Kate Middleton: Time Person of the Year Runner-Up

Kate Middleton
Photo: Getty Images
The Duchess was named a Time magazine Person of the Year 2011 runner-up.

Sometimes you're the bride. Sometimes you're the bridesmaid.

Just ask the Duchess of Cambridge, who has been named one of four Time magazine Person of the Year 2011 runners-up.

While "The Protester" earned the top distinction, the newlywed royal won recognition for her "flawless skin and abundant locks" and for being a "bigger box office than the rest of her in-laws combined."

And though the budding style icon may seem out of place amongst her fellow runner-ups (Rep. Paul Ryan, detained artist Ai Weiwei, and Admiral John McRaven), there's no doubt that she will play an important role in shaping the British monarchy.

"If she becomes as popular as [Princess] Diana, her choices may help the monarchy thrive or bring it to its knees," the magazine writes.

"Whatever she decides—however she goes about the business of being royal—Britain's second most famous princess is already being watched and emulated across the world. We have entered the era of the copy-Kate."

Along with her "palpable happiness," Middleton earns praise for her fashion sense.

"Ladylike and gracious, Kate is rarely less than demure, often in accessible fashions," Time adds.

"A surge in orders for a knee-length $274 dress from U.K. fashion chain Reiss that she wore to a meeting with the Obamas during their May state visit to London crashed Reiss' website. She has sparked a revival in tan pantyhose.

"She used to wear short skirts and V-necks, but as a royal fiancée her hemlines inched lower and her necklines higher. In the full bloom of youth, she appears in day wear that wouldn't look out of place on a maiden aunt in the 1940s. She doesn't do sexy. She doesn't do edgy. The Duchess never, in the parlance of upper-crust Brits, frightens the horses."

Er ... we'll take that as a compliment.