Thursday 29 June 2017

It's not just Kate's life that will change

Sarah Caden

According to one's attitude, the future for the siblings of Kate Middleton is either blighted or brightened by her marriage last Friday. Given, however, that the Middleton family attitude has always been one of onwards and upwards, the latter in particular, we can assume that they are only taking their new association as a boon.

Of Kate's two siblings, Pippa, three years her junior, has been the better known until now. James, who is six years younger than Kate, at 23, has earned his own column inches as his sister has been girlfriend to the heir to the throne, but it has been Pippa who accompanied Kate to nightclubs, fashion shows and parties, always protectively holding her hand, always walking a sheltering step ahead, always more tanned, her smile even more beaming and broad in the flash of the cameras. Before Kate bore the more respectful name of Catherine, she and sister Pippa were known as the Wisteria Sisters -- "highly decorative, terribly fragrant and have a ferocious ability to climb" -- but while the elder sister really can climb no higher now, the peak of what the younger Pippa can achieve remains to be seen.

It was Pippa who organised Friday's evening entertainment, who got her party-planner boss in on the wedding-of-the-century action, who allegedly wanted the Palace to be full of the glitter balls, bacon-butty and ice-cream vans that the Sloaney set, to which William and Kate belong, find so jolly amusing. Considered to be sexier, slightly racier and a bit more fun than last Friday's bride, Pippa is also viewed as pushier, bolder and more brazen and with these qualities, she'll likely go a long way. At the very least, the girl who has dated a string of double-barrel rich boys will likely land a husband of wealth and position beyond what might have been expected of her by birth.

Tipped to take a lady-in-waiting role in support of her sister, it should be noted that while Pippa will gain a lot from the Windsor association, her relationship with Kate will be altered forever. In the past, friends have said she felt overshadowed by her elder sister, who was favoured by their parents because of her romantic attachment and all that came with it. While at university in Edinburgh at the same time as James, in fact, Pippa was reportedly irked by his claims around campus that his sister would be queen, not because of the obvious indiscretion, but because it suggested that he had only one sister of consequence. Sisters are, inevitably, competitive, but how do you compete with the queen?

And where Pippa has mostly been a rock to her sister, the young James has been a bit of a rogue. There were the pictures of him in drag at a college party, the youthful boasting, the dropping out of college to pursue a cake-making business, the bits and pieces of boisterous behaviour that wouldn't matter if it weren't for William -- just as the now hard-to-find photos of Pippa at a party wrapped in a mini-dress of toilet roll wouldn't either. His distance from the reigning dynasty is such that James will be permitted some youthful, boyish exuberance and, like Pippa, no doubt the connection will do his cake business and her event-organising career the world of good with good people. Which is, as has always been said, with varying degrees of snobbishness, what their mother, Carole, and her mother, known as 'the Duchess' always wanted. Friday was a big day for the Middletons. All the Middletons.

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