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Celebrate Is an Insight into The Duchess of Cambridge as Well as Pippa

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



It was my birthday just this past week, and I want to thank everyone who sent birthday wishes my way via Facebook and Twitter!  I was very touched and each one brightened my day just that much more! I was very excited to receive Pippa Middleton's Celebrate as a gift from my parents!  I know I am way late to the game on this one, but life has been busy. It was on my list of books to buy.

I LOVE it. Pippa has broken up the book into sections by season, and highlights classic British holidays or parties. This book received a lot of flak, but frankly, after paging through it I can only assume the bad reviews were based on the deeper prejudice against the Middletons. Pippa gives plenty of simple tips that may be easy, but in most cases were things I hadn't thought of. She provides plenty of instruction if you want to follow her plan to the letter, but the book is also a great source of inspiration if you use it as a platform from which to create a more personalized event.  

I also enjoyed the insight into Pippa as a person and into her family life, which ultimately is also a little window into who the private Kate Cambridge really is. Pippa begins the introduction with, "It’s a bit startling to achieve global recognition (if that’s the right word) before the age of thirty, on account of your sister, your brother-in-law and your bottom." She goes on to comment that this kind of unusual celebrity has its ups and downs, but she honestly--and I believe humbly--points out that one of the positive sides was the opportunity to indulge her creative side and publish Celebrate

She gives a recipe for a rum punch she calls Mustique and mentions that the rum used on the Middleton's holiday island of choice is 80-proof Sunset rum.  She reminisces on memories of creeping up the stairs with a breakfast tray for her mother with her brother and sister as they stifle excited giggles, her memories of vacations in the Lake District, and her grandmother's signature dessert.  Obviously the sister she refers to is Kate, and these childhood memories are ones the girls share. Perhaps this is why the palace put the kibash on a follow up book, it really is a very intimate window into the early and very private life of the Duchess of Cambridge. 

The book is full of pictures of Pippa, all of which I loved, and some of the dresses and outfits she has been spotted around London make it into the photo shoots, including the red Issa that Kate also has in black, and the gorgeous dress Pippa wore to Ascot this year.  

The Daily Beast had a very interesting piece that highlighted how Celebrate, despite some bad press, was actually a commercial success, and that Pippa continues to "shift product." 
The papers can slam her all they like, but for now, at least, the public still wants to hear what she has to say, even if that is only how to make crispy duck pancakes or what to wear at Wimbledon, and it is the much-mocked Pippa—and her employers—who is having the last laugh.
I am disappointed that there won't be a follow up book, but it has wet my appetite to try and get a hold of some of Pippa's other ventures in Vanity Fair, Waitrose, and now the Telegraph. I found her absolutely charming and there is no one I would rather get party tips from, except perhaps, the Duchess of Cambridge herself. I am cheering Pippa on, and I know Kate is, too. 


15 comments:

  1. I must say you are the first who writes a positive review of her book. What I have seen from the book they are known if you use your common sense. Iam also curious about her Waitrose articles as if it is true she replaced a professional someone. And now The Telegraph, I dont mean to be bithy here but do yyou think she would have these opportunities if she was an ordinary person?? Is she really that good? Thanks you for the insight Jane.A.




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  2. Honestly, I think it is more than just follow common sense--there are fun and creative ideas that might not have dawned on you--or at least not to me. :) I think she absolutely has gotten these opportunities because of her position! In fact, she admits that, but I don't think that should hold her back. Malcolm Gladwell wrote a very interesting book, Outliers, in which he makes a case that some of success is about the opportunity that you get by luck, not just what you yourself have earned. I think that is true. There are plenty of talented people in the world, not everyone gets the same breaks. That doesn't mean that people shouldn't work hard, and I think she should take advantage of her opportunities. In some way, she was robbed of the opportunity to prove herself on her own, because now everyone overlooks whatever talent she may have and they go straight to the royal connection. In short, yes she has these opportunities because of Kate's relationship, but does that mean she can't also be good at what she does, or she should NOT make a life for herself? No, I think she should jump in.
    Anyway, that's what I think. :)

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  3. Thanks for this great post Jane!! It's nice to read something positive about Pippa and her book. I agree with you that she should take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way. She is in a position of "damned if you do and damned if you don't".

