Shazia Mirza: Diary of a disappointing daughter

There’s only one thing that interests me about Will and Kate, and that’s the way both paid tribute to Kate’s parents when they announced their engagement. It made me unusually jealous. If I’d have been marrying a royal, my parents would have done something ridiculous, such as try to move in with them. It takes really loving, supportive parents to have so much confidence in their child that the child believes they’re good enough to marry anyone and achieve anything, including being Queen.

My parents were not confident at all, especially my mother. She wasn’t confident driving, questioning teachers at parents’ evening or even buying toilet roll. She never believed she was good enough. I look back and think a person’s confidence is partly inherited from their parents.

I wasn’t a confident child, teenager or young person. At university, I met the most confident people I’d ever come across, and they scared me to death. I was so nervous that if a boy spoke to me, I’d wet myself. It can be hard for children of very successful parents to match them; it’s also hard for children of unconfident parents to over-ride their sense of inferiority.

My mum doesn’t really have standards. Whenever she tries to fix me up with someone, they all sound like miserable losers. Last week she called and said, “I’ve found one – he’s 42, lives on his own and doesn’t have any friends in this country.” Thankfully, I had the confidence to say, “I’ll give it a miss. Sounds like a serial killer.”