Seconds after Philippa Middleton emerged from the Rolls-Royce that carried her to the site of William and Kate's nuptials, social-media sites lit up with praise for the 27-year-old sister of the bride. The maid of honor looked stunning in an ivory gown by Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, the same designer who dressed Kate.
If the Internet is a reliable guide--which, of course, it often is not--many among the multitude around the world watching the wedding on TV thought that Pippa, someone they had barely heard of before the ceremony, had stolen the show. That was an ambition Britain's snarky media have attributed to the younger of the Middleton girls with increasing regularity, not to say venom. In the words of London's Daily Mail, "Weather girls, Hollywood starlets, Oscar nominees and potential Prime Ministers have looked less comfortable than she posing for the camera on the publicity circuit."
That is the sort of nasty attack that others--including Kate Middleton herself--who have become celebs in Britain have often had to endure. Pippa, who, like her sister, has worked for her parents' party-planning company, Party Pieces, and started her own spin-off website, did indeed look comfortable in the spotlight. But she came across as graceful, not grasping, carrying Kate's train, not riding on her coattails. It was a first impression that is sure to last.