Happily ever after begins here in ‘Kate: The Future Queen’

Posted Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Kate: The Future Queen by Katie Nicholl Weinstein, $26

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No royal subject has been more talked-about the past three years than Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Since the moment the former Kate Middleton walked into the camera frame as Prince William’s fiancee in November 2010, wearing a sapphire-blue dress to match Princess Diana’s sapphire engagement ring and becoming an instant style icon and the envy of commoners everywhere, she has barely spent a moment out of the spotlight. And her fans around the world can’t get enough.

Hitting stores barely two months after its subject gave birth to an heir to the British throne, Kate: The Future Queen, by well-known royal reporter Katie Nicholl, takes an intimate look at the duchess’s life — from her parents’ meeting to the birth of her son.

It’s not a tell-all; there are no salacious bombshells, and Kate is treated kindly. And although no immediate members of the royal family, including Kate, are interviewed, those close to her — uncles, hairdressers, friends from school — lend anecdotes and details that string together the narrative. Kate was a well-behaved little girl who grew into a shy teen who blossomed into the beautiful young woman who captured the eye of the prince. And now they’re living happily ever after.

Kate fans who clamor to read every magazine article about her will be disappointed that the book doesn’t reveal a lot of new information. Many of the stories, like the one about Kate going out on the town looking fabulous while she and William were split up, we’ve heard time and again. And some of the new stories — for instance, that William and Kate probably met years before they were freshmen in college together — leave us wanting more detail, explanation or confirmation.

But there are just enough new tidbits to give avid royal watchers good reason to pick up the book. Right away, for example, we find out that the Middletons weren’t just self-made millionaires from their party-planning company, as is often said. Michael Middleton, Kate’s father, came from money, and a trust fund afforded the Middleton children a privileged education before the party-planning company hit it big.

Skip to the chapter about her famous wedding, and these are the kinds of details you’ll learn: Kate awoke at 6 a.m. and refused to have televisions on while she got ready. Eight hairdressers worked on the bridal party, and to achieve the bride’s hairstyle — and to ensure her tiara would stay on — two stylists worked meticulously down a checklist. It then took Kate 45 minutes to get into her dress. Inside the Rolls-Royce on the way to Westminster Abbey, Michael held his daughter’s hand, and she giggled at the sight of him buried beneath all the tulle of her dress.

It’s a quick read (fans might say too quick), but it’s a lovely story that’s barely, we hope, still in the opening chapters.

— Stephanie Allmon

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