Kate Middleton’s Sunderland cousin strips for Playboy – would the princess approve?

Katrina Darling. Picture by Scott Spock Photography
Katrina Darling. Picture by Scott Spock Photography
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IT’S enough to get one’s knickers in a twist - Kate Middleton’s Mackem cousin is stripping for Playboy.

Burlesque dancer Katrina Darling, 21, from Fulwell, was approached by the US adult magazine to pose naked on the front cover.

The former Monkwearmouth School pupil will grace eight pages in the September issue, which will be available to buy on August 17 in Britain and North America.

Katrina only discovered her connection to one of the world’s most famous women when a newspaper began digging into Kate’s family tree at the time of the Royal engagement.

They discovered that Katrina’s grandma, Jane Darling, was sister to Kate’s great grandfather Thomas Harrison.

She has since caused controversy by performing a risqué burlesque version of God Save the Queen.

Even Hugh Hefner, the famous pyjama-wearing owner of Playboy, is excited about Katrina’s appearance in his top shelf magazine.

He tweeted this week: “Katrina Darling, the second cousin of British royal Kate Middleton, is causing a sensation in the September issue of Playboy.”

Speaking about her Royal connections in the past, Katrina said: “I wasn’t into the whole ‘I am Kate Middleton’s cousin’ thing, but the media picked it up and just went with it. In a way it’s helped with PR, but I’ve worked extremely hard anyway.”

She added: “The first I knew about it was when I was up in Glasgow doing a show and there was a voicemail on my phone from a reporter. I thought it was an April Fool at first.

“My grandparents on that side died before I was born and we didn’t know we were related to Kate. It’s nice to meet other cousins through this though.”

The Playboy website also reveals that Katrina is preparing to take the stage for a special private dance on Playboy.com.

She said: “The more into it the audience is. The more into it I am.”

Katrina began her burlesque career dancing with Sunderland-based troupe The Coquette Collective, she has since gone on to appear on international stages.

Though other relatives were invited to the Royal Wedding last year, Katrina has never met the Duchess of Cambridge.

Twitter: @sunechokaty