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Melanie Morris: I'd hate to be Kate -- even with all those designer dresses

Looking at pictures of a very skinny Kate Middleton yesterday, shaking hands, and accepting bunches of flowers ahead of her wedding, I thought how I wouldn't want to be her for all the tea in China.

Here's a stunning woman, with beauty, youth and a university-honed brain who, to my mind, is going to give it all up in order to become Her Royal Highness.

Like many girls, Kate has possibly spent most of her life dreaming about her wedding day, and marrying her prince. And fair play to her, the girl aimed high and got exactly what she wanted. But, as always, one should be careful what one wishes for: it might just come true.

And in just two weeks time, Ms Middleton will be walking down the aisle of Westminster Abbey, about to marry the man of her dreams. But, simultaneously, she'll wave goodbye to her independence.

Because while Princess Catherine might have a nice ring to it, and the Crown Jewels sparkle a whole lot more than Swarovski, there's no such thing as a free title.

Nay, the honour comes by way of some serious self-sacrifice. On top of the obvious, visible things Kate has had to give up to become Mrs Windsor -- a private life, a career, carbohydrates and control of the TV zapper -- she'll also have to have a virtual lobotomy, because what's the point in having an opinion in the royal household? We all saw where that got Fergie.

Now, I've no doubt that Kate has managed to make her mark on this wedding. At 28 she's reported to be "old for a royal bride" and so, she's obviously insisted on a few things. Like calling dibs on the cake and, mindful of the prevailing economic climate, she's travelling to the church by car and not carriage.

But that's possibly where her will (and, actually, also her Will) might end. No doubt the flunkies were drafted in to decide order of service, oversee guest lists, plan menus and schedule the day.

And so will start her married life as a royal. Because those same aides will become her entourage. Once married, princess Catherine's day and diary will be managed, as she follows her husband ... three paces behind.

According to American gossip blog Jezebel.com, Kate has already been having counselling in order to prepare her for life as a royal. It sounds like something akin to a Scientology personality test. No doubt the poor girl will need to be brainwashed in order to go with the flow -- don't think, Kate, just do.

To be honest, I think our own royal couple -- Amy and Brian -- have it far better. They have it all -- looks, success, public adoration ... but they also get to keep their independence. They can close the door at the end of the day and not have a liveried footman forelock tug in the process.


I doubt Kate will ever see the inside of an Eddie Rockets now, nor root through the rails of a TK Maxx. Apparently it'll be unconstitutional for her to vote, and she won't be allowed shellfish, because the British royals have a fear of food poisoning.

It's all a lot to sacrifice for an Alexander McQueen dress ...