The casual browser of gossip websites might well conclude that life’s a beach for Pippa Middleton.
Pippa has spent several weeks over the summer on various strips of invitingly white sand around the world, but it was on a family holiday to the Caribbean with her parents and brother, James, that the paparazzi finally caught up with her.
No one likes having their private holiday documented by men with long lenses, but Pippa’s well-publicized dislike of unsolicited photography may have been tempered by the glowing write-ups for her ‘amazing bikini body’ and ‘chiseled abs’ that accompanied pictures of her wearing a red bikini on vacay in St. Barts after they were published in outlets around the world.
And while it would be incorrect to say that Pippa had invited the attention of photographers, who were not tipped off as to her whereabouts, it does appear that after that first set of photographs appeared, Pippa threw caution to the wind.
She was subsequently pictured in an itsy-bitsy blue bikini, paddleboarding through the azure waters in the company of her bearded brother, James.
The pictures were not staged, but Pippa would have known by this time that the paps were on her trail.
So who can blame her if she decided to give them a shot that telegraphed several key messages—she’s a family girl at heart, she likes to be active, even on her holidays, she will experiment with and is able to master fringe sporting activities, and, most importantly of all, she’s trim without being skeletal, healthy without being butch.
Conveniently, this picture of rude good health will do little to harm an impending relaunch of the ever hard-to-define Pippa brand—this time as a health and nutrition expert.
Pippa has been telling friends of late, sources say, that she doesn’t “want to end up like Fergie”—in other words she doesn’t want to live out her days earning a crust simply by trading off her association with royalty.
She is determined that although her first book, Celebrate, a party planning manual, failed to inspire, she will write another book, this time more focused around healthy living, diet, sport, and exercise.
To this end, she is currently doing a course in nutrition and fielding offers of which media outlet to make her home. Rumors abound that she has been offered a tempting deal by one of the biggest British newspapers, but is apparently conflicted about taking their money due to the paper’s sometimes harsh criticism of her and her brother-in-law’s family.
Indeed, Pippa is in the fortunate position of not desperately needing the money. Yes, she lives a high-rolling lifestyle, but much of that—the flat in London, the holidays abroad—is paid for by her parents, Carole and Mike Middleton, the proprietors of a wildly successful party supplies business.
Pippa also writes a column for Vanity Fair, for which she is reportedly paid handsomely, and still contributes to a magazine published by Waitrose supermarket.
However, her parents’ financial support is important for Pippa, especially after her dreams of a mega-bucks deal as a special correspondent with NBC came to naught.
Adding credence to the new rumors that suggest Pippa will soon relaunch herself as a health and fitness guru are the recent extreme fitness challenges which Pippa has undertaken.
Most recently, she competed in the gruelling Safaricom Marathon in Kenya, which she ran to raise money for conservation charity Tusk Trust, of which Harry and Will are both patrons. The marathon is run in high-altitude at more than 5,000 feet. She cycled across America. And next up is the grueling Otillo Swim-Run World Championship in Sweden. This will see Pippa complete a 75-kilometer course (or roughly 46 miles)—of which 10 km are open-water swimming and 65 km are trail-running. The event takes place on Monday and is a dawn-to-dusk affair, ranked as one of the toughest races of its kind in the world.
More perhaps than any other genre of self-help and how-to book, fitness and health books require the audience to utterly buy in to the authenticity of the writer.
Industry sources said that part of the reason her book Celebrate failed was because audiences couldn’t connect with Pippa, didn’t have a clear idea who Pippa was. Yes, sure, she had a nice butt, and she looked good at her sister’s wedding, but nothing more was known about her. Clarence House’s refusal to allow her to be interviewed to promote the book didn’t help.
The paparazzi shots of her paddle boarding and competing in these events might just be part of a broader strategy to let the world know a bit more about her—without having to annoy the palace by breaking their requested omerta. It could just be that Pippa, like many a celebrity before her, has decided, albeit reluctantly, that if she is going to be tailed by the paparazzi it might just be possible to exploit some elements of that unfortunate situation to her advantage.