Can the Duchess of Cambridge cope with Meghan mania? AMANDA PLATELL asks if William's wife is feeling overshadowed as she contrasts low-key Kate's charity visit with the new Royal box office star
Kate was her usual charming and highly competent self, chatting to youngsters and lending support to a charity associated with the museum.
But I couldn't help noticing that, having been terribly poorly again with her third pregnancy, Kate looked tired.?
Her blue-and-white frock was pretty but mumsy, as if it had come from a 1989 Laura Ashley catalogue.
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On the day Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced the wonderful news of their engagement, his sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge (pictured), was making a low-key visit to a museum
This was a far cry from the bedazzling Meghan in the grounds of Kensington Palace wearing a chic white coat — the garment sold out in minutes and the designer's website crashed — which accentuated her gym-toned slim figure as her mane of black hair shone in the winter sun.
Asked about the engagement, Kate said she and William were 'absolutely thrilled' and — in somewhat stilted language — wished the couple 'all the best and hope they enjoy this happy moment'. Her mood seemed flat.
Yes, she was tired from her pregnancy. And who would blame her if she felt some apprehension at Meghan's whirlwind appearance on her turf?
For this week we've seen the arrival of a new fairytale princess: Meghan the TV star, humanitarian, fighter for women's rights, champion of the impoverished, icon of inclusiveness.?
It is not just that Meghan — eloquent and supremely confident in front of the TV cameras — is now going to grab the fashion headlines. Her emergence changes the family dynamic.
Until now it's always been William and Kate, the star couple, alongside the slightly forlorn singleton, Harry.
This was a far cry from the bedazzling Meghan (pictured) in the grounds of Kensington Palace wearing a chic white coat — the garment sold out in minutes and the designer's website crashed — which accentuated her gym-toned slim figure as her mane of black hair shone in the winter sun
They were the three musketeers fighting for the causes they cherished in tribute to the boys' mother: the homeless, mentally ill, those affected by land mines, children suffering from HIV.
The irony is that Kate and Meghan have a great deal in common — both are strong, beautiful women from ordinary backgrounds who set their cap at a prince and won his heart.
But, as yesterday's hugely successful walkabout in Nottingham showed, Meghan for now is the box office royal.?
Witness how she and Harry were utterly at ease with the crowd, high-fiving, hugging, happy and relaxed.
I hesitate to say this, but they made William and Kate look a mite formal and po-faced in comparison.
Yes, Meghan mania is here. And Kate may have difficulty coping with it. Whether the Diana-style adulation these young women receive is good for them, their families or the long-term health of the Royal Family is another matter altogether.
Bringing up the rear?
Rumours abound that tennis champ Serena Williams — she's 'besties' with the bride — will be chief bridesmaid at Meghan and Harry's wedding at St George's Chapel in Windsor next year.?
First Pippa Middleton's derriere stole the show at Kate's wedding in 2011 — and now Serena may well be in line to win the rear of the year title.?
Rumours abound that tennis champ Serena Williams (pictured) — she's 'besties' with the bride — will be chief bridesmaid at Meghan and Harry's wedding at St George's Chapel in Windsor next year
After Bake Off's Paul Hollywood separated from his wife, it is revealed, he began a close friendship with a barmaid three decades his junior as his marriage was falling apart.?
How crumby can you get??
After Bake Off's Paul Hollywood (pictured) separated from his wife, it is revealed, he began a close friendship with a barmaid three decades his junior as his marriage was falling apart
One loan too many??
Students are still angry that Bath University's departing vice-chancellor is getting such a golden goodbye.?
Dame Glynis Breakwell will receive her outrageous ￡468,000 salary until February 2019, taking six months' sabbatical on full pay.
There is also disquiet over an interest-free ￡31,000 loan to buy a car which has been wrapped into her leaving package.
What puzzles me is why anyone earning nearly half a million pounds a year needs a loan to buy a car.
Dame Glynis Breakwell (pictured) will receive her outrageous ￡468,000 salary until February 2019, taking six months' sabbatical on full pay
?Nigella's ex goes under the grill
The divine Nigella Lawson has been attacked for the simplicity of her recipes in her BBC 2 series At My Table.?
Her latest offering, French toast, had viewers asking what next — Nigella showing us how to make Pot Noodles?
