In 48 hours, Kate Middleton is set to eclipse her mother-in-law Princess Diana in the fame stakes. Camera-phones and the internet mean that even if the media can’t find her, she’ll still be public property. Can you imagine that? And how on earth do you handle that level of scrutiny?
Daily Telegraph columnist Sarrah le Marquand writes:
“There’s a reason fairytales sign off just as the princess finally weds her prince. As romantic as the notion of living happily ever after may sound, it makes for painfully dull storytelling.
So giddy predictions bride-to-be Kate Middleton is poised to overtake Princess Diana as the most talked about woman in the world should be approached with extreme caution.
With even the most level-headed of people currently caught up in royal wedding fever, it’s hard to believe we will soon tire of the palace’s most freshly minted princess.
But not long after the confetti has fallen, Middleton is destined to become just another pretty and well-photographed face on the newsstands.
Right now, of course, hers is the name on everyone’s lips.
Last week a study released by US media analytics company Global Language Monitor found the 29-year-old is set to eclipse the late Princess Diana as the most prominent and headline-attracting member of the Royal Family.
For those in Prince William’s circle still haunted by memories of the one-woman press magnet that was Diana, it’s an ominous forecast.
Who would wish a rerun of such round-the-clock attention and pressure on a nice middle class girl from a sleepy village in southern England?
But despite the swarming photographers as Middleton tries on her tiara for size, the situations could not be more different.
When Middleton walks down the aisle this Friday it will mark the peak of her fame.
After almost a decade of dating the kingdom’s most eligible bachelor – a thankless holding pattern that saw her lumbered with the uncharitable title Waity Katy – she finally hits paydirt.
The lead-up to this moment, in which a shy university graduate has slowly morphed into a glowing princess bride, has attracted insatiable curiosity.
And while it’s a fascination that will not abate soon, with any fluctuations in weight or public appearances minus Wills keeping her on the magazine covers thanks to alternating rumours of a baby bump or marital woes, interest will inevitably fade.
While heady celebrations surrounding the birth of a royal baby or two will ensure Princess Catherine remains a media fixture over the coming years, she will never become as enduring a figure as her late mother-in-law.
Photographs and television footage of Diana’s wedding day captured a young woman on the brink of a brush with fame nobody could have predicted.
Unlike her future daughter-in-law, her own highly anticipated walk down the aisle was not merely the culmination of a love affair with the public and a game of cat and mouse with the international media.
For Diana, it was only the beginning. The beginning of 16 years of relentless drama and unprecedented scandal.
It was to be a ceremony that set in motion a soap opera that would have royal watchers transfixed. An emotional rollercoaster that would bring Diana global notoriety.
Marrying a prince made her famous. Unhappiness and controversy compounded her stardom. Tragedy made her an icon.
For Middleton, the chief beneficiary of lessons learned from the Diana era, the future looks infinitely more promising.
Not for her an arranged marriage to an aloof man who’s affections lie elsewhere. At almost 30, she enters the union with an education, life experience and heads-up on her in-laws’s quirks that was denied to her predecessor.
But as any scriptwriter, novelist or journalist can attest, a contented couple does not add up to enthralling.
As with the pub-to-palace tale of our own Princess Mary and Prince Frederik, the post-honeymoon obsession with Kate and William will ultimately fade.
They too will pop up in the news from time to time, but drama-free royals – no matter how photogenic – are destined to be all but forgotten in between christenings and other special occasions.
Despite a reigning bout of Middleton mania, the Commonwealth’s new recruit is in no long-term danger of replicating Diana’s megawatt and lingering fame.
And surely that’s a true fairytale ending.”
This article originally appeared in The Daily Telegraph
Are you feeling nostalgic about Princess Di this week? Click our gallery below.
Do you worry for Kate and what she’s about to take on, seemingly, for the REST OF HER LIFE? Is it a life you would ever want or could even imagine?