Aug 25, 2008
Why Kate shouldn't get a job
This is Kate Middleton, rumoured intended betrothed of one William Windsor, heir to the British throne.
Kate's famous for... errr...well, basically for being William's on-again, off-again girlfriend, which is reason enough for her to be followed by a drooling pack of paparazzi everywhere she goes. The women's mags have been in a state of barely concealed orgasmic excitement at the prospect of the first royal wedding involving royals we actually know about since Prince Edward married his PR chick Sophie Rhys-Jones (And really, that was kinda boring. Sophie was a savvy 30-something businesswoman who knew how to keep even a royal wedding simple and low-key; and Edward - well, he's not what you instantly picture when you hear "Prince Charming", is he?).
But not everyone's overjoyed by the publicity. Faced with endless shots of Kate wandering down high streets wearing oversized sunglasses, or leaving trendy London nightspots, Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly taken a leaf out of Paul Keating's book. No, she hasn't lovingly fondled Kate's back - she's told her to get a job.
It's believed that before any engagement is made official, Her Maj thinks Kate should hook up with a charity, and be seen to be hard-working and proactive. According to the article, aides want the 26-year-old to
"work with a children's or animal charity to help counter perceptions she only wants to party and shop until William pops the question".
Now I know what you're thinking. "Geez, Nat, way to go - another boring bland feminist rant about dumbed down female role models who are teaching young girls that it's OK to consider marrying a footballer or a royal the pinnacle of achievement in one's life".
Au contraire, my friends.
I for one am in complete support of Kate Middleton, and quite frankly welcome her attempts to restore some god-damn showiness and foolhardiness to the British monarchy.
Something happened during the 20th century - no doubt due in part to those interminable World Wars and dreary post-war rebuilding and Thatcherite years. The Royal Family lost its sense of outrageous superiority, and became all about understanding, and awareness, and sympathy with the common man. Sure, all the money kept rolling in, but the Kings and Queens of the 20th century went out and met their subjects like never before. They figured since nobody else was wearing new clothes or driving fancy cars, they'd better scale down their public display of wealth, so as not to anger the great unwashed.
The 80s and 90s even brought about the do-gooder Royal: Princess Di's AIDS and anti-landmine work, Fergie doing ads for WeightWatchers (hey, obesity's a problem) - Prince Charles even has organic farms and carbon offsets, for f***'s sake. I mean, what kind of Prince talks to plants?
Now in comes Kate Middleton. She and William went to university together, and she's since worked as an "accessories buyer" for a fashion chain, and then as a photographer of sorts. Now they're not real jobs. You just know she'd turn up once or twice a week, pick out some pretty bracelets or polish a lens, then head back out to Knightsbridge for some more shopping and short macciatos.
Royals of the past never worried about looking socially conscious. Nobody liked George IV, but that didn't stop him spending thousands on gold-plated lounge suites and beach palaces at Brighton. He just didn't give a crap.
Kate is bringing "Royal" back. She's saying "f*** it, I'm gonna be a Princess. I don't have to do shit". She's single-handedly bringing over-the-top excess back into the stuffy halls of Buck Palace and Clarence House. She's going to shop, wear pretty clothes, go to the gym, be seen at premieres and nightclubs, turn up to wave William off on his latest Navy tour or Army awards ceremony - and stuff you if you can't deal with it. You're just jealous, fool.
Now all this may have upset me if I personally fancied Prince William. But I realised many years ago that I'm firmly in the Prince Harry camp now. A royal who thinks "Hitler costume? Marijuana? Boozy nights with buddies? Shooting up the Taliban? Bring it on!" - now that's a royal I can respect.