Prince William is Engaged: Royal Lessons Learned

The really happy couple

I’ll admit it. When I heard that Prince William is now engaged to Kate Middleton, his long-time girlfriend, I thought, “Meh.” That’s a direct quote from my brain.  But still I wanted to read all about it.

So I found that they’re now 28 and they’ve been dating since they met in college at St. Andrew’s in Scotland. That’s good! They didn’t rush into anything.  And, because Kate Middleton’s family is just a regular family with a (very successful) family business, it’s not as though this marriage was royally designated, like the marriage of Charles and Diana.

In fact, nothing about this marriage is anything like the marriage of Prince William’s parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana.  Nothing.  And that’s very, very good.Whatever you think about divorce (and here are some thoughts from Heather and Sierra), it’s known that children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves.  Princess Diana‘s own parents were divorced in 1969 and fought a messy custody battle.

Diana must have gone through a lot as a child of an unhappy couple and as a wife in an unhappy marriage, but she was known as a loving and devoted mother. She took her kids on trips, named them, and declined to circumcise them  (thus bucking the royal tradition).

Likewise Charles is consistently portrayed as a devoted father.  Parents, even if they’re royals, want what’s best for their kids.  With Charles happily married to Camilla Parker Bowles, he must know what it means to get to choose a life partner on his own terms. Lucky for the current crop of royals, the trials and tribulations of their parents’ generation, means that everyone’s learned their lesson when it comes to forming a happy union.

Diana and Charles’ wedding was often described as a fairy tale.  Because Kate Middleton is from a non-aristocratic family it might seem like she’s living a bit of a fairy tale right now — and William is certainly a handsome prince — but their marriage after a long relationship seems like it’s starting right where it should for the best chances of success: Down here on earth.

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