Royal Crowd-Pleaser Kate Middleton Shines On First Official Tour

With a swish and a thunderous sigh of relief, the red velvet curtain fell on the first week of the first official royal tour for the Duchess of Cambridge.  And so far, so very, very good. Most excellent work, your royal Sister of Pippa-ness.

No circle-of-shame snaps in a glossy magazine for HRH Kate this week, thank you very much. Elsewhere, international incidents, diplomatic skirmishes, awkward moments when she fled to the airport clutching her passport, trying to buy a one-way ticket to Monaco? All avoided.

Feathers ruffled? None. Terrifying polar bear rugs encountered? One. Trees planted, ditto. Posies accepted from little children in that official low crouch, knees together, side swivel position invented and patented by Diana, Princess of Wales? At least two.

Look at Kate on Canada Day in the Canadian capital, attending a Canadian citizenship ceremony wearing a maple leaf diamond brooch.

Gifts amassed so far? Quite the haul!  One diamond polar bear brooch, one red fleece Ranger hoodie, one pair of beaded moccasins, plus one traditional Calgary wide-brimmed, Smithbilt cowboy hat.  Better than anything at Bicester shopping village, that’s for sure. Check out the quality of those diamonds. Pippa will die!

When visiting a provincial Canadian town, it takes some doing to come across as the least groovy bloke in the boondocks. In such circumstances, however, you can bet your anchor-stamped brass buttons that a Windsor man will always triumph.  Cast adrift in the stardust of his wife’s slipstream, there were moments when Prince William seemed like some plodding member of the protection squad intent on invading her personal space and getting his mug in the official photographs.

Yet to see the young Duke and Duchess stand shoulder to shoulder, meeting officials, consoling the survivors of a devastating forest fire or cheerfully shaking hands with the Canadian crowds is to understand the eternal potency of beauty.  Being married to a lovely woman like Kate gives a man like William prestige and cachet. By her side, he instantly looks more handsome, debonair and assured. And not only does she make him look good, she also humanises and glamorises the entire Windsor brand.

And whether at a ceremony of remembrance, whisking up canapes in a kitchen, paddling a dragon boat or smoking caribou skins on a reservation, the Duchess was endlessly sunny.  She can do sombre, she can do formal, she can do parsley garnishes. When required, she can stick her oar in with the best of them and can do campfire geniality along with genteel cocktail chat at the ambassador’s residence. In fact, she can do no wrong.

Unlike some royals, the D of C realises that despite all the attention and endless interest in her Erdem dresses and choice of handbag, it is not all about her. Instead, she fully grasps she is not just a support to her husband, but also a kind of cipher, an agreeable, British and royal symbol upon which entire nations can project their feelings of

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