The comments that Pippa Middleton has made about fame in her first book are making headlines, but the biggest news may be that there are apparently not going to be any author interviews.
Since the book was first announced, there has been intense media speculation about which media outlet would land the first interview with Pippa, who became an overnight celebrity when her sister Kate married the future King of England.
But fame is a tricky issue when you’re connected to the royal family – as Pippa herself points out in her book, which is about party planning.
“It is a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that’s the right word) before the age of 30, on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom,” she writes, the last reference being to the attention that was focused on her rear figure in the Alexander McQueen/Sarah Burton dress she wore at her sister’s royal wedding.
“One day, I might be able to make sense of this,” she writes in the book, called Celebrate, which is being published this week in the U.K.
“In the meantime I think it’s fair to say that it has its upside and its downside,” Pippa writes in excerpts published in the Daily Mail over the weekend. “I certainly have opportunities many can only dream of – but in most ways I’m a typical girl in her 20s trying to forge a career and represent herself in what can sometimes seem rather strange circumstances.”
Like the strange circumstance of an author – a massive celebrity, paid an advance said to be £400,000 ($640,000) and backed by the publicity and marketing resources of a major publisher – who is apparently unable to do intensely sought-after interviews.
The British press has reported that the royal family and the Middleton sisters were concerned about the impact that interviews might have on the royals.
“The last thing the palace, or indeed Pippa, wants is for interviews about her book to be turned into an interrogation about William and Kate’s private lives,” the Express cited a source as saying.
Pippa turned down interview requests, reports the Daily Mail, “after discussions with Kate.”
The paper quoted “a source close to the future Queen’s sister” as saying: “Pippa has always known that she had to handle this deal carefully for fear of causing embarrassment to her sister and at a very early stage ruled out the possibility of doing any interviews in print or on television as she knows all anyone will want to do is ask her about William and Catherine.”
The no-interview policy covers the U.S. as well, where the book is being published on Oct. 30. There were reports of epic booking battles whose combatants include Oprah Winfrey, Barbara Walters and the morning shows.
“Everyone is going after Pippa but no one is having any joy,” a “well-placed” TV source told the Express. “She is the interview that everyone wants but no one is able to get.”
In other royal-related news about Pippa Middleton and her new book:
• Even though Pippa may not be doing any one-on-one interviews, the Daily Mail is reporting that there are plans for public appearances and book signings at bookstores before Christmas. Pippa, a source told the Mail, “does need to sell the book and is more than willing to roll up her sleeves and get stuck in.” The Mail didn’t specify whether any of those appearances would be in the U.S.
• The Daily Mail is also reporting that Pippa has organized a “lavish” launch party for Celebrate. Royal sources are telling the paper that Kate is not likely to be there but could change her mind “at the last minute.” One source said that the Duchess “is incredibly supportive of what her sister is doing.”
• So there may be some disappointment that there isn’t going to be a Pippa interview, at least not on the immediate horizon. But there are some observers who point out that she’s actually already given her first interview, even though it definitely wasn’t a sit-down. After competing in a Swedish charity skiing competition in March, Pippa was approached by an intrepid interviewer. She didn’t seem too enthusiastic about it, but she did reply to a few innocuous questions with innocuous answers.