In one of the most bizarre cases of royal selling-out ever seen, Pippa Middleton has signed a deal to pen a column – entitled, excruciatingly, “Pippa’s Friday Night Feasts” - for a British supermarket’s in-house magazine.
True, the supermarket in question is Waitrose, Britain’s poshest, where Tony Blair used to get his groceries, but still.
Of course, Royals have been publishing books for donkey’s years, and while the occasional comment piece by Prince Charles about where he gets his suits is unlikely to provoke any ire, this is a slightly different deal, and one which will raise eyebrows at the palace, where the young royals have been noted for their Olympian self-control in accepting no freebies.
Pippa was banned by the palace from promoting her recent book on entertaining, and forced to decline an opportunity to be an NBC special correspondent.
Waitrose magazine makes a poor consolation prize indeed.
But the Royalist has some sympathy. What else is Pippa supposed to do? Her association with the royal family has made her virtually unemployable in any normal job. At least as a writer she can work from home and make an income while she waits to be whisked off her feet by a rich young lord.
You can almost hear the phone conversation, can’t you? “Well, it’s alright for you, Kate…”
The new column inevitably raises the unwelcome prospect of Pippa being ‘news’ every month, as each time her recipes are produced they will likely be parsed by the British media for references to her family which can be spun into stories.
The columns are also likely to be pilloried online, proving a gift for spoofers like @pippatips, who was fast out of the traps with: "Supermarkets do not wear capes and rescue people, but they are good places to buy groceries and pick up helpful magazines."
Her column will first appear in the April issue of the title, on sale in Waitrose from 28th March, and will feature casual dining ideas and recipes.
William Sitwell, editor of Waitrose Kitchen, said, “Pippa will be an excellent contributor to the magazine, bringing with her a wealth of experience of entertaining, gained in part from working at her family's party business. Readers will love her relaxed and easy entertaining ideas which will help with the preparation for all sorts of occasions”.
Pippa’s “here’s one I made earlier” quote reads: “I'm delighted to be writing for Waitrose Kitchen, a magazine that's always been a source of inspiration to me, for its extensive spectrum of food and beautiful style. My column, ‘Pippa’s Friday Night Feasts’ will be an exciting opportunity to share my own passion and enthusiasm for food and entertaining and I can't wait to get started.”
Sixty years and hardly a slip.