Harriet Walker: Could Kate and William be the new Katie and Peter?

Related Topics

Yesterday's newspapers featured a groomed and glamorous young couple dressed in identikit cowboy outfits, resplendent in ten gallon hats, "giddy up, pardner" shirts and rootin', tootin' belt clasps.

They rode in a stagecoach, laughed and waved to the crowd, posed for the cameras, the sunlight glinting off their toxically orange hides. Their professionally whitened grins were those of two people deeply in love. With themselves, and with the attention.

This was not some junket for the latest series of The Only Way Is Essex; Katie Price and Peter André haven't reconciled their differences for the sake of their public. These populist cowboys were none other than the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, whose antics all over North America are being followed with a scrutiny normally reserved for Glenn Mulcaire.

The Cambridges' ten day tour of Canada has been demeaning for us and them. It has been little more than an exercise in establishing them as the I'm a Celebrity couple de nos jours, what with their dragonboat racing, landing helicopters on lakes and playing street hockey. And the "enchanted" public have lapped it up, fawning and frothing like serfs with scrofula. Yesterday the royal roadshow moved on to California with a planned Hollywood "meet and greet" the highlight of the itinerary.

Many of us have been bummed out about the fact that the previous decade's uninterest in and contempt for the royals must have been a blip, given the gusto with which the media and common psyche have entered an era of New Royalism. We've all bewailed the return to obsequiously hyperbolic commentary and a fervour redolent of Girl Scouts promising to honour their Queen and country.

So what does the ascendance of Waity Katie Price and Prince André mean for us? Simply this: that we will not be spared a minute from the most minute Royal goings-on from now on. They spawn, we must gasp and murmur; they fart, we'll all genuflect. It would be practically medieval were it not for the obvious inspiration that the royal couple have taken from reality TV culture. Mark my words, Kate and Wills have been studying Heat and OK! as if they were the Dead Sea Scrolls. And here's what they've learned.

Lesson one: cultivate a will they/won't they romance. We poor saps were so concerned about whether Kate would get her crown or not, we didn't realise they were simply following the same steps as Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler.

Lesson two: perpetuate your popularity by asking photographers to stay away, but by lingering in front of them wherever possible. (Rumour has it Victoria Beckham goes through arrivals twice at Heathrow if there aren't enough paps the first time round.)

Lesson three: don cute matching outfits, so even your critics can have fun slating you. Hence, the cowboy look – the press and the public are so savvy these days that it takes more than a baseball cap (William Hague) or denim shirt (Tony Blair) to gain notoriety.

Lesson four: the law of averages means the more time you spend in front of the cameras, the more likely we are to see your knickers. Which was proven on a Canadian airfield when the royal drawers were unveiled.

Wouldn't it be better for all involved if Kate and Wills just closeted themselves in the Welsh cottage they profess to be so fond of?. We're tiring of celebs, and we'll tire of this pair too. Just look what happened to Kerry Katona.



React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Hilary Mantel in 2003 - years before she released a short story, in which she fantasised about the death of Margaret Thatcher  

In what universe is Hilary Mantel's imaginary assassination of Margret Thatcher worthy of police investigation?

Matthew Norman
Noddy Holder must be glad he wrote 'Merry Xmas Everybody' as he'll earn £800,000 this year from royalties.  

Noddy Holder: A true rock ’n’ roll hero, and a role model for sensible people everywhere

Rosie Millard
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam