Can Kate save the English Royal family?
He’s finally done it. After nine years together, approximately 76 fascinators and most of Will’s head of hair, the second in line to the throne has managed to get down on bended knee and give his long-time girlfriend one hell of a sparkler (12 carats in fact).
It propels Kate Middleton, long the fodder of the voracious paparazzi pack and Hello! devotees, well and truly into the global spotlight.
And it is today that the work really begins for Catherine Middleton. She faces perhaps the most daunting and dramatic transformations, to somehow deftly emerge from the shadow of one the most iconic, albeit neurotic, personalities of the 20th century.
Every step Middleton takes, every charity she supports, every designer she wears, this future Princess will face constant comparisons with the former Lady Diana Spencer and the profound impact she had upon the Royal families’ fortunes.
Every day Middleton will look at her left hand and feel the carat weight of history bearing down on her.
Every day she will have to confront Diana’s legacy, the woman who single -handedly wrangled the British Monarchy into the celebrity-saturated modern landscape with a prodigious media savvy.
How will Middleton compare to her not particularly bright mother-in-law who, years younger than Catherine is now, managed to transform herself into one of the most globally-resonant figures in history?
Diana crafted a crusading persona, bold, passionate, and committed, and stepped up to assume a prominent place on the international stage unlike any other member of the royal family, politician or celebrity. Not bad for a shy, Barbara Cartland-loving girl whose only academic prize was for “helpfulness” and left school at 16.
Though that particular fairytale did not end so well for the courtiers at Buckingham Palace, the royal family has seemingly pinned their hopes on remaining relevant well into the 21st century on Middleton carving out an equally prominent place on the global cultural landscape.
Somehow the Windsors’ future has come to rest on this bland- at- best young couple. Though Catherine is unquestionably very pretty, this couple have a dearth of magneticism or allure.
Because really what Diana brought to Buckingham Palace was sex. The Princess of Wales, despite famously having walked up the aisle a virgin, brought with her a dose of modern sex appeal.
In the last three decades the world has been lumped with Charles, gardening buff and tampon aficionado. In recent years we have had the Search and Rescue Prince William with his increasingly prominent balding pate dashing into danger to rescue lives.
But Wills has never quite morphed into the sex symbol his teenage good looks promised. Several hundred years of genetic legacy have bestowed him with average at best looks.
Whether Kate is up to challenge of wrenching the British royal family back into the hearts and minds of a disaffected populace facing a bleak economic future is an intriguing question.
Never during her years of enduring the Waity Katy taunts has anything even vaguely resembling a hint of personality crept through the demurely made-up, rictus front.
Even Middleton’s voice has largely been a mystery until yesterday when the 28- year-old fronted a barrage of cameras with her balding beloved and opened her mouth for the first time.
Kate, sorry Catherine, has thus far been largely a blank. For the better part of the last decade this young woman has managed to avoid achieving anything of any consequence.
What is in the public domain is scant at best. A second class degree in Art History; a brief stint working as an accessories buyer for a middle-of-the-road British fashion chain; an occasional helping hand behind the scenes at her parents’ party supply business.
She has managed to essentially do nothing with the past few years beyond acquire a no-doubt impressive collection of hats and host a charity roller disco. (The yellow hot pants were a big mistake Kate.)
Which is pretty much exactly what Diana had under her belt 30 years ago when she and Charles made the same journey as Kate did yesterday to front the world’s media and break the joyous news.
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