Royal wedding: Journalists scrum down in effort to replicate the Diana effect
Nicholas Witchell, it seems fair to say, will not be invited to the wedding – except perhaps in his professional capacity as the BBC's royal and diplomatic correspondent. Tom Bradby, on the other hand, may well be on the bridegroom's personal guest list.
It was to ITV News's political editor that William and Ms Middleton gave their only interview after announcing their engagement on Tuesday. "The couple asked to record this interview specifically with Mr Bradby, whom they have both known for some time," said the palace press secretary Miguel Head, explaining the ITV man's scoop to the rest of the media.
Bradby nurtured his relationship with the princes during his time as royal correspondent, lunching with William and accompanying Harry on his gap-year trip to Lesotho in 2004. His friendship with William featured on a voicemail intercepted by the News Of The World in the royal phone hacking trial in 2007. Witchell, by contrast, was the subject of comments muttered by Prince Charles during a ski trip to Klosters: "I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is." But the engagement will create more winners than losers in a media that has never filled the hole in its schedules left by the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997, despite clumsy attempts to confer royalty status on such commoners as Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and Cheryl Cole.
At the society magazine Tatler, the news of a forthcoming royal wedding prompted celebrations. "We were all incredibly excited here," said the editor, Catherine Ostler. "There is a romance to Tatler, so where royal meets fairytale meets fashion is perfect Tatler material."
Ostler is aware of the impact that Diana's engagement had on sales of the magazine under her predecessor, Tina Brown. "Everyone was suddenly fascinated by this 19-year-old girl from a draughty country house, and I think the same thing will happen here. There is a huge emotional component on both sides of the Atlantic. Everyone wanted the best for those boys because they lost their mother."
Surprisingly, at least one society magazine plans to leave the story off its cover. "By the time we come out on Tuesday I think there's going to be saturation," said Rachel Johnson, the editor of The Lady.
The media winners and losers
Bonded with William and Harry during his time as ITV's royal correspondent. He accompanied Harry to Lesotho in 2004 and has stayed friends with William and his fiancée since becoming the ITV's political editor.
The views of Majesty magazine's editor-in-chief will be much sought-after over the next nine months. "Kate is a lovely girl," the veteran royal-watcher wrote in yesterday's Daily Mail. "She is beautiful, sporty, a good cook and exceptionally well organised."
As endless comparisons are made between Kate and William's mother, the journalist who was closest to the late Diana, Princess of Wales, and is now a diarist for the Daily Mail, will have many opportunities to share his knowledge of the life of a royal bride.
Bradford, wife of the 8th Viscount Bangor, is the biographer of both Diana and the Queen Mother. Expect to see plenty of her as a television commentator as wedding fever takes hold in the months ahead.
The BBC's royal and diplomatic correspondent has 35 years of experience at the corporation, which has included presenting news bulletins and covering stories from the Lockerbie crash to the Falklands War, but Prince Charles thinks he is "awful".
The veteran broadcaster and host of Question Time has presided over coverage of numerous state occasions, but he is another BBC man to have fallen out with the groom's father. Dimbleby pointedly snubbed a lecture by Prince Charles last year.