It was the derrière that launched a thousand photos. As she carried the brides train up the steps of Westminster Abbey on April 29,2011,no one could have predicted younger sister Pippa Middletons sheathed bottom would steal the show from Kates veiled face.
Pippas Facebook fan page was joined by a second one devoted entirely to her rear (both still have more than 200,000 likes). A documentary called Crazy About Pippa followed,as did hordes of Pippa-mad paparazzi.
Flash forward,and Pippas press is now decidedly different. Does Pippa Dress in the Dark? asked The Daily Mail recently,comparing her clothing to potato sacks and her lolling breasts to spaniels ears. The two-page spread criticised everything from her fascinator to her footwear. Only the final imageof Pippas pert backside from the weddingwas flattering,though the caption was anything but. So much promise,it read,So little delivery.
But Pippas problems stem less from her wardrobe than how she has spent her time these last two years. Apart from being aunt to Britains future king,she now has a new identity: that of author and columnist on food,party planning and general merriment.
She is not a cook,not a writer and has not really done anything but get this all off the back of her sister, said Ingrid Seward,editor of Majesty magazine,which covers royal families.
Camilla Tominey,the royal editor for The Sunday Express,said,She may have seemed like a shrinking violet,but she is not. She has to make a living,and this is her found fame.
But does Pippa,29,really need to earn her keep? The Middleton parents mail-order supplies business,Party Pieces,was estimated to be worth $45 million. Family inheritance has also reportedly helped the Middletons with the purchase of an 18-acre manor and a $1.2 million apartment that Pippa and her younger brother,James,now occupy in London.
Like Kate,Pippa worked for her parents business following college,in her case editing the company newsletter,Party Times,which she still writes for. She also worked for Table Talk,a London-based events company.
Pippas problems began after her sisters wedding. Rather than becoming one of Kates ladies-in-waiting,she received a deal from Penguin for $600,000 to write Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends. The book covered how to host everything from high tea to a camping trip,complete with the history behind British rituals such as Bonfire night.
Criticised by reviewers for being overly simplistic with tips (tea bags should go in teapot); childrens sack races (put both legs in a sack); and even ice preparation (fill trays with water),it seemed to fuel more jokes than book sales,selling just over 2,000 copies in the first week.
And then she replaced Delia as a columnist for Waitroses magazine! Seward said,in outrage.
Delia Smith,now 72,is a beloved national figure in the British cooking world. Waitrose,until this year published a column by Smith in their magazine. Though technically Pippa did not oust Delia,the news that Pippa had been hired by the magazine more than
upset Delia fans.
As William Hanson,royal commentator,put it,Replacing Delia with Pippa is like replacing the Queen with Kim Kardashian.
But furthering her fortunes,in June,Vanity Fair announced that they had hired Pippa as a contributing editor. Shes a keen observer of classic British pastimes, Graydon Carter,the magazines editor,was quoted saying.
But her first dispatch did not exactly prove fascinating reading. Writing on Wimbledon,she gave advice on everything from how to handle the weather (Prepare for surprises) to measuring the audiences enthusiasm (The crowd is enjoying the match if the wave starts).