When Prince William popped the question, he made fiancee Kate Middleton one of the most-photographed, most-pursued women in the world.
Since the announcement of the couple’s engagement, Middleton, dubbed “the Cinderella of Bucklebury”, has adorned front pages and websites around the world, photographed showing off her ring and checking out a possible wedding venue, Westminster Abbey.
William is determined she will not suffer the hounding experienced by his mother, Princess Diana. But protecting her may be difficult in the face of insatiable media interest.
Britain’s best-known celebrity publicist, Max Clifford said, “She’s got to eat, breathe, drink and sleep ‘What’s good for the royals, what would be bad for the royals?’”
She may be marrying a future king, but many British people say they don’t envy Middleton. “I feel bad for the poor girl,” said Kayla Healey, 25, from Brighton in southern England. “She’s been able to stay out of the limelight pretty much the entire time and now she is going to be absolutely bombarded.”
At least she has a good guide in William. The 28-year-old grew up in the public eye and seems to have coped well. But William’s ease hides a deep-seated mistrust, rooted in the media hounding of his mother. The intense scrutiny endured by Britain’s royals is partly the reason William waited so long to ask Middleton to marry him. In an interview this week, William said he “wanted to give her a chance to see in and to back out if she needed to before it all got too much.”