Platell's People: Duchesses just don't do high hemlines
23:49 GMT, 9 March 2012
Wardrobe malfunction The Duchess of Cambridge wore a M Missoni coat at Fortnum & Mason yesterday
Little more than a year ago, she was a middle-class girl from Berkshire working in her parents’ Party Pieces kids’ company. Today, she’s taking centre stage in The Firm and has become a global superstar.
One can only imagine how daunting it must be to manage such a dramatic transformation, and there’s no doubt that Kate has conducted herself with extraordinary aplomb.
This week, she accompanied the Queen and Prince Philip to Leicester for the start of Her Majesty’s four-month, nationwide Jubilee tour.
Even with her husband thousands of miles away in the Falklands, Kate has been commendably determined to take up her role as a working Royal.
With children she is warm, with dignitaries gracious, and with the fashionistas a hit every time. Kate has learned a great deal in a short time.
The Queen may have been the main attraction on Thursday, but the crowds of people — some of whom had queued since four in the morning — were also waiting for a glimpse of Kate.
And she did not disappoint, dressed in fashionably high stilettos and a skin-tight dress with matching teal jacket.
But the pictures of her emerging from the royal limousine while tottering in those heels — dare I say ever so slightly inelegantly — highlighted the very real challenges she faces in her new role on the royal front line.
They brought to mind the eminently sensible advice, revealed in this newspaper, that the Queen is said to have given her for this Jubilee tour: Keep the hemlines low, Kate.
It was clear, as she stepped out of the car, that she has yet to follow the tip. As a result, the waiting crowds got more than a glimpse of Kate — they got a proper thighful. And when she sat down next to the Queen, she was again showing more of her shapely pins than decorum demands.
Kate could learn from Diana who, despite being the most photographed woman in the world, was always elegance personified. She understood early on that her compassion and her causes were what won people’s hearts.
One can understand the pressures Kate is under, especially with her husband away and the eyes of the world on her. Perhaps that’s the reason she is so slender and so keen to show off her beautifully toned legs to full effect.
But the key to her being taken seriously as a royal duchess, surely, is to ensure people concentrate on her work — not her worked-out thighs.
BAPTISTE OF FIRE
Since their divorce, Russell Brand has flaunted his string of lovely brunette lovers.
Now his ex, Katy Perry, steps out with a magnificently rippled 22-year-old male model. Comparisons with the scruffy broomstick Brand and Katy’s sizzlingly sexy Baptiste Giabiconi just go to prove that revenge is a dish best served hot — damned hot, in fact.
Ooh la la! Katy Perry linked the world's highest paid male model Baptiste Giabiconi
SACRIFICES WE CANNOT JUSTIFY
A nation’s heart stood still as the names and ages of the six men killed in Afghanistan were read out.
Privates Christopher Kershaw, 19; Anthony Frampton, 20; Daniel Wade, 20; Daniel Wilford, 21; Corporal Jake Hartley, 20; and Sergeant Nigel Coupe, 33. Some were only 16 when they signed up.
It will be two more years before we pull out of Afghanistan — so how many more young lives will be lost in a war even its supporters find increasingly difficult to justify
As Vietnam war veteran John Cary said in 1971, four years before the U.S. withdrew: ‘How do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake’
A LESSON IN DIGNITY
When war graves of the British fallen were desecrated in Libya, this country responded with sadness and regret, but typically dignified reserve.
No riots, no killings, no calls to condemn the heathens who had carried out this violation of the final resting places of those who had fought for their freedom. It’s quite a contrast to the way the Afghans responded when the Koran was accidentally burnt.
Well done to Mail Olympics correspondent Jonathan McEvoy for asking newly appointed athletics captain, Tiffany Porter, right, if she knew the first two lines of the National Anthem.
She didn’t. And little wonder, since she was born in the U.S. and has decided to use her dual citizenship to compete for Britain, rather than her more competitive homeland. It’s rather a smack in the face for the strategy behind the Games — which is to promote young Brits.
Singing from a different hymn book: Olympic captain Tiffany Porter is unfamiliar with the national anthem
Olympic volunteers have been given a PC handbook to help them deal with tricky situations, such as how to treat old people and women in hijabs.
A spokeswoman said it would ensure that everyone ‘sang off the same hymn sheet’. Hymn sheet Isn’t that deeply offensive to non-Christians, Muslims and Sikhs — to name but a few
WESTMINSTER NOTICEBOARDAhead of the Lib Dem spring conference today, Nick Clegg says he’s ‘up for a fight’. Both Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce plan to attend, so if nothing else he’ll get a catfight — especially if Huhne’s statuesque lover Carina Trimingham is at his side.
the Tories’ powerful backbench 1922 Committee is agitating for the replacement of the hapless Baroness Warsi, claiming she is the worst chairman the party has ever had. Trouble is that, having paraded her as the first Muslim woman in the Cabinet, modernising Dave will never ditch her — however useless she may be.
The first lesson of politics, as taught to me by William Hague when I was his Press secretary, is never to put anything in writing that you don’t want to end up leading the BBC news.
Vince Cable, who is proving to be as watertight as a colander, has been scribbling like a dictation secretary ever since he joined the Cabinet — which is why we know he’s attacked the Government for ‘lacking a compelling vision for growth’. The one thing that’s grown massively since the Coalition began is Vince’s treacherous ego.
Obese patients denied operations such as hip and knee replacements on the NHS because they’re too fat are up in arms.
One — a hefty lorry driver — was on the BBC’s Five Live this week to point out that he’d kept Doncaster’s economy afloat on the money he’d spent on fry-ups alone.
Why is it that the Government is happy to spend 18,000 a year on drugs for newly arrived foreigners with HIV — yet won’t replace the hips of our very own bacon-egg-and-beans-loving fatties
DON'T FORGET THE DIVORCE SETTLEMENT
Amid the debate raging over gay marriage comes a salutary tale of gay divorce. Millionaire City analyst Peter Lawrence has been forced to hand over half his assets to his former partner of 11 years, despite the fact he had acquired many of them before they met.
The couple had been in a civil partnership for just seven months when they split. Mr Lawrence’s partner, Don Gallagher, was an actor who earned far less than him, and was therefore the ‘major home-maker’, responsible for ‘soft furnishings and planting on balconies’. Which is why he got his 1.7 million pay-out.
This is the kind of ludicrously unfair deal men and, increasingly, high-earning women are having to pay when a marriage fails. Welcome to the world of the straight people, guys.
CALL THAT A LOVE SCENE
Emilia Fox (Lady Portia) and Alex Kingston (Blanche) said they weren’t nervous about their lesbian love scenes in last week’s Upstairs Downstairs.
We were hoping for the eroticism of Anna Friel’s first lesbian kiss in Brookside.
But all we got was battered old Blanche’s sausage fingers gruesomely groping the nubile Lady Portia.
Writer Heidi Thomas said the love affair would cause ‘a big stir’. It did — in the pits of our stomachs.
The woman who invented Spanx, the horrible, flesh-coloured, elasticised undergarments that can go all the way up to your armpits and down to your ankles, has entered the Forbes annual list with a self-made fortune of $1 billion (638 million).
You’d have to pay any self-respecting woman a million pounds to be caught dead wearing them.