It’s official. Prince William will make Kate Middleton his princess. They got engaged last month in Kenya. Although the young prince hails from a family of castles and fairytales, their courtship was surprisingly normal. Particularly when compared to that of Williams parents. Prince Charles and Lady Di had only known each other a little over a year at the time of their engagement. And according to many, their relationship never contained much passion, replaced, instead, with awkward formality.
Nevertheless, the two wed in 1981 and shortly thereafter gave birth to William, the future heir to the throne. And now the young Prince has chosen the woman who will undoubtedly be the future mommy of yet another heir to the throne.
William and Kate have been romantically linked since their college days at Scotland’s St. Andrews University. Their eight years didn’t come without its share of trying times, as the two even separated for a period of time. But such a separation is perfectly normal, healthy even, for any couple experiencing growing pains. The two have always seemed well-suited for one another.
But there has been one issue, namely that of her suitability. Though Kate hails from a couple of self-made millionaires, she’s not an aristocrat. (Gasp!) But according to CBS correspondent Mark Phillips, what the royal family wants most is a marriage that will last. It’s tempting to categorize the royal family’s desire as common-sensical. Or even trite. But in a royal world filled with pomp and circumstance, such a stated desire should be commended.
Perhaps the royal family learned from the train-wreck that was Charles and Diana’s relationship. Shortly after the couple said “I do,” their fairytale marriage became anything but. By the late 80’s, the two lived in different domiciles, and were only a couple whenever out in public. Talk of infidelity abounded and the two essentially become little more than tabloid fodder.
It seems that Charles, as well as others in the royal family, refuse to let the same thing happen again. He’s given his son plenty of leeway with regard to this personal matter, trusting his son to get it right without the weight of the throne upon him. While it would seem that helicopter parenting would be part and parcel of any relationship that had the potential to spawn a future King or Queen, Charles has shown remarkable restraint. And wisdom.
And it seems to have paid off. His son’s relationship with Kate appears to be a very healthy one. And their eight-year courtship will certainly better prepare the couple for a lifelong commitment than the brief, formal and awkward courtship of William’s parents which yielded a marriage that ended in divorce.
And let’s face it. No child wants to see their parents get divorced. Not even a future King.
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