What Katie does next is critical to her future. by CLAIRE SMITH
THE nation, and indeed the world, continues to be enthralled this week by the question why two twentysomethings who met at university have decided to split.
In the absence of any concrete information from either Prince William or Kate Middleton, speculation continues to be the order of the day.
The Mirror’s veteran royal correspondent, James Whitaker, sparked “chewing-gum-gate” when he suggested courtiers had bitched about Middleton’s mum Carole for chewing nicotine gum during the Prince’s passing-out parade at Sandhurst.
Yesterday the Prince was said to have dismissed as “mischief” the suggestion that Carole’s use of supposedly middle-class idiom such as “toilet” and “pleased to meet you” had been an issue.
Kate, meanwhile, or sources close to her, denied that she, or sources close to her, had murmured behind their hands about William’s attraction to various double- and triple-barreled fillies.
Ingenious bookies in search of free publicity hit upon the idea of issuing odds for the most likely candidate to replace Kate. Thus it was reported you could get 20-1 on Princess Kylie, while Britney Spears, who exchanged saucy e-mails with the teenage William, was given 20-1 odds of becoming the first bald single mother to become a royal. And commentators in Australia, New Zealand and America leapt on the suggestion that Britain’s class system was the real reason for the split, spilling reams of newsprint on Britain’s “obsession” with class.
Through it all, Kate, like those other grandes dames, Camilla Parker Bowles, the Queen Mother and Kate Moss, observed a dignified silence – vowing never to talk to the press. But, with sums such as £5 million flying around, will the 25-year-old accessories buyer for Jigsaw be able to resist the temptation to tell her story?
Media commentator Mark Borkowski said she would be well advised to keep mum for the time being. But, with the right advice, the commoner who lived with a Prince could transform herself into a “worldwide icon” and bag a career for life.
“It’ll be very interesting to see what she does next. The papers say she will never sell her story, but Paul Burrell was never going to sell his, either. The longer she keeps schtum the more the story is worth – and it will be one of the biggest stories of a generation.
“Far lesser figures have generated careers out of less publicity. Here’s somebody who is a global name and who could become a global icon. “Whatever happens in the future, whatever William does next, Kate Middleton will always be ‘the girl he should have married’.”
While at present the heat is on Kate and the Middletons, Borkowski warns that William will become the real focus of attention in future: “The Royals have always been a lusty lot and everybody wants a playboy prince, running around grabbing Brazilian students’ breasts. Nobody wants a nice girl from Berkshire.”
The pressure is going to be on him, not her. His advice to the nice girl from Berkshire is to lie low, keep her head down and get good advice: “There’s a huge future for the girl. It’s whether or not she wants it. If she does want it the world is her oyster.”