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    1. Yes, exactly, so she may as well try to drown out the naysayers and press ahead. I hope everything works out for her! Thanks for reading!! I get so excited when people enjoy the blog. :)

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  4. Absolutely enjoyed Pippa's book. Being quite elderly, and having two young granddaughters whom I see often, it gave me lots of ideas on how to entertain them - crafts we could do together, fun in the kitchen with recipes, etc. Of course I knew lots of the activities, crafts, etc. mentioned in the book but had forgotten lots of them. So nice to be reminded of them and share with the granddaughters - they were thrilled.

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    1. Right, I feel like some things you might think of on your own, but easily forget, and frankly for someone not born and raised in the UK, it is really neat to read about traditions that may be "old hat" to natives, but are new to foreigners! Glad you liked the book, too!

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  5. Thank you for this piece, Jane! This has made me consider buying the book. You always present such a balanced, rational perspective.

    Also, to speak to a point raised above, when editors and publishers pay to publish your writing, you are a professional writer. Not sure why it would be considered somehow taboo to "replace a professional someone." Good for Pippa for working hard and taking advantage of the possibilities that have arisen in her life.

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    1. Thank you, Diane! Yes, in some ways if she does achieve success, we should be all the more impressed given how hard it must be to be considered an upstart and a fake. :( She seems up to the challenge...

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  6. While I, personally, feel Pippa is overrated in every area and cannot comprehend the fuss over her, I do have to give credit where it is due. She pushes onward despite her naysayers and critics and she seems to be pursuing things she has always had an interest in. Yes, it isn't exactly 'fair' that her launching pad is her sister, but she will always be in Kate's shadow and will always be held back by her sister's position. Which, from what I have garnered/read, for Pippa that is quite opposite of her personality. So even though I seriously don't get it, I do have to give her props for telling everyone, in not so many words, to sod off.

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    1. I approve this comment. :) In complete seriousness, I am glad you have that opinion. Whether people like Pippa or not, it seems to only be fair to see her situation for what it is and give her her just due. Thanks for your input!!

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  7. Thank you for your positive review of Pippa and her book. So many critics write baseless nasty and negative things about her, and her family. I think her attitude is remarkably positive and healthy. I envy her dedication to exercise and physical activities. I read somewhere that she takes on a new challenge to accomplish each year because it provides her with routine, discipline, and fitness. And she seems to have a lot of fun, too! I'd like to be as energetic and enthusiastic!

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    1. Yes, I read that somewhere, too, and she has certainly made press with her various athletic challenges. It is inspiring, although at the level she stays active, not something I ever expect to achieve. :) Thanks for reading!

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  8. I didn't care for her book. And I like Pippa. I like reading cookbooks and craft books, so I had expectations that the book would be great. I couldn't get a sense of Pippa's "voice" in the book. It had a few personal stories, but then the bulk of the book felt like she was barking orders. Do, Use, Make, Place, etc were almost commands, instead of inspiration to create your own celebration. There was a style disconnect for me between the personal stories and the rest of the book. As if two completely different people wrote them. All that said, the book was much heftier than I expected and the photographs were gorgeous.

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  9. I enjoyed Pippa's book as well. I've even used a couple of the recipes and they were delicious. The press seems to love bad-mouthing the Middleton family, but I think Pippa should be proud of her accomplishments. She has the fortune to sit around and do nothing all day, but she has chosen to write a book, find employment and live a full life. Good for her!

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  10. I found the Vanity Fair issue with Pippa's first article. Here's the eBay link: http://www.ebay.com/itm/380734547947?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649#ht_63wt_1399

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