Belfast Telegraph

Kate Middleton is going to need all the luck going in her new role

By Lindy McDowell

The Royal family are all over the place this week. Wills and Kate came north, the Queen's headed south and Andrew Duke of Trade Envoy may well be headed west. His 'ambassador' role anyway.

Andy has got himself embroiled in scandal over his friendship with some dubious characters. (He's been pally apparently with the son of Colonel Gaddafi. But then, who hasn't? Saif Gaddafi seems to have had more friends in the British establishment than his da had on Facebook.)

For once then, the Royal family finds itself in that unusual position where a future queen is not the cause of unfavourable publicity but a distraction from it.

Kate may not be as charismatic as her late mother-in-law. But she seems determined to play the game, to do the job to the best of her ability and to promote what used to be known as The Firm.

Watching her this week you can't help feeling that while she is undoubtedly stepping into a gilded lifestyle, it's not one that most of us would find comfortable or even all that enviable.

She's surrendering not just her own privacy but, among other things, the spontaneity that other young women her age rightly take for granted.

Her life will be scrutinised as carefully as her Issa dresses. Her every action analysed as clinically as her choice of foundation and over-use of eyeliner.

Step out of line and, like Andrew, (and like Fergie), the backlash will be brutal.

Those good luck wishes she received here this week? The girl's going to need them.

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