You would think that we would have learned. Looking back on Diana, we have the benefit of hindsight to see where it went wrong. This time, it is supposed to be different.
It started out harmlessly enough. With the engagement announcement and the lead up to the royal wedding, it is understandable that we would want to read about Catherine and speculate on the details. Now that the wedding is over the scrutiny has only increased. We're focusing on her weight, on the minute details of what she wears, and whether she has a baby bump or not.
There's almost a sense of deja vu.
Newly married and adjusting to her royal life, in November 1981 Diana was photographed in Tetbury buying sweets, much like Catherine's recent trip to the supermarket. These ordinary details fascinate whether they deserve to be captured or not.
The comparisons may grow tiring but Catherine is expected to meet or exceed the benchmarks set by Diana. To be the perfect princess and provide a male heir in a timely fashion. She is also expected to avoid the pitfalls that come with the public interest. Don't overshadow Prince William or the royal family at important events. As if she has any control over this to begin with.
We can vow it will be different, Catherine won't suffer the same fate as Diana. The good intention is there but struck by the novelty of having a bone-fide royal superstar. It's been 14 years since Diana's death, best on hold tight lest Catherine disappear too.
Bemoan and decry the paparazzi for invading her privacy, at least we know what she wears to the supermarket and that she doesn't use cloth bags. Take note she flies economy, as long as she doesn't make slumming a habit. Pictures of her in a bikini on expensive vacations are far more interesting. All of the glitz and glamor come at the price of our fickle expectations.
Should we succeed in killing this goose, we'll be innocent because we can't help ourselves. It will be Catherine's fault for not realizing that in the first place.
© Marilyn Braun 2011
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