A deep collective breath is perhaps needed. Pippa Middleton’s identification with firearms last weel, thanks to the somewhat incautious actions of friend Romain Rabillard, has led many to predict that her fledging career in the public eye is already over. Like her sister, runs the thinking, Middleton’s image relies on propriety- all 3 Middleton siblings have a tidy line in British demureness and easy class (bum jokes aside, that is). Now she’s been seen with a gun-toting aristocrat, speeding down a Paris Rue (or possible Avenue) to what the media must assume was some kind of hedonistic love-fest, we’ll all fall out of love with her. I cannot imagine this being the case.
Unquestionably, she’s damaged a previously untarnished image. However, if recent public opinion surrounding the Royals shows us anything, it’s that this is no longer a family (or extended family) you can write off at the drop of a hat. Besides, whatever becomes of Pippa, it’s highly unlikely that such an affair would do much to worry the custodians of the Royal Brand, who keep their charges in a very different space.
It seems like no time at all since we saw Harry splashed all over the papers, dressed in an SS uniform, stumbling out of a party. I wonder how all the commentators who wrote him off then felt when they saw the almost sickeningly adoring coverage around his recent meeting with Usain Bolt. Probably as gobsmacked as the rest of us, to be fair.
Undoubtedly, Pippa will have learned a hard lesson- when you’re associated with the Royals, you’re damned whatever you do, and you’re judged by the company you keep. However, I’d say this lesson comes at an opportune time. Still in the first flush of fame, this episode should teach Pippa how to begin thinking of herself as a brand. The key now will be for her to think about what she represents, move away from the users and hangers on who inevitably attach themselves to the newly famous and begin considering the serious commercial applications of her brand I’m sure remain just around the corner.