Prince Charles should be grateful to the Middletons for their normality
According to the latest biography of Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne is not entirely comfortable with the growing power and influence apparently exerted by the Middletons on his dynastic inheritance. When Kate and William's new baby arrives in the spring - Charles's second grandchild - there is every likelihood that the new little sprog will spend as much time, or more, with Kate's family as with the Windsors.
In one sense, this is perfectly predictable: every paternal grandparent comes to understand that the maternal grands are likely to take precedence, because young mothers turn to their own mothers when babies come along.
But this is not just about Kate's parents, Carole and Mike Middleton, being closer to the royal babies. William seems to feel more comfortable with the Middletons than within his father's family. Perhaps it would have been different if Diana had lived. But although it is reported that Camilla is an amiable step-parent to William and Harry, still these young princes do come from what would be called a 'broken family' if they lived in a council house in Stepney. Whereas the Middletons would be categorised by the sociologists as 'an intact family constellation' and maybe that is one of the attractions for William - the normality of an ordinary Mammy-and-Daddy family grouping.