Regardless of your enthusiasm (or lack thereof) for the royal wedding, it's hard not to feel sorry for Kate Middleton. After all, being a princess isn't what it used to be—partially because of Middleton's would-have-been mother-in-law, Princess Diana. "Once the embodiment of beauty and glamor, Diana's face now conjures sorrow and regret," writes Mary McNamara in the Los Angeles Times. Since her death, even Disney has given up on the princess brand. "In many ways, Diana began the princess boom and the princess bust, looking up at the world through lowered lashes and besotting us all with her shy ways before ripping the curtain apart to reveal the infidelity and bulimia, the cold-hearted calculation and resultant hysteria, the sheer prickly weight of all those sparkly gems."
But Middleton is not Diana, notes fellow Times writer Meghan Daum. "Pretty without being distractingly gorgeous, fashionable without pushing boundaries, reserved without being shy, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton doesn't have even a fraction of the tragic mystique of Diana, Princess of Wales. And that could be her saving grace," she writes. "Kate is bland. Brilliantly, spectacularly, perfectly bland." She appears to have spent her post-college life just waiting for Prince William to come around, and rather than forge a career of her own, she seems content to, as one anonymous source recently said, "walk two steps behind him." "I know, I know," Daum writes. "How antediluvian. How insulting to the legacy of Diana. But, let's admit it, how refreshing!" (Read more Princess Diana stories.)