It looks like James Middleton is dealing with some royal pains. The 27-year-old entrepreneur recently opened up to The Young Director, a new digital lifestyle magazine, about what it's like being a part of the royal family. Kate Middleton's brother James admitted that "it does get frustrating" being known as the princess' sibling rather than as a serious businessman.
James Middleton founded his own business, Boomf, a high-end marshmallow company which prints Instagram photos on marshmallows, with a box of nine marshmallows costing £15. (That's definitely different...) He told The Young Director that his business and work do get overshadowed by his much more famous sister, and that he wants people to know that he works very hard. "And aside from the fact of — yes, I am the brother of someone very important — I am, at the end of the day, just James," he said.
It's understandable that he feels overshadowed considering he's so close to the high-profile royal family, especially since he is trying to make a name for himself. But he is certainly not the only person with a famous brother or sister to feel this way. Perhaps he can learn from how others have handled having a famous sibling.
An example of a sibling to handle a famous family well is actress Elizabeth Olsen, younger sister of twins Mary-Kate and Ashley. Despite her connections, Olsen immersed herself in studying the craft of acting, spending summers at theater camps, attending a company at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and studying abroad. "I've always had a complex about being taken seriously," Olsen told Marie Claire. "I never wanted anyone to think that I would use my family name to get me anywhere." And now, she's found success in her own right. She's been nominated for a BAFTA Rising Star award and has starred in movies like Godzilla and Martha Marcy May Marlene.
If James Middleton continues to immerse himself in his own business and doesn't try to get attention based off of his family name, people will likely respond well to him, too. Taking opportunities to further his craft independently will undoubtedly serve him well. He can also learn what not to do from other celeb siblings, like Ashlee Simpson.
Before the whole Saturday Night Live lip-synching debacle, Simpson sang a song called "Shadow" on her debut album Autobiography about feeling — yep, you guessed it — overshadowed by her older sister Jessica. With lyrics like, "I was stuck inside a broken life I couldn't wish away / She was beautiful / She had everything and more," Simpson used music as both an outlet to vent her frustration and as a chance to get her name out there. While it certainly worked while she was still up-and-coming, the infamous SNL moment undoubtedly worked against her, exposing her "extra help" and making her whole shtick seem manufactured.
So, James Middleton should focus on authenticity above all else for his business. Again, it's understandable to feel overlooked by the public when his sister is the Duchess of Cambridge, but it's important that he doesn't spend all of his time in the spotlight venting about that.
Instead, he should focus on building his own brand and expanding on it. After all, Instagram marshmallows are an incredibly niche focus, but there must be some demand for them. So we will have to stay tuned and hope we hear more about that — independent of mention of his sister.
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