Perusing my web browser newsfeeds, my eye was caught by the headline ‘Kate Middleton shows off her incredible book collection’, courtesy of Hello Magazine. Always happy to look at photos of easy-on-the-eye Kate Middleton, I turned to the article curious to discover what treasures had been collected by this somewhat unlikely bibliophile. Given that she had read the history of art at university, and ‘studied’ at the British Institute of Florence, her books might reveal a cultivated taste, perhaps an early edition of John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice, or Sachie Sitwell’s Southern Baroque Art – a must for all aesthetes. Or if not that, then at least some unexpected facet of her life or interests. After all, one of life’s minor pleasures is visiting someone’s house for the first time and getting a window on their soul through the books they have collected.
To my delight, the books, slightly downgraded to ‘impressive’ in the first paragraph, were nothing of the sort, but a job lot of Penguin Clothbound Classics, ‘each individually designed’ (that’s the important point), stacked neatly together on an exquisite desk, on which Kate, dressed in a luscious peach top, silky hair perfectly fixed, complexion peaches and cream, leant while answering the phone. Hello magazine helpfully informs us that they retail at £11 each, or if you buy them in a bundle of three, £33.
Well, what did we expect – Kate in an old shirt, hair tied back, with a fag in her mouth, pen in hand, surrounded by dusty old tomes piled high, deep in thought? I for one love Kate just as she is.
Hello magazine rose to the occasion and announced that the rare photo of Kate at her desk would delight both ‘royal fans and avid readers’. Well, I am delighted. There’s no doubt about it. Our Royals are a priceless national treasure. And you never know. With even the Royals locking down, Kate might even get to read one of those wretched Penguin classics.