Once upon a time, (a very long, long time ago), when I was approaching the age of four and my world innocently revolved around varying tones of pink, anorexically thin Barbies (with unnaturally large breasts) and sugar and spice and all things nice, I fervently believed in fairy tales. That my Prince Charming would someday hunt me down, declare his undying love and as a token of his love, gift me a limitless MasterCard.
But pretty soon I began to meet real men and I wised up matured a bit, experienced a few dissatisfying relationships with some uncommitted, unsavory ‘frogs’ and the cynicism set in. And so, by my mid twenties, I had regretfully reached the conclusion that fairy tales are one of life’s major disappointments, a bit like the Walton family not being real.
I certainly would never have believed it possible that one day a prince from our own Royal Family would marry into the ‘people’! I thought that the Royal Family only mutated with their own ‘posh’ kind, that they liked the uncertainty of in-breeding, of producing offspring who looked suspiciously like their equine forefathers.
We have Diana to thank for the bulldozing of the palace walls. Diana the kindergarten teacher, (who in spite of being the daughter of an Earl, was still depicted as being a little too ‘common’), who managed to break into that Royal enclave and cause some ‘embarrassing episodes’, (the People’s Princess had her own agenda regarding good and evil too). And it was those actions that would ultimately launch the palace into the twenty-first century, force it to evaluate its traditions, to evolve, to develop some new spin and ‘get with the times’. To finally grasp the fact that most of humankind pertain to the idea of egalitarianism.
And the newer, more hip breed of Royals embraced the mess ideals left by Diana, and threatened to shake up the whole historical Royal lineage thing and knock it on its head, and they took some radical (and often misguided) action to try and make themselves appear ‘normal’ to their subjects; like appearing in crass tv shows and courting commoners. Which gave the common man some hope for the first time; a bit like the lottery does. It was suddenly like everyone had an equal chance of shagging a Royal, winning the golden ticket like Charlie Bucket did, and living the fairy tale dream.
Then Kate Middleton appeared on the Royal scene and slammed the winning ball right into the back of the net. She unceremoniously nabbed her prince when he was unprotected by his force of bodyguards, and so it came about that the elements of the fairy tale had to be slightly reworked.
A contemporary version was created in which the setting changed to a Scottish university, where there was a plethora of animated and privileged polo horses, (often referred to as ‘debutantes’), helicopters and ridiculously petite Victoria Beckham dresses with matching nude shoes, and the ugly sisters were replaced by some ugly ginger cousins and an ADHD brother in law, (who was a bit of a laugh really, but who had to be packed off to Afhganistan, for the future well-being of the monarchy).
And the future Queen of England became a modern-day Cinderella, admired by her kingdom for her natural beauty, her flowing chestnut tresses and her attempt to look like ‘one of us’ by wearing the same dress twice. And she was only despised by a handful of bitter old menopausal women who envied her tiny Elizabethan waist a little too much, and the media, who, let’s face it, despise anyone who has created their own fortune. And she became a Royal IT-Girl, who now travels the world by private jet and is the muse of the world’s finest fashion designers. And in return for the adoration and financial support of her public, her only real duties are to make the monarchy look effective and produce an heir.
For as effortlessly entertaining as it must be to have Harry as her brother-in-Law (him being a fellow naturist), duty is indeed the downside of her pact with the palace. For whereas Pippa (the tight assed mentor with the #YOLO attitude in our tale) can court the press and flaunt her assets, Kate has does have some direct responsibilities as future queen. Although coping with William’s bald patch, his snotty extended family, yappy corgis and having to live in Wales are really the only ‘trade-offs’, so it’s not such a bad deal really. Which is why, on those FML days, when all that wealth and adulation gets too much, or the pregnancy test comes back negative AGAIN and she decides unwisely to liberate those pert Royal puppies within the radius of a wide-angled lens, one has to question her wisdom and those of her advisors.
No-one denies that she is entitled to privacy, but her fairy tale is set in the real world where images of Royal breasts are a hot commodity and attract serious gold coinage.
Rogue cameras, the pressure to procreate, and having to deal with sychophants on a daily basis are all annoyances, to be sure, but evil lurks in every fairy tale and maybe our heroine needs to wise up and learn how to resolve conflict, rather than feeding it and whinging about it afterwards.
Time will tell if those evil “grinning perverts”of the paparazzi (The Telegraph) do finally get to Will and Kate, like they did to Diana. I hope not. Let’s hope they get the chance to fulfil the public fantasy and live happily ever after.
Modesty Be Damned – If you’ve got it, you’ve got every right to flaunt it (Julie Burchill)