I'm not the most avid royal watcher, but even I've noticed the bashing Kate Middleton, Prince William's girlfriend, is getting in the British press lately, mostly about her role in her parents' business, Party Pieces. It seems no matter what this young woman does -- or doesn't do -- someone in the press has got a complaint about it. To wit:
Back in August 2008, the Daily Mail suggested that Kate was "work-shy" and should have some sort of career.
So the following month, she starts working at her parents' company, but wait .... scandal! Her picture appears on the business's website. God forbid there's visual evidence a potential Queen of England works for a commercial enterprise.
Most recently, Kate's taking heat for an interview that briefly appeared on Party Pieces' website where she described some of her childhood birthday party memories. And now some "news outlets" (I use that term loosely here) are gleefully reporting that Kate's parents have passed her over as a photographer for the company.
Come on ... don't you feel a wee bit sorry for her, even if she is privileged, beautiful, and hooked up with the future King of England? She's damned if she doesn't work, damned if she does.
The British press loves to point out the Middletons, especially the mother, are social climbers extraordinaire. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't. As an American, I think claims of their "social climbing" are nothing but evidence of the class system being alive and well in Britain. From my vantage point, they've behaved rather demurely over the past seven or eight years compared with some of Prince Harry's escapades or Prince Edward's commercial dealings.
And I've got to hand it to Kate. Let's for the sake of it assume she really does love William and she isn't the single-minded social climber the press makes her out to be. What a tough spot she's in. If she gets a job at any top-drawer firm, she'll be accused of cashing in on her royal connections for the position. Some have suggested she get a job in the "real world." What real world is that? Starbucks? Primark? Can you imagine the crowds during Kate's shifts? If she does charity work, she'll be acting above her station, like a princess-in-waiting. If she doesn't work, she's a loafer. So in my mind, she's doing the exact right thing: she's working at her parents' company, where she can remain productive, as well as protected.
What do you think? Do you think the press is unfairly harsh on Kate Middleton? Or is she just another hanger-on to you? Express yourself in the comments section below.