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Stella Getting Married this weekend ?

  • Source: by Ciaran McGrath
Stella: Self-made star
Born famous: coping with a celebrity dad

Stella McCartney, daughter of former Beatle Sir Paul, gets married this weekend.

The 31-year-old is one of those rare creatures, the child of a famous parent who has stepped out of his shadow to become famous in her own right.

So, how have the McCartney children coped with the glare of publicity over the years? And what are the pressures which fame by association can bring?

Stella, who steps down the aisle with publisher fiance Alisdhair Willis, is a very successful fashion designer.

A close friend of celebs including Kate Moss and Madonna, she's clearly unfazed by the limelight.

Her recent fashion show held in Paris was hailed as "self-assured and sexy" - indicating that she has been accepted by the critics in her own right.

Sir Paul McCartney has four children, all by his late wife Linda.

As well as Stella, there is Mary, a photographer; musician James, and stepdaughter Heather, Linda's daughter from her first marriage.

In 1995, the close-knit family suffered a painful blow when Linda was diagnosed with cancer. She died three years later, leaving Paul and his children with a huge hole in their lives.

A normal upbringing

The McCartneys apparently made every effort to ensure their kids had "normal" childhoods, sending them to state schools.

Paul has remarked: "That's mainly because if they're going to be privileged in some way I don't want them looking down on ordinary people.

"I see that as the main danger when you get money, especially inherited wealth."

Not all children of famous parents deal with the glare of publicity as easily as Stella McCartney.

Charlie Sheen, son of actor Martin and a movie star in his own right, has spent several spells in rehab.

And in September, Sean Stewart, son of rock star Rod, was handed a 90-day jail sentence after admitting to a drug-fuelled assault in America.

A child of famous parents can fall victim to various pressures, explains Teletext agony aunt Sue Quilliam. She says: "Kids can start to believe that they are special and that they deserve things without working for them.

"Conversely, they can feel completely the opposite - that they are entirely in the shadow of their parents."

Professor Petruska Clarkson, a specialist in the psychology of fame, says: "Children of famous parents can find themselves under quite enormous pressure.

"I'm sure there are people who are still saying Stella McCartney only got where she is because of her father. She's established, she is a valuable designer in her own right - but her connections undoubtedly helped her."

It's almost inevitable that the son or daughter of an exceptionally talented parent will be prey to feelings of inadequacy, says Prof Clarkson.

She explains: "If there is a genius in the family, the chances are the children will be less bright. And if a parent achieves something exceptional, what chance does a child have of living up to that?"


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