Ever since the happy news of Pippa Middleton's engagement to hedge fund manager James Matthews broke last summer, speculation about Which designer will Pippa wear to walk down the aisle? Will Prince Harry be invited? And most importantly, will her older sister Kate Middleton be a bridesmaid?
Now, it's been confirmed by Kensington Palace that yes, Prince Harry will be in attendance (though it's looking likely that Meghan Markle has not received a wedding invite) and Prince George and Princess Charlotte will play a role in proceedings as page boy and bridesmaid. Too cute.
It seems, however, that in accordance with previous speculation, Kate Middleton will not be taking on bridesmaid or maid of honour duties for her younger sister.
At the time of Pippa's engagement, the Duchess of Cambridge was said to be 'absolutely delighted' by the news, but one royal commentator also explained why our hopes of seeing Kate as maid of honour were unlikely to ever come true. Sigh...
Speaking to People magazine, author and royal correspondent Judy Wade asserted that 'Kate would upstage her sister. It's a tricky situation for Pippa. She would want her sister by her sister, as who else would she trust to make things go well?
'But if your sister is a future Queen, she is going to upstage the bride and draw attention. Kate would want to be in the background as much as possible.'
Of course, Pippa will know only too well that the members of her bridal party will face a certain level of public scrutiny - the younger Middleton sister found herself in the spotlight after Kate's 2011 wedding to Prince William, thanks to a certain Alexander McQueen bridesmaid dress. And whether Kate is a bridesmaid or not, there will be reporters and royal watchers alike pouring over everything from her hair to her choice of shoes (will she ditch those L.K. Bennett courts to mark the occasion?)
However, while these speculations are, well, entirely speculative, we can't help feeling a little depressed at the insinuation that the two sisters will somehow be vying for attention on Pippa's big day. It's the classic narrative of sisters - and female friends, and female colleagues... - always competing to boot one another out of the spotlight, with one fighting to be the 'better' woman than the other. It's writ large in all the headlines proclaiming that 'the bridesmaid is finally becoming the bride!'
Would Wills be accused of hogging the limelight if Harry were to get married (hi, Harry!) and choose his brother as best man? We're going to guess not - instead, everyone would be talking about how sweet it was for the two brothers to support one other. More pressingly, will Spencer Matthews be found guilty of edging attention away from his brother James? Again, we're guessing not - not unless he decides to sport one of those godawful baker boy hats he favoured in early seasons of Made In Chelsea during the ceremony.
We do admit, though, that we'd be likely to get a little distracted if we saw George and Charlotte totter down the aisle. Please don't judge us...
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