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Posted at 3:00 PM ET, 11/18/2010

Kate Middleton, modern bride

By Ruth Marcus

I've been wallowing in exit polls and poring over debt-reduction plans, so perhaps you'll forgive a brief walk on the low-brow side.

No, not Sarah Palin -- though her show-a-little-more-presidential-leg interview with Barbara Walters is an awfully tempting topic.

No, today's subject is the royal engagement.

Come on. What girl -- what middle-aged woman, for that matter -- doesn't secretly love a good princess story?

And here's what I love about this one: the princess-to-be as Modern Bride.

Kate Middleton might be wearing Diana's engagement ring, but this is not his mother's engagement.

For one thing, William and Kate actually know each other.

Diana was 19 when she was engaged to Prince Charles, 13 years older. They had been dating for a scant six months. She was -- or at least, no one was around to claim she wasn't -- a virgin, a status that seemed of particular importance to the royal family.

In their first interview, the pair seemed stumped by the opening question: What did they have in common? "Very difficult question," the prince muttered, before looking to Diana for help. "Sense of humor?" she ventured. "Every outdoor activity -- except I don't ride." An astute observer might have discerned the notes of future discord in the prince's answer to whether they were in love: "whatever 'in love' means."

William and Kate seem to have a more normal relationship -- at least as normal as these things can be when one half of the couple is second in line to the British throne. They're the same age, 28. They met in college; they've been dating -- off but mostly on -- for nine years. They've been living together, and even the queen seems unfazed.

Middleton's been pitied as "Waity Katie," but waiting means being less likely to having to say you're sorry but this has all been a dreadful mistake. She seems less like the shy teenager glancing through her bangs at Prince Charming than a comfortable, even sassy, equal, as in this exchange:

British ITV interviewer: "There's a story that goes around that you had a picture of him on your wall."

William: "There wasn't just one, there was about 20."

Kate: "He wishes. No, I had the Levis guy on my wall, not a picture of William, sorry."

William: "It was me in Levis, honestly."

He wishes? A Levis pin-up? I love this girl! I mean, this woman.

By Ruth Marcus  | November 18, 2010; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Marcus  | Tags:  Ruth Marcus  
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Next: Charlie Rangel apologizes

Comments


"No, not Sarah Pain -- though her show-a-little-more-presidential-leg interview with Barbara Walters is an awfully tempting topic. "

Ruth, just admit it. You're a hack.

Posted by: chambers14 | November 18, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Besides WEALTH, what does lovely Kate see in the crooked-toothy lout?

Posted by: kinkysr | November 18, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

She's about as modern as the 17th century. PLEASE.

Posted by: sufi66 | November 18, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

He seems like a perfectly fine guy, even quite normal (especially for being a prince). I'm not sure why you, kinkysr, feel the need to be so rude about him when you don't know him. No, I don't know him either, but I give him the benefit of the doubt that he's a decent person. I tend to do that with my fellow human beings, unless, of course, they have some sort of sordid record, which I've yet to come across such a record for Prince William.

On another note, her blue dress in that interview was STUNNING.

Posted by: cartoongal | November 18, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Kate Middleton seems a lovely woman - and the Prince is a cutie! I'll be watching the royal wedding for sure, just like the one in 1981. These two are equals though and that's a good thing.

Posted by: MILWI | November 18, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Kate is your average uk young woman. Daughter of a millionaire who was privately educated. need I say more!!!

Posted by: bregenz | November 18, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

"What girl -- what middle-aged woman, for that matter -- doesn't secretly love a good princess story?"

This 65-year-old lesbian doesn't, unless there are two princesses!

Posted by: CarolAnne1 | November 18, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Second in line?

I thought Charles said that he wasn't going to be king. I think William is the next king.

Posted by: charley42 | November 18, 2010 6:17 PM | Report abuse

I hope Kate can handle all the abusive, excessive attention she will be getting now, better than Princess Diana did. Photographers followed Diana EVERYWHERE, even to the point of abusively taking excessive amounts of photos of her fatal car accident!!!


Kate, I hope William truly loves you, that the Royal family likes you, and that you're not going to be used as a baby-factory to continue the royal family line, then dumped and mistreated like the royal family did to Diana.

Posted by: momof20yo | November 18, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Are we crazy about this royal pair or media is making us crazy? What is big thing in their marriage? They will spend $75 million to make us fool. This so called royal couples are full of dirt and sick mind. Their days of royal treatment is gone long ago. Brits are crazy for their kings, queens, prince and princess, why we have to? Keep in mind, they had rule over us and we had kicked them out from America.

Posted by: citysoilverizonnet | November 18, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Ruth, not it is not low brow to write about the royal engagement (speculation about the virginity status aside)

But it is catty, er, low brow to take a cheap shot at another woman's appearance. Especially if the story has nothing to do with the other woman.

Posted by: anonymous_one | November 18, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

That should be Ruth, no,it is not low brow...

Posted by: anonymous_one | November 18, 2010 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Bread and Circus. Bread and Circus. Deflect the mob's attention with this fluff.

