Liz Smith: “Commoner” Kate Weds Her Man (But Don’t Relax — Gossips Will Have Them Separated by Monday).
“BEING A princess isn’t all it’s cracked up to be,” said Diana, Princess of Wales as her “fairytale” marriage to Prince Charles unraveled before our stunned eyes.
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WELL, THAT was Diana’s story, and she stuck to it till the bitter, tragic car-crash end in a Paris tunnel — divorced, stripped of her HRH, without adequate protection, a reckless lover by her side, a drunken driver in the front seat, chased down by the paparazzi.
But today, Kate Middleton, of coal-mining stock, will become the “first commoner to marry into royalty in three hundred years.” (Actually, the late beloved Queen Mum, Elizabeth Angela Marguerite, though daughter of an Earl, wasn’t of royal blood; therefore, she was common. Well, that explains the hats!) Indeed, anybody below the rank of peer — i.e. Duke, Marquis, Earl, Viscount or Baron is deemed common. So, let’s just say Kate is the first coal miner’s great-great-granddaughter to marry a prince.
Kate is 29 to Diana’s 19 at the time of “Shy Di’s” nuptials. Middleton and Diana’s son William have lived together, off and on, for about seven years. She does not have to go her wedding bed a virgin, or even a woman who has known but one man (William.)
Kate is a beauty, and a tough cookie. The latter quality, Diana never quite mastered. She could be clever and manipulative, bright, sensitive, spoiled and endlessly giving; an emotional roller coaster with an eye ever fixed on the press that slavishly followed her every move. But she wasn’t tough.
Like Marilyn Monroe, who also died at 36 in the hot month of August, there was something fragile about Diana — the public sensed that for all the glitter and gleam, there was little to envy in her life. Except perhaps her two beautiful sons. (And unlike Monroe, Diana openly discussed her many issues. We found out about most of Monroe’s torments after she was gone.)
I’m sure what with the media-created frenzy over the latest royal wedlock, enough millions will tune in to watch the proceedings, to make the endless airtime devoted to the event worthwhile.
I wish Kate and William good luck. It’s not an easy life, despite the luxury. One is bound by a duty and fate that is inescapable — certainly for William and his brother, Harry. Kate has made a choice, with plenty of compromises. But they are starting from a much better place than did Diana and Charles. In the first place, they seem truly devoted. (Devotion aside, Kate has removed the word “obey” from her marriage vows. You go, girl!)
So long as Kate doesn’t suddenly discover that, “from the beginning, there were three of us in the marriage” as Diana famously confessed to Martin Bashir.
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P.S. In the face of the devastating tornadoes that have taken at least 250 American lives and will cost billions of American dollars to rebuild and recuperate, will any news outlet “man up” and cover that story today, rather than showing an endless loop of Kate and William, being worshipped?
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HMMM …. did one of our favorites, Jennifer Aniston, take the advice we dished out a while back? Get out of Los Angeles and away from the relentless, often negative vibe of a town invested only in celebrity, Starbucks, fashions and the red carpet. Come to New York, we said. Get a nifty apartment. Steep yourself in the cultural life of the greatest city in the world. Go onstage!
Well, the Daily News has reported that Aniston closed on a West Village apartment. Two apartments, actually. She intends to create a duplex.
We welcome Miss Aniston with open arms. New York is full of life, energy, art, music, fascinating people — a few of them are even men. And it’s a great place to re-invent oneself.
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THE FOX Movie Channel has been running a lot of “Cleopatra,” the movie that almost sank the studio, back in the early 1960’s. Contrary to rumor, the film with Liz n’ Dick (and Rex Harrison) made a bundle at the box office. It just couldn’t recoup the then-astronomical sum of $40 million dollars!
FMC has also been airing one of Elizabeth Taylor’s latter-day oddities, “The Bluebird.” This very expensive Russian/American collaboration, released in 1976 was a real bomb. But it’s fascinating today to watch Elizabeth, Ava Gardner, Jane Fonda, and Cicley Tyson do what they can with the antiquated material and look at the Russian sets that appear to be made of cardboard, in New Jersey.
One wonders if the big musical number between Elizabeth and Ava, cut from the final print, might be found, now that there is renewed interest in all things Elizabeth. It was a hoot! (Hell, people are still searching for the lost three hours of “Cleo”—Joe Mankewicz had intended his epic as a two-parter. But Fox had had enough and slashed the film to a cumbersome three hours.)
Oh, and as to the rumors of a 14-year-old Elizabeth giving up a baby born out of out of wedlock. Really? The girl was one of MGM’s most promising properties. Even if she’d become pregnant — as if her mother ever left her alone long enough for such a dalliance! — the studio would have arranged an abortion. Elizabeth herself admitted the driving reasons she rushed into marriage with Nicky Hilton was to escape her parents and … have sex!
But expect plenty more of this kind of thing now that La Liz is in that big Chasen’s in the sky, ordering endless bowls of chili, and a lot of cold beer.