You too could have a rear end like Pippa Middleton's, thanks to a new book by her pilates coach, released in New Zealand this week.
The woman credited for shaping Pippa's glutes is west London pilates guru Margot Campbell. After the royal wedding last year some avid Googler discovered a testimonial by Pippa on Campbell's website (since removed) in which the world's most famous little sister thanked Campbell for keeping her "fit, happy and energised". Campbell was hooked by a literary agent and a bidding war ensued.
If it sounds as if Campbell is blatantly cashing in on her tenuous royal connection with her book, Pilates on the Go ($36.99), consider the title of the DVD she released in the UK a few weeks ago: The Perfect Pilates Bum.
Pippa hasn't endorsed the book, but she herself hasn't been too proud to make a bit of money off her sister's fame. She has pocketed an advance worth $NZ800,000 for a book about party planning, due out later this year.
The royal family haven't been above a dabble in publishing themselves, ever since King James hit the big time with his self-titled bible of 1611.
Here are some other memorable moments in royal publishing.
1. Dieting with the Duchess
Sarah, Duchess of York
When you're done exercising with Pippa's pilates instructor, you could try Dieting with the Duchess, or even Reinventing Yourself with The Duchess Of York. Yep, Prince Andrew's ex isn't too posh to put her name to, well, anything really, to earn a bit of money to supplement the reported $NZ30,000 a year she gets from her divorce settlement. She has published 23 books, from self-help guides and inspirational epistles to dire children's picture books and memoirs, though it's likely many of her books are ghostwritten. One of her former advisers, Allan Starkey, claimed she once bragged to him that she had never even read one of the books that bears her name, Travels with Queen Victoria.
2. The Old Man of Lochnagar
It's less well-known that Fergie's former brother-in-law, Prince Charles once wrote a picture book. The Prince of Wales originally composed The Old Man of Lochnagar when he was about 20, to entertain his younger brothers, then aged nine and five, during a voyage on the royal yacht Britannia. It was published as a picture book in 1980, with profits going to the Prince's Trust. It's a strange, meandering, overwritten tale that begins: "Not all that long ago, when children were even smaller and people had especially hairy knees, there lived an old man of Lochnagar."
3. 30 Years On and Off: The Box Seat
The Duke of Edinburgh has been subjecting his wife's subjects to his equine wisdom for decades. His books include: Competition Carriage Driving, The Noble Horse, Driving and Judging Dressage and 30 Years on and off the Box Seat (two editions and translated into French). Well, he had to find something to do while Lizzy was off ruling the Empire, didn't he?
4. Katie and the Dream-eater
Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan
A whimsical children's picture book from a member of the Japanese royal family. Katie and the Dream-Eater follows the adventures of a baku, a mythological Japanese creature that fights children's nightmares. It's a great concept for a children's book (my four-year-old was fascinated) but it's a rudderless tale that drifts all over the place.
5. The Kings most gracious messages for peace, and a personal treaty: Published for his peoples satisfaction, that they may see and judge, whether the foundation of the Commons declaration, touching their votes of no farther addresse to the King, (viz. His Majesties aversenesse to peace) be just, rational and religious.
Charles I clearly didn't have his father King James' knack for a snappy title, with this 1648 epic, a collection of 23 sermons, speeches and other messages from the monarch to his people. You can read it at the Auckland central public library, should you wish to.