good TV for free anyway.


But Kate Middeton? She sways my steadfast beliefs in a way that makes me rather uncomfortable.

This time around, my loyalty to the Australian republican cause started wavering the second the Duchess stepped off the plane in New Zealand. Such sartorial brilliance so close to home is enough to leave any fashion tragic weak at their credit card clutching finger tips. Our first glimpse was of cute and chubby baby George being carried in arms swathed in bright red material; you could almost hear the collective gasp of royal-starved southern hemisphere fashionistas.

Then the not-quite-a-princess revealed the full shebang. A bright red double breasted Catherine Walker coat (the colour and the designer, a nod to Princess Diana’s 1984 New Zealand tour) and a matching Gina Foster pillbox hat. Kate also wore her trademark black pumps and a silver fern broach borrowed from her nanna-in-law, the Queen.

THAT red outfit. Perfection. (Photo: Twitter/ 9 News)

I mean, seriously. The same outfit on anyone else would have looked like an air hostess circa 1980 but on Kate? Perfection.

The political attention to detail of the royals’ fashion choices is worthy of the utmost praise. In that one outfit Kate managed to throw some love to the Queen, to her late mother-in-law, to the country she’s visiting (the fern is New Zealand’s national symbol) and to practicality (she has single-handedly brought back the nude stocking, much to the joy of goose-bumped women everywhere).

But at a time when our Prime Minister is reintroducing honours for knights and dames and support for the Australian republic model is below 40 per cent – my support for the cause cannot be allowed to waver. Even for She Who Wears Everything Brilliantly.

And so, I make my promises again. To no longer swoon over the navy v-neck, floor length Jenny Packham frock from the 2014 Portrait Gala. To turn my back on the black lace Temperley evening gown Kate rocked at the Natural HISTORY museum. To pretend I wasn’t impressed that at her first post-baby public event Kate rocked head to toe silver sequins.

To act as if taking the time and care to wear Prabal Gurung in Singapore during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee State Dinner, was no biggie. And to delete the photo of Kate in an Alexander McQueen shirt and skirt at a Birmingham event off my desktop because I’m never going to be able to afford even an imitation version.

I promise to cease and desist. To let it go.

Because I am a committed republican who can’t be bought by cute clothes and the cult of the round toed pump.

Or at least, not until after I flick through this one last gallery of pics:

Are you guilty of Republican Kate Middleton Appreciation syndrome?

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At Mamamia absolutely everything is up for discussion: from pop culture to politics, body image to motherhood, feminism to fashion. We unashamedly cover what everyone is talking about today: whether that’s stories which will make you laugh out loud, cover your mouth in shock, help you get informed or start you thinking about an issue in a different way and sometimes, we help you to just switch off the brain power from a few sweet minutes and kick back.