"Always a bridesmaid and never the bride", is a saying that makes no sense to me. It implies that being a bridesmaid is somehow second best to being a bride. Watching the middle-class Middletons unwittingly compete for our attention, it is clear that while the older bride is without doubt the leading lady, her younger sister is proving that bridesmaids have more fun.
Who wants to be sipping sherry at the various trade and industry events set up for the royal couple's upcoming Canadian tour, when you could be fluttering your eyelids at a cheekily sexy, younger prince? Although, as Andrew Morton writes in his article "Kate Middleton at 50...Days That Is", the rumor that Harry and Pippa are secretly dating may be "fanciful", I for one am hoping that the old adage will be true: there is no smoke without fire.
It was the morning after my wedding that the thought crossed my mind that the "supporting cast" of best men and bridesmaids have more fun than the lead roles. Tired and exhausted the morning after a full day of nodding and smiling for Great Aunt Nellie et al, followed by an early start to meet a long-haul honeymoon flight, my groom and I called our respective best men and bridesmaids to hear the gossip about the after party. Well, what an after party it had turned out to be. Shockingly, without the help of the stars of the show! Hanging up from a chorus of cryptic hoots and giggles, we sat in the middle of Heathrow airport feeling like an old married couple.
Over the following hours, coming to terms with missing the drinking games (apparently something to do with using one's glutei maximi as an appendage to pick up, transport and drop coins into a cup) was easy, the hard bit was all the bedroom gymnastics that went on inter siblings and bridal party. The idea of a couple being formed out of two people we had loved independently and who came together as a result of a butt crack coin-athon was both thrilling and frightening. A feeling that Will and Kate may harbor at the idea of a fling between Harry and Pippa.
The concept of the "shadow couple" stealing all the fun is one that Hollywood has played on for years. Think of Meg Ryan and Anthony Edward's "Goose" who stole the relationship thunder from Maverick and Charlie in 'Top Gun. How about Grease's Rizzo and Kenicke, who added some spice to the bland Danny and Sandy? Even Harry and Sally had to play second fiddle for a while to their best friends whom they set up on a date and then who promptly rushed off to get engaged.
So, if the rumor of a shadow royal couple turns to be true, would it be a good thing? From the point of view of the monarchy, it is clearly in their best interests that both shadow siblings are well married. Keeping Pippa within the fold, while simultaneously taming the high-spirited Harry could kill two lovebirds with one stone. One thing is for sure, being each blessed with a twinkly look of mischief in their eye, if Harry and Pippa ever stepped out of the rumor shadow and into the real world it will surely be the ultimate end of one hell of a royal after party.