15st 7lb, 7.5 units. Teams of hacks have no doubt been scouring the Internet for years for pictures of Kate Middleton with her kit off, yet the best they have been able to come up with is that one of her in the see-through dress at the fashion show where she first caught the eye of Prince William. As potentially erotic images go, it must be said that it is in an altogether higher class than the one of Diana with the sun shining through her skirt at the Young England kindergarten in Pimlico. Still, top marks for circumspection, Ma’am, as I suppose we must learn to call her. I reckon Miss Middleton will go far – oh look, she already has. And her “doors to manual” parents are by no means as embarrassing as the Wall’s sausage salesman who became Princess Anne’s father-in-law on her first marriage into the lower orders.
True, some of the papers today claim to detect a resemblance between Middleton père and Gordon Brown, and there might indeed have been something of Kirkcaldy’s favourite living son in the way that he stumbled through his message to the world’s media, read haltingly from a sheet of paper. (Couldn’t a self-made millionaire, speaking about something that has been anticipated for bloody years, and always seemed likely to attract a modicum of interest, have prepared for this day (a) by memorising a few apt words and (b) investing in some media training?) But his performance was distinctly outshone by the way that the father of the groom-to-be, doorstepped in his pet Dorset development at Poundbury, managed to mutter that he was “thrilled” by the news, while looking anything but, before adding glumly and gracelessly that “they have had enough practice”.
Like Gordon Brown, Prince Charles has been kept waiting in the wings to fulfil his destiny for an uncomfortably long time. The essential difference between them, I suppose, is that some people in the Labour Party were daft enough to believe that Brown would be an improvement on Blair (more genuine in his convictions, planning to dispense with spin etc) while I know of absolutely no-one who thinks that Charles will be an improvement on his mother. The potential for surprises is therefore entirely on the upside.
Meanwhile I read a learned news piece on the Duchess of Cornwall’s description of the engagement as “wicked” which managed completely to overlook the fact that she had just presented the Wicked Young Writers’ Awards and that the word might, therefore, simply have been close to the top of her mind. Moral: never think too deeply before looking for the obvious explanation.
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