12/17/2012

One door closes for Pippa, another one opens for the Queen

NBC's Today is willing to roll out the red carpet for Pippa Middleton, but apparently only as a guest.

Pippa MiddletonHot on the heels of a report in the Daily Mirror that the Duchess of Cambridge's sister has been offered $600,000 to be the show's royal correspondent in 2013, the network offered a short response to E! News on Monday:

"There has been no such offer made to Pippa Middleton by the Today show. She of course is welcome as a guest on Today anytime."

Notice that the spokesperson specifically disqualifies Today from the Pippa stakes, but not the network itself. Also remember that E! and NBC are owned by the same outfit, NBCUniversal.

With royal news on the rise -- (apparently someone is having a baby early next summer) -- it's no surprise the U.S. networks would be clamouring for some presence on the royal scene. Ever since the royal wedding of 2011, they've discovered a relatively untapped reservoir of viewers eager for some monarch mumblings over their bowl of Wheaties.

The deal as outlined would have required 22 appearances by Pippa on Today, discussing royal comings and goings, but not necessarily reveal any behind-closed-doors news.

It has the potential of being dangerous ground for someone tied in closely with the Royal Family, but the 29-year-old Pippa could do worse than go for a TV job. The underwhelming performance of her first book, Celebrate, ought to convince her that other career options beyond party-planning advice should be considered.

If not NBC, there are others who would surely be interested in a photogenic society gal with more than a passing knowledge of what makes bluebloods tick.

KNOCK-KNOCK ... WHO'S THERE? ... QUEEN ... QUEEN WHO?

It's hard to believe that the Queen has never dropped into 10 Downing Street to sit in on a cabinet meeting once in a while over her 60-year reign. She does, after all, meet the Prime Minister for off-the-record chats at Buckingham Palace on a regular basis.

QueenBut the record is clear ... she has never sat in on a Cabinet meeting. Nor did her father. Or grandfather. In fact, you have to go all the way back to the 19th century and Queen Victoria for the last time a monarch attended an official meeting of Cabinet.

This fact makes Queen Elizabeth's trip to 10 Downing Street on Tuesday rather historic. The Queen will be listed as an "observer" for the Cabinet meeting, sitting beside Prime Minister David Cameron (right) for about a half hour as he steers the ministers through an agenda that, under normal circumstances, has been known to produce raised voices.

On Tuesday, however, it's expected that all with be civil, with the primary reason for the Queen's presence being the presentation of a gift to commemorate the end of her Diamond Jubilee year.

The Queen has remained very arm's-length from the political process, though she has been known to throw out a barb or two. One academic observer has called the idea of the Queen at the Cabinet table as "daft."

"It will mean potentially the Queen will know things she is not supposed to know and hear things she is not supposed to hear," Rodney Barker, a professor of government at the London School of Economics, told the BBC.

At 86 years old and after listening to 12 different prime ministers, we suspect the Queen has heard it all.

Comments

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Barker is barkers with that statement - this is the monarch of the country. Everything the government does - from picking up the trash to sending spies off to do their jobs - is done in her name. If there's anyone who is entitled not to have secrets kept from her, it's the Queen. It's not as if she'd go on Twitter and blab everything. And even if the government does keep secrets from her, it's not as if she's dropping by unannounced.

The Queen's comment on observing her first cabinet meeting, "We were not amused."

I agree with Al. Besides, the Queen could teach a few things to these politicians about dignity, common sense, humility and commitment.

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