Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Prince William’s wife Kate, spoke out Wednesday in defence of her book on party planning after critics accused her of offering “glaringly obvious” advice.
Middleton, 29, reportedly secured an advance worth £400,000 ($650,000, 500,000 euros) for the book from publishers keen to cash in on her fame following last year’s royal wedding, but its release in October was met with derision.
In an article for The Spectator magazine, Middleton acknowledged the criticism for the first time but said the book, “Celebrate: A Year Of British Festivities For Families And Friends”, had to cover the basics.
“I have been much teased for my book,” she wrote. “Lots of journalists are saying that my advice is glaringly obvious.”
Middleton also mentioned a spoof Twitter account called @pippatips which offers such pearls as: ‘Enjoy a glass of water by getting a clean glass and pouring in water from a tap or bottle.’
“It’s all good fun, I know, and I realise that authors ought to take criticism on the chin,” said Middleton, who has worked with her family’s party accessories company and a London-based events firm.
“But in my defence, let me say this: ‘Celebrate’ is meant to be a guide to party planning and, as such, it has to cover the basics.
“If I were to write a cookery book, for instance, I would be compelled to say that, to make an omelette, you have to break at least one egg.”
In reference to the part of her body that won global admiration during the royal wedding in April last year, she adds: “Maybe I should write a sequel and call it Bottoms Up? Now that could be a bestseller.”
Middleton’s book, a weighty tome packed with recipes and glossy photographs and retailing for £25, is divided into seasons with advice for key events including Christmas, Halloween, Valentine’s Day and summer barbecues.
Her tips for the forthcoming festivities include that “candles are perfect for Christmas”, that the table should be decorated in red, green and silver, and that hanging stockings over the mantlepiece can “set a traditional scene”.
Another section outlines how to host “a lazy brunch”, including a paragraph on which types of coffee-makers to use for different occasions and advice on how to heat up milk for those wanting a latte (“be careful not to let it boil over”).
Some commentators likened Middleton’s tips to those offered by satirical magazine Viz, such as “Avoid parking tickets by leaving your windscreen wipers turned to ‘fast wipe’ whenever you leave your car parked illegally.”
Customers on Amazon.co.uk, where Middleton’s book was selling at a discount of 75 percent on Wednesday, were not as harsh as the critics in the media, however, giving it almost four stars out of five after 60 reviews.