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The Princess Birthday Party Test
Kate Middleton, er, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge that is, turns 30 this week, and everywhere you turn there are photo tributes running down her greatest moments, reliving the royal wedding, and tracking her evolving style from classic to classic-er. She's the princess (okay, duchess, but princess enough) everyone loves. And, as Tom Sykes writes for the Daily Beast, "As Kate enters her 31st year, it’s quite apparent that she isn’t Diana 2.0." He points out how important it is that Kate is sure to celebrate her birthday in a quiet, understated, appropriate way; how carefully Kate has managed her image, noting that "the Duchess of Cambridge understands the perils of her position: the politics, the power plays, and how things could turn very nasty, very quickly were she to become identified with the idle rich at a time of austerity in the UK." Sure, part of why everyone loves Kate, er the Duchess, is her beauty, her charity work, her hats. But as Sykes points out, what make Kate the perfect princess for today's world are the "middle-class, 'normal' values that made her such a catch for William, and continue to make her so popular around the globe."
In his essay, Sykes writes that William and Kate are down-to-earth and "alarmingly normal." "They have the lightest staff of any of the senior
royals. When a housekeeper was hired for Kate without her knowledge,
Kate promptly reversed the hiring...She has made no secret of the fact that she is determined to lead as normal a life as possible for as long as possible." He's perfectly right, of course, that this is what makes her so appealing, but isn't it funny that what we want from a princess is for her to be as normal as possible? When she shrugs off a lady-in-waiting, my heart surges with a feeling of camaraderie. ZOMG, SHE IS JUST LIKE ME! And thus...I am just like her? Wait, no. Because after all, she is a princess, we must remember. I want her to be fabulous enough to be an awesome princess (the hats!), but normal enough that her high-falutin' ways don't diminish my own tiny means and, ah, small household staff. It's a really weird phenomenon, when you think about it.
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