I wonder how Kate Middleton is feeling about life at the moment?

It would be tempting to believe that, with less than a week to go before her royal wedding, she is waking up every morning and clutching her bed sheets under her delicate little chin with delight.

"It's like a dream," she whispers to herself as she sips her tea with lemon (no milk because of the diet).

"I can't believe that I've been plucked out of obscurity to become a royal wife. Me, a princess! It's beyond belief!"

"Time to get up, poppet," Prince William says, gently nudging her out of their bed. "A royal wife-to-be has shopping to do, makeup to apply, dresses to buy, lunch with girlfriends to attend. Off you go, dream girl."

But we know this just isn't true, because that would be the stuff of fairy tales. And there is nothing magical or unexpected about the way Kate's life has ended up.

A daughter of two British Airways employees (mother a hostie, father a flight dispatcher), she and her sister Pippa were raised to marry up. No need to have a career - just look gorgeous and catch the eye of a young prince. Off you go, you two, and don't come home until you've nabbed one!

A private school education was a must, followed by university study - but not to equip themselves for a future career as a rocket scientist or surgeon. More to mix and mingle with lords and dukes, princes and property magnates.

The Middleton girls were so good at it that before long they earned themselves the nickname of "the wisteria sisters" - highly decorative, terribly fragrant and with a ferocious ability to climb.

And Kate scored first, with the biggest fish of all, Diana and Charles' handsome son William.

"It's in the bag, Mummy," she might have said, trotting through the front door of her parents' nouveau-riche home one weekend. "I've got him."

But she hadn't. Not quite. Waity Katie, as she was dubbed by the media, had to endure seven long years of on again/off again romance with William before he finally popped the question. This time she spent usefully brushing up on her retail skills, working for a dress shop and then for her parents' party-planning business, where she might have spent her time gazing out of the window twirling a lock of her hair and counting the days.

"God love it, can you imagine the shiner he's going to put on her ring finger?," Mum might have said to Dad.

Only to find that he'd simply recycled the "commoner's sapphire" his mother had chosen off the shelf in 1981.

"Mummy, please don't be disappointed. It really is sweet that I'm going to have to lug the memory of his dead mother around on my finger until the day I die," Kate may have said.

"Never mind, love, let's go shopping and find a dress to match," Mum may have said, making the most of a bad day at the party planners.

As the day draws near, William might have been anxious to allay Kate's fears that she would have to compete with the iconic status achieved by his dead mother Diana, Queen of Hearts.

"Don't worry my darling, there is nothing to fear. I'm sure you'll find a way to stand out as your own individual person," he could have said.

Kate, Pippa and her Mum may have immediately got out all the old magazines and scanned through them.

"You'll have to get thinner," Pippa may have said, pointing at Diana's rake-thin body parading on a super yacht in the Mediterranean.

"I'm already a bloody size eight," Kate could have mused.

They might have listened to interviews with Diana, impressed with her unique mix of vulnerability and inability to say anything which actually meant anything.

"Just be vacant," Mum might have directed. "Agree with everything, smile sweetly and throw in the odd 'um'."

As the day draws near, the simple fact is that Kate will be leading a life of seclusion, attempting to avoid a media frenzy which has her named as the third-most beautiful royal in the world, and which has seen her image miraculously discovered on a jelly bean by a trainee accountant.

"I'm bored," Kate might have complained to William, had he not been busy flying a helicopter at the time. Instead, she gazed out of the window and counted the days.