Letters From London
Humorous Views on London Culture, Royals, Gossip and Politics
When Mother Doesn't Always Know Best - 16 April 2007

"We don't talk to the press," said Pippa, Kate “he’s lucky to have me” Middleton’s sister. Is that
the royal ‘we’ then? Hasn’t the poor woman been informed? It’s over. No tiara for Kate or for her
mother, Carole. It’s all down market from here.

Even Jane Austen’s Mrs Bennet dared not to hold such aspirations. She would have been
contented with a simple country vicar. Carole Middleton had her dreams:

“Oh, Mummy. Must I work as a part time assistant accessories buyer? Why can’t I be head
buyer? Why can’t you ring up ‘Uncle’ John? It’s his company afterall. Mummy. Honestly.”

“No. Kate. Pardon.
Katherine. Queen Katherine has such a lovely ring to it. Are you slouching?
We’ll have no slouching here. Have we ever seen the Queen slouch?”

“Not tweeds
again, Mummy?”

“Oh. You big girl’s blouse. You must learn to love them. You’ll be in them the rest of your fox
hunting life. And what did I tell you about your hands? Where is that photo of Camilla?”

“I have it taped to my wardrobe. I know. Fold my hands in a agreeable sort of way. As if I am
just ever so pleased.”

“If Camilla can do it, you can do it. Remember that. Give me another piece of gum. This one’s
lost its flavour.”

That was then. This is now:

”What the bloody hell are we going to do with all those matching Kate ‘n Will party hats? We’ve
thousands to be passed out to the lucky punters. Not to mention all those God Save the
Queen loot bags and bugger; what about all the piñatas I’ve personally autographed. Log on to
eBay. Quickly.”

“Oh, Mummy. I’ve been made to look a right idiot. And you know how much I loathe that. Now
William is telling absolutely
everyone that I am a bit dim and Chelsy… practically Mugabe’s
godchild… Chelsy…is very bright! And fun!”

“Didn’t I advise you to hang on to him? Make him think he couldn’t exist without your advice and
endless support. What were you thinking? Giving him an ultimatum because his drunken touchy-
feely escapades undermined your image. It beggars belief.

“I have worked flat out for years. Grooming. Going over things – over and over and over again.
Rehearsing a knowing smile. A confident smile. A smile for the people. A smile adored by the
press. It was all going to plan. Except for that one article that caught you out. Everyone else
thinks you are lovely and so dignified, and it’s his great loss, not yours.

I was so proud when you stopped to adjust your hair and check your smile right before you were
photographed sharing that kiss with William for the press.

And all those riding lessons. For what purpose now? No more gallops with her majesty and the
corgis. Do you know how many party bibs we had to sell?

And what about that expensive stylist! As for that £5000 for Christmas holiday at Jordanstone
House. We waited for ever and did he show up? You just weren’t persuasive enough despite all
those phone calls. You owe me.”

“Oh, Mummy. Now I’ll be lucky if I get an
accountant! And what about the Boden catalogue? I’ll
never be able to tick ‘Lady’. I’ll tick ‘Ms’ for ever.”

“So you blame me then for being damaged goods? In any case, you’ll know how to dress when
you are my age.”

“Do you think my old friends from St Andrews will take me back?”

“Put them behind you. What good are they to you now? You discarded them years ago. I’d like
to hope you might ring a few of William’s friends who (sic) you courted. Surely
they will
remember you.”

“Mummy. That isn’t funny.”

“Amusing. It isn’t
amusing. We are not amused. But then again… your father did tell the press
that we were very amused at the thought of being in-laws with Prince William. Let’s hope we  
don't see that in print again.”

“That’s beyond thinking about. What are we to do?”

“For starters, I’m going to say ‘pardon – where’s your toilet? Toilet, toilet, toilet,’ the very next
time I meet the Queen. I must remember to cross the royals off our Christmas party list straight
away. What about Andrew?”