This time last year, Pippa Middleton was on top of the world -- her big sister, Kate, was prepping to wed Prince William on April 29. And socialite and entrepreneur Pippa, 28, almost hijacked the proceedings on the day of the wedding, flaunting a charming smile and an instantly world-famous derriere in an Alexander McQueen maid of honor gown as she hung out with Prince Harry.
But this past Friday, two days before Kate, 30, celebrates one year of wedded bliss with William, 29, at home in Anglesy, Pippa didn't look as happy-go-lucky as usual.
Running errands in London, Pippa looked stylish as ever in a taupe turtleneck, houndstooth blazer and jeans that hugged her talked-about curves; but Middleton kept hidden behind sunglasses and maintained a serious expression as she went about her business.
It's been nearly two weeks since the royal sister-in-law was caught in a bizarre gun controversy -- giggling in an Audi convertible in Paris when the driver waved a semiautomatic pistol at a photographer. Middleton and her companions in the car briefly faced potential fines and even jail time for the incident. Even worse, the scandal put the Duchess of Cambridge "in a difficult position."
Her friend, mega-rich fashion designer Arthur de Soultrait, spoked out April 18 in her defense.
"As a joke, my friend brandished a toy pistol in their direction. Obviously Philippa had no idea that he was going to do that and told him to stop immediately. She did not find it funny," Soultrait told Us in a statement. "I regret enormously that this incident happened, and especially that Pippa has been subject to the subsequent attention through no fault of her own. I have apologized to her for this."
Regardless, Middleton was "upset but indignant" about the brouhaha, according to an insider. "She just wants this all to go away."
Sister Kate, meanwhile, "feels guilty Pippa can't just slip back into normal life," royal watcher Katie Nicholl told Us.