Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Now Kate is finding out just how Diana felt

She’s got a fabulous figure, terrific legs ... or is she too skinny, with early signs of a lollipop head? And what can that mean? Eating disorder? Like You Know Who? Not coping with the pressures of her new role?

Or just a vain, shallow young woman obsessed with being the perfect clothes horse?

Talking of which, she does understated elegance so well, those classy, demure dresses ... or are they a bit, well, dull for a woman who hasn’t yet celebrated her 30th birthday?

That navy shift dress as she boarded the plane for Canada was smart, business like ... and made her look like cabin crew.

Still, it’s good that she’s recycling clothes in these austere times, with that Reiss engagement photo dress getting another outing ... though shouldn’t she be showcasing British designers, giving us some va va voom?

Yes, she wants to prove that she’s one of us, but she’s also got to be one of them. Doesn’t want to upstage hubby, though. Look what happened to You Know Who ...

Mind you, she can stop stealing the style of her late mother-in-law with that red maple leaf hat gimmick. She’ll never replace her.

And what’s with the tights? Or “hose” as its called in the US where this debate is particularly fierce.

Of course, she should wear tights even on hot days — she’s a royal and a lady from these parts is never considered properly dressed if she’s bare-legged.

Then again, she’s only 29 and this couple is meant to be less stuffy, more modern. Anyway, forget the bottom half, it’s the head that’s the big issue. Great hair! But so untidy on windy days. And why didn’t she tie it back during that cookery demonstration? Everybody knows it’s the first rule of hygiene in the kitchen.

Ah, but beauty experts say tying the hair back can make you look older ... and she is nearly 30 which is getting on a bit for a woman these days.

She’s no gardener, either. She didn’t plant that tree, just fired soil at it. Oh, it’s just a symbolic gesture is it? That’s not how other royals do it.

Still, you can’t say she hasn’t thrown herself into it. She’s a natural with children — must be broody! — and seems even more relaxed than her husband who was born into this game. Probably because she’s lapping up the limelight, though, having hung on for years to get her Prince.

And do you know what? She’s welcome to him and all the relentless scrutiny. Kate Middleton can’t have craved that world — what young woman today would honestly want the unending glad-handing, small-talk and pairs of tights? She’s taken it on for love.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first overseas tour is clearly proving a success — what must Brand Kate be worth to the UK? — but already the seeds of a profoundly unhealthy media obsession are being sown.

Look at those creepy ‘recreations’ on what would have been Diana’s 50th birthday, showing how she might have looked walking alongside the daughter-in-law she never lived to meet.

The late Princess still casts her shadow over the Royal family, acting as a cue for a slew of speculative ‘Is Kate the new Diana?’ think pieces.

In the free-for-all over how the new Duchess is cutting it, the comparison is always there, spoken or not. And if the media’s stalking goes beyond the grave, what chance does Kate seriously have?

Even Pippa’s facing a change in temperature. Two months ago she was an unexpected sensation with an incredible bum, today there’s a perceptible turning of the tide, as she’s increasingly portrayed as revelling in the spotlight

A wise man once said that ‘happiness writes white’ and that’s certainly true when it comes to the tabloids. A radiant, triumphant Kate is not news ... for long. A flawed, beleaguered one is.

Our fascination continues unabated, warped by a curious envy, superiority and schadenfreude.

The honeymoon may not be over yet. But it’s definitely drawing to a close

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