Hugh Montgomery: Rant & Rave (03/06/2012)

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The Independent Online


It's one posterior we won't easily see the back of. Yes, the nation's favourite "scene-stealer", Pippa Middleton's bum, is back in the headlines, determined as the tabloids are to make it the sine qua non of any future royal coverage. Notionally, its return is down to Kylie Minogue, after the pop queen challenged Pips to a not-entirely-Olympic "bum-off" at tomorrow's jubilee concert. "I'll definitely have to be like 'Oh!', drop something and pick it up off the ground!" she told chat show host Alan Carr.

But, idle TV badinage aside, we can undoubtedly expect lots more sweaty-palmed analysis of Her Royal Hotness out and about in the coming days. And call me prudish, but when a recent study showed nearly half of young women in London reported being sexually harassed in public last year, such collectively indulged leering seems a little less than right royal fun and games.


If the Windsor family have proved themselves an unruly beast over the years, then the Queen isn't about to let them run riot over this weekend's events, having slimmed down the official royal party to just seven. So only those from the "direct line of succession" – i.e. Phil, Charles, Camilla, Wills, Kate and Harry – will accompany her on the barge at today's river pageant and – most symbolically – get to flutter their fingers at Tuesday's Buckingham Palace balcony appearance.

And good for Liz, we say. After all, as anyone who has ever had the misfortune to organise a wedding, christening or Christmas lunch well knows, deciding which of the extended family to extend invitations to is a task fraught with perceived slights and undesirable concessions. Best, then, to keep things streamlined – and if that means a little less attention is paid to daughters-in-law's siblings' derrières, well so much the better.