If Kate Middleton looks a bit like she’s thinking, “Oh, God, what have I done,” then I think she can be forgiven.

will and kate 161110
Dress-wise, she has nothing to worry about, of course: That looks fabulous on her, and it’s a great color, and of course it very smartly plays off the gigantic sapphire on her ring finger — a ring I know well because my father is British and so we had a TON of random Royal Wedding souvenirs, like a metal wastebasket and serving tray, and the photo book from Chuck & Di’s engagement shoots. So I used to stare at that bauble and covet it and pray that Peter Phillips — at that time the only wee royal I knew of — would grow up to be hot and only interested in marrying an American half-Brit with a knack for picking winners at Ascot. And I certainly don’t fault Kate for what appear to be rather shiny hose, because I’m sure somebody leaned in years ago and whispered, “Now that we are in line to become royal, we oughtn’t expose our leg flesh to the elements.”
I do think that expression is justified, however, if Kate is newly realizing that her face will be plastered all over every souvenir stand in London. Old ladies will be sewing with their fingers jammed in a Middleton thimble, tea will be served over her face, people will throw away all manner of sticky garbage in trash cans on which she is smiling.. the list goes on. And unfortunately for her, the early batch of souvenirs weren’t created with terribly much tender loving care.

Prince William and Kate Middleton officially announce their engagement after having dated for eight years
One wonders if they could have chosen a more boring photo of either of them. William looks like he’s watching a polo match in the distance, and Kate looks like she’s walking down the high street trying to pretend she doesn’t see the photographers tracking her every move. Imagine eating your dinner off that plate (not that you would, but whatever — hell, maybe you WOULD). William is all, “Those sprouts seem a tad underdone,” and Kate appears to be thinking, “MEAT IS MURDER, but don’t you worry about me, Killer, I’ll just be over here minding my own business.” And look at them questioning your choice of tea condiments. Kate is extremely judgy of that extra sugar cube you took.
Prince William and Kate Middleton officially announce their engagement after having dated for eight years
These, though, are fabulously awful. They remind me of a Dynasty plate that my friend Jen gave me, which is a painting of a cast photo, so it’s all soft and forgiving with a touch of crazy (and tinged with lead, as the back cautions me not to eat off it or else I’ll probably die — JUST the way Alexis would’ve wanted it). In fact, these look like stills from some low-budget soap opera shot through a lens with a heavy coat of Vaseline. Thimble 1 is walking down the aisle at her own wedding to a florist, Thimble 2 is just coming out from having done her A-levels and is so happy they’re over, but just as she pops up her head to walk into the pub, she spies her boyfriend snogging her roommate. Thimble 3 was that fated Royal Ascot meet where she got so drunk that she stabbed said boyfriend in the neck with her stiletto, and Thimble 4 is from the same wedding as Thimble 1, but right at the part where people can voice their objections and a man runs in and says she can’t marry Julian because Julian is in love with HIM. All of which are thimbles that probably belong in my house somewhere — perhaps jauntily scattered around my Dynasty plate — but none of which are likely to end up in the Queen’s personal curio cabinet unless she likes to play Smashy-Smashy at night with images of all her children’s/children’s-children’s hussies.