When Kate Middleton made her first solo appearance on Monday, speaking in halting tones at a ceremony to open a hospice for sick children in East Anglia, the fashion commentary focused on the fact that the dress Kate was wearing a Reiss dress which was not worn by her mum in 2010. Others commented that the blue dress was baggy and clearly too big for her.
It has since emerged, however, that Kate actually bought the dress herself in 2008, and it was she who lent it to her mum in 2010. The fact that the dress no longer fits her shows that she has indeed lost a great deal of bodyfat in the years since her engagement and marriage to William.
Kate’s weight is a subject that has been proving a topic of hot debate on the Daily Beast’s royalist blog in recent days, following a piece on the subject drawing comparison’s with Princess Diana’s very public struggle with bulimia. Posters were divided about 70/30 between those who agreed she was too thin, and those who felt her weight was about right and the press should keep out of the subject altogether.
We asked dieticians and nutrition experts to look at some photos of Kate and tell us what they thought.
Maye Musk, a New York City dietician, model and author of the book "Feel Fantastic" who has worked in the field for 42 years, estimated 5’ 10” Kate’s weight at 135 lbs against an ideal of 150lbs, and said, that while Kate ‘doesn’t look emaciated’ she certainly did look, ‘as thin as any model or actress that comes to see me.’
Musk said that while Kate is clearly naturally thin, the pressures and scrutiny she has been under over the past year may have added to her fat-free frame. “She is naturally lean. And when you are a natural lean and under stress, you lose your appetite,” says Musk.
Lisa de Fazio, a registered dietician, who speaks and lectures extensively about diet said, “In my opinion, Kate is too thin. As we all know by looking at pictures of her since she became engaged, she has lost a lot of weight.”
She estimated Kate’s weight at as little as 105lbs, and said, “The most powerful indicators of her weight loss are pictures that show her at the engagement, and then now.”
De Fazio said that she believes that Kate, like all very thin women, should look at trying to add a few pounds if she was serious about getting pregnant.
De Fazio herself had issues with being underweight and stressed at work when she was trying to get pregnant, but a diet and lifestyle change had dramatic results: “I was having trouble getting pregnant for 6 months, I was stressed at work and weighed 105 pounds. When I decreased my work hours and gained 10 pounds eating pizza and meatball sandwiches I got pregnant within 3 weeks.
“I hear so many stories of career women who are underweight, weighing 100 pounds, who travel, work 15 hour days, barely eat and expect to get pregnant. I see this in many television celebrities and hosts who expect to be a size 2 and complain they are not getting pregnant. If Kate was my patient I would advise her to eat, relax, decrease her appearances, spend time with her mother and sister for love and support, get massages, eat whatever she wants, especially red meat and cheese (good iron, calcium and protein), take a prenatal vitamin and gain 10 pounds."
Mitzi Dulan, a dietician and co-author of, ‘The All-Pro Diet’ said that if estimates of Kate’s weight being between 115lbs and 135 lbs were correct, then she “was definitely on the thin side, but of course you can’t say definitively if she is too thin to get pregnant or if she restricts her food intake.
“I did think that in the photos when she was playing hockey the other day, that although she has always been thin, in the last 5-6 months she looks thinner. You are not seeing bones sticking out because you are not usually seeing her wearing sleeveless clothes or anything like that to see truly how thin she could be.
“It is challenging when you are photographed all the time to maintain a healthy body weight. I work with a lot with athletes, whose wives have eating disorders just because a NFL player’s wife is supposed to look a certain way. You can’t imagine the pressure she is under. We know that disordered eating does sometimes arise out of a wish to have a control over a part of your life when many other parts are out of control.
“The camera does add pounds. The scariest thing for me is when somebody looks really thin in a photo, they could be even thinner in person.”
Sixty years and hardly a slip.