Posted by: bandmom22 | November 18, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

As I recall we fought a revolution to get rid of the British royal family, and now the U.S. media is all atwitter over the royal wedding of Prince Willy and his commoner girlfriend. Give it a rest... Most of us don't care.

Posted by: dkaag | November 18, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

The most American comment on Ms. Middleton was by Ms. Giggles Parker on CNN . She suggested that Ms. Middleton was pregnant and a shotgun wedding was coming up! Mr. Spitzer has better breeding.

Posted by: judithclaire1939 | November 18, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

British ITV interviewer: "There's a story that goes around that you had a picture of him on your wall."

William: "There wasn't just one, there was about 20."

Kate: "He wishes. No, I had the Levis guy on my wall, not a picture of William, sorry."

William: "It was me in Levis, honestly."

He wishes? A Levis pin-up? I love this girl! I mean, this woman
----------------
I don't get this. A woman about to be married has a picture of another man on her wall? And you "love it"?

Posted by: rjpal | November 18, 2010 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Meh. I'll bet Sarah is green with envy though. All that money and fame and Kate won't even have to drive herself all the way to the office like Sarah had to.

Posted by: arancia12 | November 18, 2010 10:14 PM | Report abuse

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Meet rich guys, hot babies, Hollywood celebrities, who are searching for their special someone. a place to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive sin gles. Maybe you wanna Check it out or tell your friends !!!

Posted by: prettyrose1 | November 18, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm baffled by the fact that nobody has focused on the fact that the future queen has not worked - paid or unpaid - since leaving university six years ago. She will be the first consort in British history to hold a degree - modern, perhaps, but what has Ms. Middleton done with it? Is there nothing about her country or her world that she feels compelled to help fix - or at least contribute to in the smallest of ways? The yutz who interviewed her should have probed what she cares about. Whether she likes it or not, she is about to assume a public trust. What excites her about the job she is about to take on? What public problems would she like to help solve? Even a passing interest in something other than her immediate circle would be truly modern. This was just the same old medieval nonsense dressed in 21st century garb.

Posted by: Cannon1995 | November 18, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm baffled that nobody has focused on the fact that the future queen has not worked - paid or unpaid - since leaving university six years ago. She will be the first consort in British history to hold a degree - modern, perhaps, but what has Ms. Middleton done with it? Is there nothing about her country or her world that she feels compelled to help fix - or at least contribute to in the smallest of ways? The yutz who interviewed her should have probed what she cares about. Whether she likes it or not, she is about to assume a public trust. What excites her about the job she is about to take on? What public problems would she like to help solve? Even a passing interest in something other than her immediate circle would be truly modern. This was just the same old medieval nonsense dressed in 21st century garb.

Posted by: Cannon1995 | November 18, 2010 11:30 PM | Report abuse

/ Leaning over in my chair
// vomiting into my trash can

This is appropriate.

In a year during which British company rapes a great American economic and environmental resource, as many ordinary people are out of work, as (highly skilled) workers are being laid off at NASA and Northrop Grumman, commentary about entitled Monarchs is MOST WELCOME!!

All of this coverage and commentary and fawning over aristocrats who never had to earn their status is NAUSEATING.

It's worse than when Paris Hilton goes whoring for attention. At least Hilton has to put out for her fame.

I don't even think Britons are enjoying this, as their young people born to middle-class families have LOST the privelege of an education that was once a birthright.

Posted by: jboogie1 | November 19, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Lovely moment in time, observed and well-written by Ms. Marcus, and as a Canadian Royal-watcher, I appreciate knowing that this family continues to lean toward becoming more egalitarian, and down to earth. Neither the Prince nor his intended bride favor the fast, wastrel lifestyle of so many non-royals I could mention! Ms. Middleton and her Prince have clearly been raised with expectations of contributing to the public good, also known as the public welfare. Lady Diana was responsible for cracking open the stuffy, isolationist practices of the Royal Family, and her sons are evidence of that.

Despite the fact that William will be King and his father Charles, prince of Wales, will not ascend to the throne, William remains second-in-line.

Just for the record, in spite of years of being derided and castigated by the Press for being dull, flaky, and homely, Charles has devoted his life to sustainable agriculture, green environmental archictectural buildings, and practices, and is highly regarded around the world for his insights, knowledge and efforts to improve the human lot and to preserve the planet.

I also appreciated both the subtle comparison between the Alaskan princess Palin and a REAL contender, Kate Middleton, and the banter between the couple as they spoke publicly about their plans. Kate and William clearly share a keen sense of humor, and that will be an enormous contribution to their success in marriage.

Posted by: amma2 | November 19, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Kate, I hope William truly loves you, that the Royal family likes you, and that you're not going to be used as a baby-factory to continue the royal family line, then dumped and mistreated like the royal family did to Diana.

Posted by: momof20yo | November 18, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

What are you talking about? Diana was rewarded for bearing children! Had she not produced a son she would have been beheaded or locked in a tower, right?

Posted by: jboogie1 | November 19, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Kate Middleton has done NOTHING with her life since getting her degree - not earned a penny from a actual real job and this is your picture of a MODERN WOMAN?

Jeez...God help the real modern women who don't marry for money and actually seek to get careers. What do you call them?

Posted by: dub13 | November 19, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

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