They don’t call her Perfect Pippa for nothing.
When Kate Middleton arrived at Westminster Abbey on the morning of her wedding, there was a collective gasp around the globe. The bride was radiant, to be sure, but so was the maid of honour, trailing her sister in a slinky frock that slipped and sizzled in contrast to the bride’s demure lace sheath.
In one moment, Philippa Charlotte Middleton stole the show with her now much-replayed bend at the waist to straighten her sister’s nine-foot train. It was an act of sisterly love and bridal attendance to be sure, but one that also inspired a torrent of lust from red-blooded men the world over.
The British tabloids insisted she had “played a blinder” by daring to look so fetching at her sister’s wedding. The Daily Telegraph, widely accepted as Britain’s royal paper of record, ostentatiously declared that “on April 29, a duchess was made and a star was born.” The maid of honour’s enchanting effect was even evidenced by an official Facebook page. The Pippa Middleton Ass Appreciation Society had received over 153,000 “likes” within a couple of days of the wedding. Its slogan—“It’s no secret Pippa Middleton is absolutely banging! Show your appreciation for the Minxy Middleton”—tells you everything you need to know about Kate’s frisky and feline younger sibling’s effect on the opposite sex.
But admirers hoping for a chance with the 27-year-old party planner will be disappointed to learn she’s already taken. The lucky lad is not a prince, but he is as posh as they come. Alex Loudon is a ruggedly handsome 30-year-old graduate of Prince William’s school, Eton College. A promising professional cricketer until his mid-twenties, he has since retired and enrolled in an M.B.A. program at the London Business School. By all accounts, he is typical of Pippa’s type, which tends toward handsome and sporty young men from socially connected families.
Like her sister before her, Pippa attended the exclusive Marlborough College, followed by an undergrad degree in Scotland at Edinburgh University. There she excelled at sport—she is a keen skier and tennis player—as well as socializing (her social circle included a number of young aristocrats including former flatmate Ted Innes-Ker, son of the duke of Roxburghe, as well as her former squeeze Billy More Nisbett, whose mother was a lady-in-waiting to Princess Anne).
Unlike her older sister, Pippa has been able to build a career for herself, albeit one that doesn’t stray far from the Middleton family brand. In addition to overseeing the online newsletter for her parents’ successful company Party Pieces, Pippa has, since 2008, worked part-time for the London-based event-planning organization Table Talk.
Her vivaciousness and love of the cocktail circuit caused a buzz in the British media long before the royal wedding. In 2008, Tatler magazine named her the number one most eligible “Society Singleton,” beating out fellow wedding attendee (and fashion-pundit whipping girl) Princess Eugenie.
As the royal family stood assembled on the Buckingham Palace balcony awaiting the obligatory royal kiss, best man Prince Harry looked thoroughly chuffed to be escorting Britain’s most eligible young woman. Could sparks fly between the two? If Pippa is as bright-eyed and ambitious as she appears, it would seem unlikely. As things currently stand, she’s got all the perks of being royal (the attention, the social cachet, the long list of fashion designers at her beck and call) with none of the drawbacks (the endless tedium of receiving lines, and dreary garden parties to attend). As Plum Sykes recently put it, Pippa is “has become a princess without the bad bits.”