In the US, we're getting our share of glimpses of Prince William's attractive long-term girlfriend, Kate Middleton, at the moment because of intense speculation (and there's still six months before the 'silly season' due to lack of news begins over there) as to whether he'll pop the question and thus make her the Queen of England twice removed. Apparently the paparazzi are hounding the poor woman every waking moment, though we're told she's handling it with poise and dignity. Yesterday, I caught a snippet on the telly of her coming out of her apartment, strutting down the sidewalk, and getting into her VW Golf in a manner eerily reminiscent of Diana, though with one exception in that she was smiling.
As she's not entitled to any security from the Royal family--unless she's out clubbing with William and then it comes as a sort of add-on--the Queen has in effect asked the paparazzi to bugger off and leave the girl alone. Known to be a frugal woman who once is reputed to have asked her guests to put on an extra sweater when they complained they were 'a bit cold, Ma'am' while staying with her at Balmoral, she may be concerned she might have to splurge on a bit of security for the lass. I can just imagine the conversation between her and Philip.
The Queen pours herself some Rice Krispies from the tupperware, adds milk and takes a seat at the table where Prince Philip is reading the newspaper. She turns her gaze to watch the news on the telly and sees Kate surrounded by photographers yet again.
"This really is so like the Diana situation...when she was hounded so mercilessly by the paparazzi, isn't it dear?" she says to her husband. "It's very worrying. We can't have all that happening again."
"What's that, Cabbage?"
"The way this poor girl...Kate...is hounded...so utterly familiar, isn't it?"
"I do hope William comes to his senses soon." He peers over his newspaper at the telly. "How long's it been now? Two years? Time to stop sowing his wild oats and find the proper sort of woman....a woman commensurate with his station"
"Yas, but they're getting hard to find...and I don't think we can say anything too strong about that anymore."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, his mother was a commoner, too."
"There's commoners and then there's commoner's, Cabbage. Diana was a Spencer, not the offspring of merchants."
"No supposing about it. We're the Royal family and, as such, the country expects us to do the right thing. We can't have bring someone in whose grandparents were coal-miners, can we now? We can't have someone in whose grandparents stood downstairs by the fountain to cheer and clap when your mother and father walked out on the balcony."
"No, I suppose not. Do you think we should extend security to her, though?...until William...comes round."
"What? I think not. Only members of The Family get security." He emits a snort of laughter. "Ask Tony when you see him next. Tell him to pay."
"Hmmm." She flicks her eyes back the telly. "She doesn't dress like a Sloan even...jeans, jeans, jeans. Not once have I seen a decent tweed skirt."
"How could she? She's not even a Sloan."
"The parents are self-made though, dear. This is the new Britain. You don't think it would help The Family's image a little if I dipped into my purse a little for her security?"
Philip guffaws. "Maybe we've got a few pieces from her parent's catalog in this very room."
The Queen looks around her. "Very much doubt it, dear...I don't believe they deal in tupperware." She sighs. "Sometimes I think I should just let Charles take over the business."
"Don't go all dark on me, old girl."
"No really, I mean it. No one understands how hard it is...well, except perhaps for Helen."
"Mirren. Remember how she said in that interview we saw...you know...how she's changed her mind about me. She knows now how hard it is for me and appreciates the institution."
"Royals can only understand other Royals, dear. She's an actress. She knows you'll see the interview and is angling for a spot on next year's Birthday list."
"Do you think so?"
"Of course. Actors are all the same...all self-serving. I hope you're not softening, Cabbage. I was not portrayed flatteringly."
"No, you weren't, were you?" A silence occurs. "I am just so tired of eating Rice Krispies. I think we should move to cornflakes or Weetabix after these are finished. What do you think?"
[technorati: Royal Family, Queen Elizabeth, England, Prince William, Kate Middleton, Paparazzi, Helen Mirren, London