The past few generations of the British Royal family have seen an abundance of near polar-opposites of the definition of just what it “means” to be royal. Princess Diana v. Camilla, Queen Elizabeth v. Princess Margaret, even Prince William v. Prince Harry. We now have a new litmus test; Kate Middleton v. Zara Phillips.
Kate I admire most for embodying every girl’s dream of one day becoming a princess- that one’s wildest against wild dreams are actually able to happen. Miss Middleton is a woman who I also look up to in terms of discretion, good taste, manners, polish and being beguiling enough to win a prince (for certainly, she has to be a mesmerizing person to win the heart of the future King of England). There’s a reassuring and calm glamour that encircles Kate’s presence.
Zara, I look up to most for living and breathing one of my mantras, “doin’ stuff ‘n’ things.” While her mother may have chosen for her to not be titled upon her birth, she would have had every excuse to just watch time pass away as she lounged on a yacht. Instead, she became an Olympic hopeful, twice, the World and European Eventing Champion, British Sports Personality of the Year, a spokeswoman for Land Rover, a designer for a riding apparel line and oh yeah, dating a World Champion Rugby player (also a World Champion) too. Zara has done nothing but not rest her laurels, she’s reached out and made the world hers.
Where their differences are best highlighted are their official engagement photos. (Top is Ms. Middleton, bottom is Ms. Phillips.)
To be frank, Kate had known for three weeks that the announcement would have to be made and presumably had sufficient time for the manicure. What’s more, she is not just becoming Mrs. William Wales by this marriage, but the future Queen of England. She had little choice other than to present the ring with an immaculately manicured pair of hands. Zara, on the other hand (oooooh, bad pun QBS, har har) took a lot of heat for her alleged Witches of Eastwick “claws,” which were noted to have looked as if “she just finished mucking out the stables.” Yes, Zara did not have what QBS will call “Pretty Pretty Princess” hands, but she is a sportswoman. She became engaged the night before, the next series of hours likely were a whirlwind-packed tour of frenzy and media interest. Maybe she just didn’t have time to go to a manicurist. Her body is one of the tools with which she performs her sport. What’s more, shouldn’t we be focusing more on the excitement of the moment, rather than what her “claws” look like? Or not fail to note the gorgeous three-carat rock she gets to sport?
Ultimately, Zara has the fortune of being twelfth-in-line to the throne; she has to care less than Kate does. While far from impoverished means, Kate is nonetheless an upper middle class commoner in one of the world’s most status-conscious nations. Which is why I love them both; Kate for her immaculate tenacity and strive and Zara for her good enough is good enough resolve, both which have yielded a battery of cumulative titles between the two lovely and driven women.
kHm, the QueenBeeSwain
NOTE TO READERS: The Queen Bee shares some of her royal insight here as her schedule permits, to read The Bee’s personal blog, just click on the link.