Following today's breathless media coverage of Prince William's engagement to Kate Middleton, PR boss Nina Webb tells us what the royally happy couple can expect as they prepare for their wedding in the glare of the world's media.
There are more than 120 of today's national newspaper pages devoted to the news that Kate Middleton said ‘I Will’.
The country desperately needed a ray of sunshine amid all the doom and gloom, and Prince William has just handed it to the press on a silver plate. And of course, provided a much-needed sales spinner for a national media down on its luck and desperate to stem the downward flow of circulation figures.
Expect a host of speculation to follow. What will she wear? When will the wedding be? Where will it be? How soon till they have children? Who will be his best man? How will Kate handle the media? They’ll all be vying for their own special take.
Without a doubt, they’re going to try and turn our Kate into the new Diana.
I just hope the Royals don’t turn this into the PR fiasco that placed a black cloud permanently over Diana’s head. I hope they let Katherine be Kate. That’s why she’s so popular. She’s a normal girl, albeit staunchly middle-class, who wears leggings and has a soupcon of the common touch. She’s very real, and that’s her essence.
We don’t want well-scripted PR speeches about the legacy of Diana and how she has inherited her mantle. We want Kate to say what she thinks and to be able to live her own life.
The media agenda will be vastly different from what we want, of course. The papers smell a sales renaissance and will do whatever it takes to get the scoop. They’ll put Kate on a Queen Katherine-sized pedestal and then take shots at her and every aspect of her new life.
The wedding itself will be the biggest media event the world has seen since Diana’s untimely death. They’ll be second-guessing every aspect of the big day. Being first is everything for the media right now, even if that means being wrong.
Sarah Ferguson will no doubt be foaming at the mouth with the financial opportunities she’ll be presented as a commentator for the occasion.
I expect Oprah to demand an audience too. And the national press will greedily gobble up every word.
And of course - every brand in the land will make their own special tribute to the loving couple. Cue Wills n Kate Love Hearts, teddy bears, breakfast cereals, hats (Kiss Me Kate?), toilet seats, bedding, even cheese. The mind boggles.
When William asked Kate to marry him, he did it out of love. The rest is just business.
Nina Webb is the owner of Manchester PR agency Brazen