Much has been made of the modern impulse to impart feeling or relatability to the royal family. (Maybe it’s a lifetime of Disney princesses. Maybe it’s a lack of suitable political role models on the home front.) Either way, it’s the “just like me” moments that seem to resonate with most followers of the queen and company—the revelation that Meghan Markle opens her own car doors, and that Kate supposedly has a “naughty” sense of humor.
I could take or leave the other royals, but I’ve always identified with Kate Middleton. (That’s the point of celebrity transference, I’m well aware.) We’re both brunettes. We’re both vaguely uncomfortable with the limelight. My kids are named George and Louise, while hers are George and Louis. (There’s no Charlotte coming for moi, unless a palace staff and royal inheritance is in my future.) And in this year of our Lord 2019, we will both turn the ripe nothing age of 37.
Thirty-seven. Not quite old enough to be Generation X. Not quite young enough to understand memes…or personal branding…or avocados for breakfast. (I bet Kate, like me, still eats empty-carb Cheerios with nary a vegetable in sight.) We’re called “upper millennials” and yes, there are a lot of us. But as women, we’re entering the zone of marginalization…the mom years, where you drift from playdate to playdate and suddenly realize you’re 41 and still wearing those dreadfully passé skinny jeans.
Kate has spent the better part of her 30s pregnant, nursing or otherwise giving her body over to very small people. (Same.) And I wonder if she feels as ready as I do to reclaim it. I’ve recently been waking up at night with bouts of lower back pain—an ailment that seems too geriatric to affect a person who still gets carded when buying sauvignon blanc in her sweatpants. Maybe it will go away when I stop walking six city blocks with a preschooler on my hip. Maybe it’s a harbinger of what’s to come; life expectancy for American women was only 52 in 1910—perhaps our bodies are meant to break down after popping out those kiddos. Or maybe it’s just a sign that I need to redirect more effort on myself in the coming year.
But while I’m sure Kate feels all the 37-year-old aches and pains that I do, there’s a difference. Kate has a team of stylists and makeup artists and aestheticians and personal chefs to lighten her load and deliver her wine. Hell, Char probably has her own manicurist. But there’s a part of me that wonders how Kate’s life would have turned out had she not married into royalty. Would she just be a working mom party planner shuffling to the wine store to buy sauv blanc in her PJs?
Personal facialist or not, I intend to approach 37 with the same dignity, grace and joy as my good friend K-Middy. I’ll start with the small stuff: I want to take up yoga. I want a subscription to the ballet. I want to make a new friend. At the very least, I’d like to start playing around with Peter Pan collars.