Be William's princess? I'd rather watch "X Factor"

Thu Mar 10, 2011 8:48am EST
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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - When she was a little girl, Elsa Hardcastle loved to dress up as a princess and read stories about young women swept off their feet by a prince charming.

Now, the 10-year-old would rather watch a blockbuster episode of reality TV talent show "X Factor" and meet one of its pop singer judges than see Kate Middleton become a real-life princess when she marries Britain's Prince William.

"I'd rather go to the 'X Factor' final because you get to see loads of famous people like Cheryl Cole," she said.

"I'd rather meet Cheryl Cole than Kate Middleton, because Cheryl is cool and kind."

Pop star and X-Factor judge Cole is the product of manufactured fame in Britain, who began her own career on a reality TV show when she was chosen as a member of girl band Girls Aloud and whose high public profile has been aided by her messy tabloid romance, marriage and break-up with England soccer player Ashley Cole.

By contrast, William is the Eton-educated third-in-line to one of the oldest thrones in Europe who -- when he becomes king -- will be the constitutional monarch of 16 countries.

His fiancee Kate Middleton is a privately educated woman with a degree from one of Europe's top universities whose parents are self-made millionaires.

With the media frenzy surrounding the royal wedding on April 29 gaining steam, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Hardcastle's views were out of kilter with that of most Britons.   Continued...

<p>Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton smile during a visit to St. Andrews University in Fife, Scotland February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Danny Lawson/Pool</p>