The royal engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton is such non-news that bookies in England long ago stopped taking bets on a 2011 wedding. It was just a given. But now that she's landed her prince, what will Kate Middleton have to do to fit into the royal hierarchy?
It all sounds romantic, but here's hoping she's already set aside the Disney ideas of princesshood. She's got to roll up her sleeves and do some real work.
First up: a name change.
The official announcement from Clarence House lists Kate as "Miss Catherine Middleton." By this time next year, she will be Catherine of Wales, similar to her late mother-in-law. And this commoner will get a title, likely Duchess of Blankchester.
And that's just the beginning.
Before they even get to the altar, she's being called upon to start stepping up to the duties once held by William's mom, Princess Diana. Two years ago, the queen allegedly suggested she start volunteer work to counter public claims that she's "workshy." This spring, she agreed to a slate of charity events, representing the royal family.
A life dedicated to charity is considered Diana's legacy -- she was a champion of Landmines & Explosive Remnants of War, Prisoners' Families, and Palliative Care issues -- and Kate has already taken up some of that mantle with her own work with the Starlight Children's Foundation through her family's party planning business.
That's where Middleton is technically employed, but she'll likely be giving it up for the full-time job of being a royal at her new home in the north of Wales where William is serving in the Royal Air Force as a search and rescue pilot.
And she need not worry that life without Diana will leave her without a role model to help her through the role of princess. Although her mother-in-law-to-be, Camilla Parker-Bowles, has never earned the title, there's always Prince William's aunt Anne, the so-called Princess Royal. Anne's official job is to be charitable. She's associated with more than 200 charities and organizations in an "official capacity." If Kate takes on even half that, she could put that "workshy" rumor to bed.
But considering Parker-Bowles spends her days "supporting" Prince Charles' endeavors, chances are Middleton will have more than her own charity work to do on a daily basis. Her husband will be off serving his country, and she'll be filling in for him.
Not to mention, when they marry, Middleton will become the wife of the second-in-line to the throne (William has to wait for dad Charles to take the seat before he gets a crack at it). Which means she could become queen one day. Looks like she could use plenty of "royal" practice.
Are you still jealous of the new royal-to-be?
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