BLINK and you may have missed it.
Three new pics of Kate Middleton have been released to mark her 40th birthdayCredit: EPA
Today, at the start of her fifth decade, Saint Kate can do no wrongCredit: EPA
Rather, the apparent early beatification of a woman once disparagingly dismissed as “Waity Katie”.
Today, at the start of her fifth decade, Saint Kate can do no wrong.
Maybe it’s because people have seen this quiet, dignified woman perennially smiling, be it when she’s in a community centre in Hartlepool, enthusiastically shaking hands with Maureen and Karen, or cutting the ribbon at a new leisure centre in Crewe.
Maybe it’s because people have finally embraced the future Princess of Wales after almost 25 years of mourning the previous one.
Maybe it’s because, in an alternate reality, another 40-year-old duchess — the one preaching about global poverty from her £11million Californian mansion — rules supreme.
And that doesn’t bear thinking about.
The Duchess of Cambridge celebrated her milestone birthday with a quiet family celebration at Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
Of her gathering, one friend earnestly told The Sunday Times Kate was “not going to be the one who gets loose and won’t pull the pin and get lashed”.
(Unlike myself, having turned 40 last month, when I absolutely DID pull the pin.)
Yet in 2007 — still four years away from her wedding to William — Kate was nailing shots in London’s Raffles nightclub and doing “the worm”.
Desperate to strike up a conversation with the future royal, my equally drunken mate bowled up to Kate and asked where her top was from.
At which point, a steaming Kate replied: “Oooh, I don’t know. Hang on . . . look at the label.”
She then proceeded to hold up the collar of her (very West London) top and happily declared: “It’s Reiss!” Those sloshed days, and those high-street labels, have largely gone.
But unquestionably, Kate — named by everyone in her sixth-form yearbook as the person most likely to be “loved” — has a mischievous side.
In the new photos, taken by Vogue snapper Paolo Roversi, she is absolutely stunning (even if she does look like she’s auditioning for a remake of Gone With The Wind in the “arty” black and white one).
Royal years are like tortoise years. For Kate, 40 really is the new 30.
Just look at the Queen (95 not out), Prince Philip (99, retired) the Queen Mother (101) and Princess Alice (102). She’s still a whippersnapper.
Cynics might accuse Kate’s PR machine of going into overdrive of late.
Yet if Meghan’s publicity team had similarly advised their client, perhaps we’d have marked the US actress’s 40th with matching ardour.
SUCKED IT UP
Instead, Kate has doggedly and blessedly pursued the “never complain, never explain” school of thought.
Meghan, in contrast, has spent the past two years doing little but complain.
When she went on Oprah, telling 50million viewers Kate made her cry in a row about bridesmaids’ dresses, not only did the sisterhood die a little bit, so too did the mystique surrounding the Royal Family.
Despite the endless provocation, not once has Kate risen to her sister-in-law’s bait.
Even when snooty, deeply jealous aristos mocked her mum Carole’s former job as aircraft cabin crew — cruelly calling her “Doors To Manual” behind her back — Kate said nothing.
When, in her early days with William, people mocked her for hanging around waiting for a ring, she maintained a dignified silence. She sucked it up and plastered on a smile.
Today the smile is real. And to her one-time detractors, the Duchess of Cambridge is most definitely having the last laugh.
THE most under-whelming awards ceremony in the history of awards ceremonies has been and gone (and I write this as someone who attended the 2013 Structural Steel Design Awards).
But the decision to give Best Supporting Actor in Television at the Golden Globes to Squid Game star O Yeong-su was an excellent one.
The decision to give Best Supporting Actor in Television at the Golden Globes to Squid Game star O Yeong-su was an excellent oneCredit: NETFLIX
Fittingly, the 77-year-old is the first Korean to win a Golden Globe in the showbiz gongs’ 77-year history.
While my Korean is worse, even, than my GCSE German and Year 9 French, his portrayal of Player 001 in the addictive dystopian thriller was excellent.
And it proves, yet again, age is no barrier.
THE persecution of JK Rowling continues.
First the author was “transphobic”, arguing that biological sex is real.
Now she’s been labelled anti-Semitic over her depiction of goblins. Sigh.
Let’s take one such offending passage: “The goblin was about a head shorter than Harry.
“He had a swarthy, clever face, a pointed beard and very long fingers and feet.”
As one sensible writer put it: “If you read this and think, ‘Jew!’, maybe Rowling isn’t the one with the problem.” Quite.
THE Pope is off my hypothetical Christmas card list.
Francis reckons not having children is “selfish and diminishes us”, suggesting people who have cats or dogs instead lead lesser lives.
Pope Francis reckons not having children is ‘selfish and diminishes us’, suggesting people who have cats or dogs instead lead lesser livesCredit: Rex
This from a rabidly ambitious man who has chosen to be childless in order to clamber up the greasy papal pole.
How patronising. How insensitive. And how deeply un-woke from a man of God.
Dora the dachshund IS my child. Now 40 and resolutely single (me, not Dora . . . although she too is currently on the market), my prospects of having kids diminishes by the day.
I love Dora as unconditionally as I would any nappy-wearing creature. Above all else, I’m perfectly content as I am, childless.
Meanwhile, other desperately maternal women (and men) physically cannot have children. How deeply offensive his remarks must be to them.
Thirdly, at the risk of sounding all Harry-and-Meghany, animals have a far lower environmental footprint than children.
So yes, us child-free monsters are helping to save the planet.
Pope Francis can stick that in his high-church pipe and smoke it.
CHELSEA star Romelu Lukaku was forced to apologise after giving an interview saying he was unhappy at the club.
The Belgian striker was also fined and dropped from the Blues’ next match against Liverpool.What is this, North Korea?
If players aren’t allowed to express themselves freely off the pitch, what hope do they have of doing so on it?
“STICKS and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.”
Whoever penned the 19th-century children’s nursery rhyme had obviously never been on Twitter. (Which would make sense.)
A troll has finally been arrested for issuing death threats to Piers Morgan and his eldest son Spencer.
Coming six months after the cretin’s original Instagram messages, it’s about time.
Trolls’ abuse may come from hundreds of miles away but words can and DO hurt – and they can terrify too.
Habitual bottom-dwelling trolls need to go back from whence they came. In this instance, a dark, dingy prison cell.
PROVING him- self quite the LGBTQ ally, Paul Gascoigne says of his bisexual son Regan’s coming out: “Even if he was having an affair with a dolphin, it still wouldn’t bother us.”
Presumably the RSPCA would be more bothered
SHERIDAN SMITH has put in another amazing shift.
Sheridan Smith is brilliant and believable in the heartbreaking BBC drama Four LivesCredit: Getty
The three-part series, about evil “Grindr Killer” Stephen Port, also highlights infuriating police inefficiencies and deep-rooted homophobia.
Had four pretty women in their twenties been killed by Port, I have no doubt police would have acted much more quickly.
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