Pippa given the royal security treatment for book launch
Pippa Middleton has been dubbed "Her Royal Hotness," but certainly nobody thinks that nickname actually makes her royal. Or do they?
You have to wonder after a report in the Daily Mail that two officers from the royal protection branch of Scotland Yard did security sweeps of the London bookstore before the Duchess of Cambridge's younger sister had her much publicized book launch this week.
Royal protection is already a touchy subject in Britain, where more than a $150 million a year is spent on protecting about 20 members of the Royal Family. Scotland Yard is under pressure to cut its budget and devoting 400 officers to royal protection strikes many as extravagant.
The Middleton family is clearly outside the royal circle in terms of security perks. Scotland Yard has said so time and time again. When, as reported, two officers in plainclothes showed up a day before the book launch and again an hour before Pippa arrived, the optics don't look good.
It might have been that Prince William and Kate would show up in support of Pippa, but it was pretty clear that was never going to be the case. As much as she might have wanted to, Kate is well aware that she cannot appear to be endorsing her sister's profit-making venture. She and William were supposedly at their home in Wales at the same time Pippa was getting "Celebrate" off the ground.
There's no doubt the Middleton family, and especially Pippa, has had cause to worry about their security since the royal wedding. Penguin, Pippa's publisher, realized this too, and hired security services for her at the launch.
But why the extra royal touch?
The former head of Royalty Protection, Dai Davies, told the Mail that it was "extremely unusual" for Pippa to get royal help unless there was threat, or there was chance Duchess Kate would change her mind and show up.
"However, it does set a worrying precedent," he said. "And you have to ask where it all stops."