Dear Catherine/Your Royal Highness/Ma'am/Kate,
I would like to join the other voices in wishing you a very happy 30th birthday today. According to some reports you are having a quiet celebration of this milestone event. While clearing away the decorations and left-over cake, perhaps you could take a moment to reflect on what you really want to accomplish in the years ahead.
True enough, to a degree, the future is all mapped out for you. You will (eventually) produce the obligatory heir and spare. We will see you at all of the major events - Trooping the Color, Garter ceremony, funerals, etc. Where you will stun the crowds while inadvertently distracting from the more sombre moments. It's probably the last thing you want but we just can't help ourselves.
People have pointed out the differences between you and your late mother-in-law, Diana. How you are smarter, savvier, older and wiser than she was. Supposedly because of this you will avoid the perils. I disagree. Like her you are on the same path of becoming the ultimate stylish royal barbie doll. Hitting all of the right fashion notes but nothing more. You've barely spoken in public and you're nice to look at. With the fixed smile, all that's missing is the plastic horse drawn pink carriage.
You recently announced four patronages. It's a good start, though there are some who think you've played it too safe with your choices. Nonsense. Sheesh, even Diana waited 6 years before she shook an AIDS patients hand! Give it a few years and you will be brokering world peace while looking fabulous. All in good time.
It's been a dizzying year for you. What with the wedding, the plaudits and automatic position on all of the 'Best of 2011' lists. The pedestal has a nice view, doesn't it? But take a look back at royal history. What comes up, will come down eventually. You may have the support of your husband and the royal system taking it easy with you, but don't think you're immune. You can only ride the wave of the royal wedding for so long. No beautiful dress will save you from the fickle public.
So it's up to you to decide where you go from here. Do you hide out in Anglesy and deny reality? Will you continue to be fashion plate Barbie? Or do you choose the more challenging route where you're an asset to the royal family based on the work you do and what you accomplish?
Decide who you want to be, before we decide for you.
© Marilyn Braun 2012
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