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James Middleton Interviewed On Good Morning America!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This morning, James Middleton appeared on ABC's Good Morning America! (If you are just now popping in for your Kate-fix, the report on her afternoon appearance at SportsAid is here.) First they aired a pre-taped interview, idyllically filmed while wandering through Central Park, while passersby snapped candids, and then switched to the live studio where James and his business partner Andy Bell, were on hand to have a quick chat.

Andy and James

As I have said before, I firmly believe that Kate and the Palace have signed off on the Middleton siblings pursuing opportunity in America. If Pippa and James were causing strain at the Palace, that would cause strain on Kate, if Kate felt tension between the Palace and her family, that would not be conducive to the happy family-life we know the Middletons enjoy. While the Palace may not have been the first to suggest this, and the Palace may not be overjoyed, I believe it is an arrangement they all have been able to see their ways clear to agreeing about. 

This is supported by a relatively obvious scope to the interviews. Both Pippa and James actually revealed very little about their personal lives or about Kate and the royal family. Both interviews focused on the Royal Wedding and their emotions on the big day. In fact, they both used the same description: it felt like it was an intimate family affair. Both made reference to how close they are as a family and to Kate--phone calls and chats, etc. When asked how Kate was feeling, James deflected by just mentioning that, yes, indeed, Kate had been suffering from HG, but is now starting to recover. Not breaking news, kids. This wasn't some kiss-and-tell-all. 

They did, however, each add personal details beyond the wedding. Pippa chatted about the hubbub over her Pilates-perfect body, as well as "opening-up" on the impact of the press's negativity. They obviously have certain parameters inside of which they can be creative, and outside of which they won't go. I imagine that as long as those boundaries are carefully maintained, the Palace and Kate are on board.

I actually very much enjoyed this interview, and I am pretty sure a whole lot of other Americans (and our neighbors across the Pond) did, too; which seems to be the entire point of the exercise. James took the opportunity to declare his ambition to be the "cool uncle, the fun uncle" to George.  I laughed out loud when he said this, after all, George only has two uncles, James and...

Oh yes, Prince Harry!

I am not mocking James's here, just pointing out that one could have taken this GMA interview as the official moment the gauntlet was good-naturedly thrown. I am sure Harry will pick it up with the same happy-humor and poor Kate will spend the next 18 years trying to deal with the consequences.  His own parents would be the first to admit that George is charmingly predisposed to be a handful:

James has already shown he knows how to come up with creative fun and has made himself pretty popular thanks to a precious pet. He revealed that Kate's (and William's) beloved Lupo was his gift to the royal couple on their marriage. A detail that was actually really interesting.

I recall at the time we knew the dog was from a litter born to the Middletons, and James has an obviously close Lupo-relative as his own pet. The Princess and her sibling have been spotted walking the two dogs in Kensington Park together:

via Jocelyn Laidlaw

Both Pippa and James have received flak for what many claim as cashing in on their royal connections. I think the Middletons have been incredibly discreet and respectful of Kate's royal title and their own sudden celebrity as a result. The sad fact is that because their sister fell in love with and married the future king of England, all their lives were dramatically effected. The opportunity to live normal lives is virtually non-existent. Even if they wished to live quietly and "make it on their own" that would be almost impossible! Any kind of advancement they find could be put down to their royal connections. One of Malcolm Gladwell's fascinating books, Outliers, described the plain fact that some of life is up to us: our hard work, our ambition, our drive. Some of life is down to luck: seemingly random occurrences that put us in the right place at the right time. Decisions we can't possibly know will lead us to one of life's big moments or big breaks--finding the inspiration for a successful new business, meeting your spouse, meeting someone who will be the connection you need for an important job, etc. Even failure can lead us to the right door. How you handle the opportunities you come across determines to what extent they are maximized or wasted. We all have the right to accept what chance presents us. The Middletons are finding the silver-lining in a situation that must sometimes feel heady and other times more of a jail. I say, good on them! You have to follow the road to find out where it leads.

As to James's business, he was here promoting Boomf, with his not as famous partner, Andy. (Sorry, Andy.) The company makes personalized marshmallows and they have just now expanded to the United States.  I am entirely excited that a Middleton company has come to American, but...I wonder what exactly to do with personalized marshmallows. Do Brits eat marshmallows cold and plain? (Do Americans? Does everyone but me?) I have only ever done two things with marshmallows, I melt them over the stove or in the microwave and make figure life-changing rice-krispy treats; or, I put them on a stick and melt them over a fire for s'mores. Neither requires fancy marshmallows. So, James, I need a little more guided inspiration to take advantage of this fun business. My credit card is poised! Maybe a Pinterest board of possibilities...?

"I can" seems to be the Middleton moto...and a pretty good one it is. Best of luck to both Pippa and James!

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