Talbot Church: Rejoice in a most ordinary royal wedding

The man the Royals trust

Share
Related Topics

In all my years as a royal insider, there has never been a scene quite like it. Within moments of the news of the royal engagement being announced, a small gathering of élite court correspondents – Witchell, Jenny Bond, yours truly and a few others – took tea at St James's Palace with Prince William and his radiant bride-to-be Kate Middleton.

What they told us during that off-the-record chat must remain private – suffice it to say that the announcement yesterday of the Westminster Abbey wedding date was no surprise to some of us! – but there can be no hiding one joyous fact: "The Firm" has reinvented itself once again. It has done glamour with Princess Diana, fun with Fergie – neither had been an unqualified success. Now, it is going for normality. It has found its Princess Ordinary.

Make no mistake, there is nothing grand about young Kate Middleton! Her parents may be multi-millionaires with a sprawling mansion in Berkshire, she may have been public school-educated, own her own London flat and take her holidays in Mustique but, beneath the surface, she is simply "our Kate", a modern girl like thousands of others. Named after Katie Boyle, the fragrant TV presenter and face of the Camay soap ads ("You get a little lovelier each day with fabulous pink Camay!"), Kate was a sweet, bright child who "fitted in" wherever she was. "She was serene and unflappable, even at the age of three," recalls a family friend.

It was her mother Carole who felt young Kate's adaptability might work against her. Known as "Mile-High Middleton" when she was an air stewardess – not because of her behaviour, which was impeccable, but because of her social ambition – Carole decided to send her daughter to Marlborough College to acquire a personality. Marlborough prides itself on developing character; it has weekly Personality Classes, during which pupils study the lives of charismatic Old Marlburians, including Chris de Burgh and cricket commentator Christopher Martin-Jenkins. Kate's old school would have been proud of the personality she showed us in the privacy of St James's Palace. "I hope I can make a difference, even in a small way," she said, glancing at Wills with a tell-tale twinkle in her eye. Princess Ordinary and her royal Romeo are simply a young couple in love. It is truly a privilege to be able to share that private moment, and others in the future.

React Now

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

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor - Oxford

Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...

Austen Lloyd: Clinical Negligence Associate / Partner - Bristol

Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Consultant - Solar Energy - OTE £50,000

£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...

Recruitment Genius: Compute Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Syrian refugee 'Nora' with her two month-old daughter. She was one of the first Syrians to come to the UK when the Government agreed to resettle 100 people from the country  

Open letter to David Cameron on Syrian refugees: 'Several hundred people' isn't good enough

Independent Voices
Amjad Bashir said Ukip had become a 'party of ruthless self-interest'  

Could Ukip turncoat Amjad Bashir be the Churchill of his day?

Matthew Norman
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us