Too cruel . .. Perhaps she's sending a subliminal message to her advertising tycoon ex, Charles Saatchi.
She let slip once that he hated her fancy food and was happiest tucked up in bed with her, watching a movie — and eating, you've guessed it, French toast.
The divine Nigella Lawson (pictured) has been attacked for the simplicity of her recipes in her BBC 2 series At My Table
It's not often we look to Boy George for contemporary wisdom, but even the gay icon has said it's time to stop calling people 'gender fluid' or 'non-binary' rather than straight, gay or bisexual.?
He says there are far too many labels now for sexuality and gender, adding: 'I'm kind of like: how many flavours can there be??
'There's boys and girls and there's people that like both. What else is there?'
It's not often we look to Boy George (pictured) for contemporary wisdom, but even the gay icon has said it's time to stop calling people 'gender fluid' or 'non-binary' rather than straight, gay or bisexual
How upsetting to read that two specially trained Belgian Shepherd dogs who performed heroically sniffing out explosives in Afghanistan and saved many of our soldiers are to be put down next week after army chiefs ruled that they can't be rehomed.
Former SAS sergeant Andy McNab has launched an online petition in support of nine-year-olds Kevin and Dazz: 'Save our veteran dogs.'
And we should. To adapt a slogan we see so often at this time of year, a dog is not just for Afghanistan — it's for life.
Jay-Z's crazy logic has a moral for us all?
In the Hollywood lexicon of excuses for having affairs, Beyonce's husband Jay-Z has come up trumps. He's blamed his cheating on a dysfunctional childhood.
'So you gonna shut down emotionally, so you can't connect,' he says. 'Like it's deep. Then all the things happen from there: infidelity.'
A medal to Beyonce for staying with him. At least the rapper appears to be realising their three children and nine-year marriage are at stake.
In the Hollywood lexicon of excuses for having affairs, Beyonce's (pictured) husband Jay-Z (pictured) has come up trumps. He's blamed his cheating on a dysfunctional childhood
'Most people walk away and, like, the divorce rate is 50 per cent or something, 'cos most people can't see themselves,' he says in tortured English.
I imagine he's trying to say he wants save his marriage — and that he, Beyonce and the kids will all be having a happy Christmas together as a family.
Sharon Osbourne — who made millions on TV shows such as The X Factor — says too many Britons are out of touch and have no connection with normal folk.
In 2016 she spent ￡9 million on an LA mansion, having forgiven husband Ozzy for his latest affair. Talk about an X Factor for self-delusion.
Sharon Osbourne (pictured second left)— who made millions on TV shows such as The X Factor — says too many Britons are out of touch and have no connection with normal folk
How disappointing that beleaguered Theresa May turned up in Iraq to honour our troops wearing trainers and jeans.?
She should take a leaf out of Lady T's book, who, facing deep unpopularity in 1986, was pictured in a tank, flying the flag, with goggles and a dashing scarf.?
She went on to win the next election with a stonking 42.2 per cent majority of the vote.
After Jeremy Corbyn = appeared on the cover of GQ magazine, its editor, Dylan Jones, said he and his entourage were more difficult than a Hollywood diva.
After Jeremy Corbyn appeared on the cover of GQ magazine, its editor, Dylan Jones, said he and his entourage were more difficult than a Hollywood diva.?
Young Corbyn fans on his staff said afterwards they were 'underwhelmed' by the man who would be PM, who couldn't even recall a single book he'd read.?
Dare we hope the penny's beginning to drop about this vain, low-grade politician who is determined to ruin our country?
I have great sympathy for the lady in the Question Time audience who suffered an asthma attack and brought the BBC1 show to an early end last week.
It was triggered by sitting next to a man using strong aftershave. Now she knows how we panellists feel alongside David Dimbleby. He's no slouch when it comes to splashing on the cologne.
A curious prayer?
An Anglican minister says we Christians should pray that Prince George, four, is gay — to make the Church more inclusive.
The Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, who runs St Mary's Cathedral in Glasgow, said if the future monarch and head of the Church were one day 'blessed with the love of a fine young gentleman', it would force the Church to allow gay couples to wed.
No doubt he'll soon be asking us to see Christ as transgender — well, he did have very long hair.
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