Dear Tiggy Legge-Bourke

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The Independent Online
What the young princes need is a role model from planet Earth. So stay true to yourself - and don't copy the boss's wife

Good to see the fag in your mouth at Klosters the other day. Apart from your boss's auntie Madge, the Royals aren't big on the habit these days, and it's particularly nice to see the demon nicotine combined with a hearty pastime like wearing shell-suits and falling over.

You could maybe take the odd smoking lesson, mind you. The Sloane smoke is not a glamorous one, combined as it usually is with a slack laugh and an over-exaggerated inhale. Model yourself on, say, Bette Davis in Now Voyager rather than Scooby-Doo if you can.

But, generally speaking, more power to your elbow: those princes could do with some female role models with simple failings and a careless attitude. One wouldn't want them to grow up entirely on colonic irrigation and hospital visits. And it's good to see you're not espousing all the behavioural traits of women who get involved with the House of Windsor.

Because let's face it, old girl, you may have warned the tabloids off recently about suggesting that there's anything unprofessional between yourself and his nibs, but you can hardly blame them for speculating. You have, after all, gone through the same sort of ghastly transformation we were forced to witness with the boss's wife and sister-in-law.

The sons of Windsor have a strange effect on their womenfolk, whatever type of employee they are. They pick merry wenches with outdoor complexions and a penchant for jumpers covered in cute animals, and within the year are saddled with a dieter in a Chanel suit.

You, too, seem to have subjected yourself to the same indignities. When you became the future king's right hand, you were an average, bouncy, open-mouthed gel with country tastes. After years of under-the-fringe simpers from a Machiavellian coathanger, it was refreshing to see Chas accompanied by a woman with a big cheesy grin and clothes that had been less cut than woven. The Bourke leggings were likeable.

And now? Oh dear. You've discovered hairdressers. The bits that go in have hardened and the bits that used to go out have all but disappeared. And though you're not yet Queen of Hearts, you're certainly into suits these days. You don't exactly power dress, but when the PoW appears in a blazer there's likely to be a navy two-piece with a subtle hint of gilt trotting in his wake.

Give it up, Tiggy, before it's too late. Fergie couldn't pull it off and nor can you. You may think you're practising flak-avoidance, but it doesn't work that way. You're going to turn up in the tabloids three times a week from now on anyway: you're associated with the three most eligible blokes in the country. Everyone knows you can't shop at Joseph on the sort of salary paid by the royal household: this Working Girl incarnation fools nobody.

Go back to Benetton, Tiggy, go back to the St Andrew's Woollen Mill - better V-necks than Versace, better jodhpurs than Jean Muir. Real horses are a lot more fun than clothes horses.

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