A recent post on a message board that I frequent, asked the question: Why does everyone call Kate Middleton beautiful? Food for thought and I was about to reply on the site. Instead I decided to post my reply here.
There have been many comparisons made between Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton and his mother Diana. Regardless of who Prince William dates, this is inevitable. If this keeps William up at night, we'll never know. Should he worry about it, he's in good company. Prince Albert of Monaco, no doubt holds the same concern; his future wife will be compared to his mother, the late (and in her youth, impossibly beautiful) Princess Grace of Monaco. Whether this would be the case for William's wife or not, it's a tough act to follow.
The comparisons are mainly in looks and style. In all reality, Kate looks nothing like Diana. And neither is prettier than the other. Sophie is actually closer in appearance to Diana, yet the comparisons died quickly when it turned out she didn't have the same fashion sense or high profile to warrant it.
Since Diana died, my theory, is that the royal family needs a new 'star' and for the media, someone to sell newspapers. Not a star that will steal the thunder of the more senior royals, but someone who will bring glamour and interest back. Something the royals are severely lacking at the moment. Apologies to Princess Beatrice and Zara Philips.
Kate is being built up in the media. Sold to us, if you will. The anti-Diana, mentally stable, she's the one person that can save the monarchy. It's a lot to live up to. Ask Prince William, he should know all about it. If things don't work out for Kate, no need to worry, William's next girlfriend will save the day.
I tend to agree that Kate is pretty but not drop dead-gorgeous. At least not yet. She seems to have become more polished since entering the public eye. At this rate, the longer she remains Prince William's girlfriend (or should she become his wife), she'll be shinier than the Crown Jewels. But the same could be said for the other European crown princesses. Would we have looked twice at Mette-Marit of Norway were it not for her marriage to Prince Haakon? Or even Maxima of the Netherlands or Mary of Denmark? Out of all of them, I think Mathilde of Belgium is the most beautiful. Feel free to disagree with me on that.
When Diana came on the scene, people were surprised that Charles could be involved with someone so plain and unremarkable. Especially when he was previously dating stunning blondes. At the time we knew nothing about Camilla. Indeed, one early book describes Diana as 'handsome'. Other books, like Diana - A Portrait, mention her 'star quality', that special something that she always had. Looking at pictures of her before her marriage, I honestly don't see it. I think that Diana became beautiful because she was built up in the media, so then she started to believe it. Because of this, Diana had an image to maintain. Yes, she may have been vain but marrying someone with almost unlimited resources would make anyone become high maintenance.
So, whatever your thoughts on Kate Middleton or whether she becomes a member of the royal family, one thing is certain - to quote Benjamin Franklin:
Beauty, like supreme dominion, is but supported by opinion
© Marilyn Braun 2007
This article was inspired by a post on the World of Royalty message board.
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