BRAND NEW ON E!
Sure, Emma Parker Bowles is the niece of Camilla and a longtime friend of Prince William, but we figured out the real reason why she managed to score an invitation to the hottest wedding of the century ever: she's a hoot!
The young British society fixture sat down with E! News on the eve of Kate Middleton's big day and gone were any vestiges of a stiff upper lip. They were replaced instead by lips of the quite loose variety (our favorite kind), which is how Emma came to let us in on some juicy royal secrets—like what she really thinks of Prince Harry, how she views Kate's ever-controversial style and what the British public really think of their future king marrying a (gasp!) commoner.
But first thing's first: you'll never believe how her royal wedding invitation arrived…
"Carrier pigeon," she deadpanned.
OK, fine, you'll never believe it because it's simply not true, but it sure does play into our expectations of how such a grand and fairy tale-like event should be.
"I was really touched," she said of receiving her invite (by mail, if you must know). "I was surprised because I know he didn't invite a lot of people."
Personally, that is. While the guest list numbers top out at around 1,900 invitees, Wills and Kate together only extended invites to 250 of their nearest and dearest.
As for William's reputation as the more staid royal brother, Emma seemed to counter that perception, referring to the groom-to-be as "really good fun"—albeit only after admitting that Prince Harry, whom she knows less well than Will, was "the naughty one."
"I think he just started off as a nice person," she said of William. "You could see in that situation how he possibly could have turned out to be a real brat, but he couldn't be further from that and has much more humility than a lot of people I know."
As for Kate, Emma said she had never formally met the blushing bride, but had seen her at Camilla's 50th birthday celebration.
And yes, she is even more princess-like in person.
"She's absolutely stunning. She looks gorgeous in pictures, but in the flesh, she's absolutely beautiful. She's definitely a head-turner."
So what do you say to the most looked-at, talked-about bride on her wedding day when it also just so happens to be the first time you've ever met?
Sounds like a winning opener to us.
And now for the million-dollar question: what made William put a ring on Kate and not his other bevy of society babes? Blinding in-person beauty aside, that is.
"In many ways, she's not that different, because he's always dated funny, fun, nice, kind girls. They're all kind of like female versions of him, really," she explained.
But Kate, in particular, is not only wife material, but princess material as well.
"The grace, the humility, people have already really responded to her. She's just like one of us, isn't she? That's what people feel.
"I don't think you can really prepare for that, can you?" she went on, discussing Kate's entrée onto the world stage. "I think she probably is as much as she can be. I don't think anyone's worried that she's not going to be able to handle it."
As for reports that Camilla has taken on an advisor role for Kate, well, this is the first Emma's heard of it. Though it may not even be a role that ever needed to be filled.
"I don't think it's like, Kate's going to be eating with her fingers. She's got a lot of class anyway," she said.
In other words, a perfect fit not only for William, but for the rest of the country. And the makers of silverware.
"I just think they're a breath of fresh air and very modern. Just the fact that there are buses ferrying people around and that there is a buffet at the reception," Emma said of the down-to-Earth couple. "I think they bring the monarchy into a new modern era."
That's all well and good, but what of the dress?!
Sadly, not even Emma knows about that (or if she does, then she certainly isn't talking). But she's less interested in keeping quiet her feelings on Kate's style, which despite it's ability to sell out dresses, set trends and cause pundits to frequently invoke the phrase "style icon" stateside, has been slightly less vaunted in Britain.
"My impression of Kate's style…it's always evolving and it will continue to evolve. She's a great supporter of British fashion and the high street as well. She'll mix it up with something designer."
Time (and not very much more of it) will tell if her wedding attire follows the same path.
But what of Kate's position as a non-royal entering the monarchy? What does she think of that? Well, turns out, she doesn't think about that at all. And neither do the majority of Britons.
"I think Americans are more 'she's a commoner,'" she said. "We don't think like that here."
So what do they think like?
"I think it is the ultimate fairy tale and I think they will live happily ever after." Just like Disney would have wanted.