"We love her. We love her!"
This is what the folks we know who live in London have to say about Prince William's gorgeous fiance, Kate Middleton, the commoner who's currently taking the world by storm.
But do Buckingham Palace insiders? You can be sure they're monitoring recent Kate events with hawk-like attention:
First, though, we gotta say the 29-year-old longtime girlfriend to Diana's eldest son is a breath of fresh air for the stodgy royal set. They're so overly obsessed with rank, stupid hats and keeping a tight upper lip (even if, say, your husband's been blatantly cheating for years--just as Prince Charles, William's father, did to his mother for more than a decade).
Earthy Kate's just the opposite (save the hat part), and this is not at an overstatement--she's already become beloved by the British public for being so real.
So what's the Old Guard at the Palace gonna be worked up about? Well...
The neckline's going to be a problem: Just as Kate wore black (which is a no-no for royals and royals-to-be, as it's supposed to be reserved for funerals) to a friend's wedding recently, she also just wore a plunging dcollet job to her own birthday party.
"Di was constantly getting in trouble for showing too much bosom," says a Londoner with royal connections. "It makes the Palace nervous. And don't forget, she also wore black when she wasn't supposed to, just like Kate."
Frankly, Team Truth, doesn't see the cleavage thing being that big of a problem. Heck, Prince Charles's mistress-turned-second-wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has a nice healthy set 'o ta-tas, often amply shown off in some horrible overly tight gauche satin. Of course, Charles and Camilla have largely been cast aside, at the moment, and nobody's really paying attention to them, so there is a difference.
Kate likes to hang with the riff-raff: Princess Diana was famous for having her young sons, William and Harry, schooled outside the palace, which was a royal first and an enormous scandal at the time. Obviously, the common touch took with William as he found a girl who not only likes to do her own grocery shopping, but, just this week bargain-hunted at T.J.Maxx and then she picked up a pizza.
The engaged brunette with a 32-carat sapphire bought a $6.28 margarita ready-made selection from Pizza Express. She was alone. No teams of fussing ladies in waiting, as all of Kate's future in-laws are wont to do.
This is so like Di, who loved to go to the gym or to the movies (often with her boys), with as little as fuss as possible. Problem was, it never worked (the no-fuss part), just as it's about to stop--if it hasn't already--for the chick from Berkshire.
Flash-bulb-ready is important to Kate: Just as Diana became increasingly photo-op ready, Ms. Middleton's begun with the basics: teeth whitening . She, indeed, has a great smile (it's arguably going to be her trademark, just as Di's long, luscious legs were hers) and it makes total sense to make it sparkle before her wedding at Westminster Abbey April 29.
By then the lucky wedding-dress designer will have been announced and Kate will have picked out her trousseau.
But count on bundles of surprises regarding both of the above. Whereas Di became the couture darling of the world, Kate likes to mix old threads with designer chic. She's very her own woman in that regard, not the envied clotheshorse the fashion-blazing Diana became. And she does not have a stylist. Did you hear that?
Pray this remains so. Or the Palace will have a lot less to bitch about in the months to come.
Viva la vintage romance!