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The Rough Cut 11/26/10: Don't expect Kate to be Diana

November 29, 2010 - Keith Frederick
Happy Royal Wed­ding Week!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving, I guess.

You wouldn’t know that one of America’s biggest holidays was coming up by the national entertainment media this week. No, the lenses of the world’s cameras were fixed solidly on England, where Prince William announced his engagement to Kate Middle­ton, his girlfriend of at least five years.

I was, honestly, perplexed by the media circus that erupted around the world when the engagement was announced. After all, the majority of the world today seems to look upon monarchies as a kind of quaint throwback to a different time.

Certainly, it’s been a long time since Queen Elizabeth was anything more than a figurehead in world politics. Prince Charles only appears in the tabloids, if he’s ever thought of at all. The rest of the royal family is basically unknown to the world at large.

Except for Prince William and his brother, Prince Harry. The pair have captured the world’s attention again and again — as much for their bloodline as their status as heirs to the throne.

And therein lies the reason for the media attention given to this wedding: The world — particularly the world media — desperately wants Kate Middleton to be Princess Diana.

And it just isn’t going to happen.

Diana captured the world’s attention like few celebrities have ever done. She was a beautiful woman from a noble bloodline — but she felt like she was one of us — just a commoner raised to a lofty station.

According to the BBC, their elaborate wedding was watched by nearly 750 million people, while an estimated crowd of 600,000 lined the streets around St. Paul’s Cathedral to catch a glimpse of the couple. It was a spectacle that hasn’t been matched as a world event by anything other than perhaps the World Cup. Diana was a tireless advocate of numerous charities and stood up for what she believed in, regardless of the royal family’s views. And the public loved her for that.

Then came the breakup of her marriage with Charles, partially a result of infidelities on both sides. She was suddenly cast out from the secretive, silent royal family — the beloved underdog that the world embraced.

Finally was her tragic death during a car chase in Paris in the middle of the night. I was never a big royal family watcher, but I remember watching TV late one night when the news broke. I was shell-shocked — as a child of the ’80s, Diana had always been there, had always been a constant, graceful presence.

By all accounts, Kate Middleton is a beautiful, apparently graceful, intelligent woman who should do the residents of Bucking­ham Palace proud.

But don’t expect Prince William’s bride-to-be to be the next Diana.

Who could be?

Mirror Staff Writer Keith Frederick’s column appears monthly in Go. He can be reached at 946-7466 or by e-mail at

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Kate Middleton is a beautiful, intelligent woman — whom people are expecting far too much from.