Pippa perched on top of media charts
Pippa Middleton in her bridesmaid dress started it all, according to media analysts. (Getty Images)
Kate and William celebrate their one-month wedding anniversary on Sunday, but it’s Pippa Middleton who is still enjoying honeymoon status.
The royal bridesmaid has vaulted over her sister to the top of the media watch list in the last few weeks, according to the latest statistics from Kantar Media Intelligence. While Kate was off in the Seychelles with her prince, Pippa's popularity peaked, with more than 60 stories broadcast or written last week in the British press alone.
"It comes as no surprise that Kate's media profile rose to such heights immediately before and after the royal wedding,” Brian Merron of Kantar Media Intelligence told the Telegraph. "But it's fascinating to see the post-wedding emergence of her sister Pippa in the UK media.
"Her rise has been meteoric, to the extent that two weeks after the wedding Pippa overtakes Kate in our media survey.”
Since then there has been a stream of both naughty and admiring stories of her exploits, from topless sunbathing shots, to porn movie offers, to websites devoted to her backside, to paparazzi gatherings simply to snap her walking down the street. The tabloid press has been on full Pippa Alert and there are unconfirmed reports that Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey are wrestling over putting her on U.S. TV.
"It's all about that bridesmaid's dress. She just looked stunning," Joe Sene, head of U.K. editorial at the Splash news and picture agency, told AFP in explaining her appeal.
"Kate's now married and so Pippa is the available Middleton sister, as well as being a slightly sassier version."
All that may not sit well with her boyfriend, former cricket player Alex Loudon, but so far the 27-year-old Pippa hasn’t exactly shied away from camera view.
"Pippa's strikingly attractive. She's a bit of a socialite, she's out with the right sort of people and that makes her interesting," said Phil Hall, former editor of Hello! magazine.
Still, Pippa appears to at least keep up the appearance of a working girl. She continues to toil in the party planning business while taking on a second job working with a geothermal energy firm run by a former boyfriend.
There’s no doubt the public’s appetite for the new Duchess of Cambridge will keep growing (witness the shopping frenzy when she wore a Reiss dress to meet the Obamas), but Kate is now in the Royal Family inner circle, where much publicity is carefully crafted.
That’s not so with Pippa, and the intense media attention isn’t likely to wane anytime soon, in spite of formal complaints that have been lodged by the Middleton family to the UK's Press Complaints Commission.
"With the media focus now moving on from the newlyweds, it's safe to say that Pippa Middleton's celebrity status is well and truly set to climb and climb," said Merron.