• Sun, Apr 29 2012

One Year Later Kate Middleton Is Still The Best PR Gift The Royal Family Could Ask For

Though Kate Middleton is called the luckiest girl in the world for marrying into the royal family, the royal family should be thanking her. Kate Middleton is the best PR the royal family could ever ask for.

It is her image as just an “ordinary woman” entering this fabulously glamorous world that has injected some much needed positive PR. Washington Post writer Autumn Brewington, “Her appealing image as an ordinary woman who happened to marry a handsome prince has inspired an illusory sense of pride that the couple have leveled social distinctions in a historically class-conscious society. Yet the resurgence in the royals’ popularity entrenches those divisions even as Britain seeks to move past them.” Kate has had such a profound impact that the share of Britons who thought the monarchy would be around in 50 years had risen to 56%. ”She’s really moulded her own image,” Alanna Glicksman told CBC, a consultant with communications and public relations giant Hill & Knowlton Strategies in Toronto. ”In my opinion, Kate has redefined the definition of the people’s princess. She’s really changed the game for how people view the Royal Family and especially the younger generation of the Royal Family.”

The press originally concentrated so much on her being a commoner and her humble lineage, even dubbing Kate and her sister Pippa Middleton as “the Wisteria sisters.” Kate could have potentially been a PR nightmare and just added to the slew of bad marriages the family has seen in the past 20 years.

But through an amazing strategy Kate has injected a wonderful and positive spin to the monarchy. According to Brewington, Kate and Will only did a few appearances when they were engaged and Kate took a very long time before her first solo appearance. And though Kate, her sister and the rest of her family are in the press nearly everyday but they are pros when it comes to not commenting.

Another thing that has helped contribute to Kate’s “ordinary” image is her impeccable fashion choices. Kate buys off the rack, refuses to take free gowns from designers and actually repeats outfits. Ed Burstell, the managing director for Liberty of London, even called Kate  “the anti-Kardashian.” “There’s nothing trashy or vulgar about her,” said Anna Wintour, the editor of Vogue. “She dresses her age and never looks out of place.” And now our feet will look good and feel better thanks to Kate Middleton. Designer Wes Gordon said, “Catherine’s style — streamlined and seemly almost to a fault — resonates as well with scores of young women who aspire to a classically patrician look but who have, until recently, had few credible role models. To court them, designers must ask themselves, “How do I make elegance relevant to someone who’s young?” To some degree, Kate supplies the answer.” “Chains like Zara, Reiss, Talbots and Topshop cater to a taste for replicKates, as bloggers have called them: pert shirtwaists, lace sheaths and primly tailored coatdresses,” wrote New York Times reporter Ruth La Ferla.

Brewington wrote:

“There is also the power that Kate’s ordinary-girl image has in an age of austerity politics. Britain is in a recession. The coalition government has slashed spending amid a national debate about taxes and lost work ethics. Much has been made of efforts by Prime Minister David Cameron, who was educated at Eton (like Prince William) and Oxford, to portray himself as part of the middle class. Against this backdrop, Kate wins easy points for buying clothes from chain stores (where her choices soon sell out) and living without a butler. She is a rarity today: an appealing face frequently seen but hardly heard. This makes it easy for people to imprint their ideas upon her. It’s why the daughter of self-made millionaires strikes so many people as ordinary.”

The royal family was very much in need of a Kate Middleton.

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