Since the soon-to-be-married royal couple has perhaps more pressure on them than anyone else in the world to stay married and happy, I have to weigh in on this one. Of course I’ve been watching it with interest and perhaps a different point of view.
I have to confess that I enjoy watching the ceremony and pomp and circumstance as much as anyone. Kate and William are both on the gorgeous side so they’re easy on the eyes and fun to watch. This enjoyment of what’s the equivalent of a real live soap opera does not extend to cutting off my own awareness, however.
A friend posted on face book, “Oh, isn’t love wonderful!” This seems the kind of simplistic thinking that gets so many people in trouble. “Oh, they’re in love, surely they will live happily ever after!” The not-so-instant replay of royal weddings I saw on TV last night–8 of them from Elizabeth’s on, showed that all but one of them since Elizabeth’s in 1947 has ended in divorce. (Princess Margaret, the Queen’s sister; her daughter Princess Anne; her son Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson; Charles and Diana of course are the ones I remember.)
So what do I think Kate and Will’s chances are? Given the circumstances, I think pretty good. The first factor of course is age. Charles was over 30 when he married Diana, and Diana was only 20 with so little life experience and nothing but romantic notions of marriage including royal marriage. Charles reportedly (of course I only know what I read in the press as I am not on speaking terms with the royalty, unfortunately!) was under pressure to find not only a “suitable” young aristocrat to marry, but one who was also a virgin at the time of marriage. In this day and age, and even in the 1980s, how suitable a requirement was that? Did it not pre-dispose any match to failure from over-romanticism and unrealistic expectations?
Second, though of course he lost his mother at a young age (15), Will was raised by Diana who wished her son to live in the real world, including a world which had some degree of emotional intelligence. It seems the affection and caring he will have received from his mother in his formative years will have far surpassed what Charles received. Charles of course is renowned for offering the shake his mother’s hand when she returned from an extended trip and he was (as I recall) about 5. I haven’t heard anyone who doubts that Diana did love her boys and show them as much affection as possible.
Whereas Charles was doing the proper thing by marrying a suitable young virgin and apparently also believing he could continue his affair with the then-married Camilla Parker-Bowles, Will seems to have a more realistic view of what will be required of his queen. Reportedly he broke off their relationship after many years because he wished to give Kate the space to see if living in the spotlight where “every square inch of her body would be photographed 24/7” as one report I read said. He knew how hard the transition had been on his mother, and he wished his bride to know what she was getting into. From my point of view, this shows an awareness on his part not only of what’s required of him in his role as future king, but also of what’s required another human being, his wife to be. This awareness of the feelings of someone other than himself is a requirement for a relationship that’s happy and successful for both parties.
And perhaps even more important is the fact that the two seem to be friends. Liking the other person, rather than just being attracted to them cause “they’re hot” or rich or the sex is good in the beginning is one of my 6 Dos to have a relationship that lasts. Newsweek reports that Kate “gets” William. She is aware of what’s going on with him even without his having to tell her and is willing to encompass that in her own actions.
So good on ya, you two gorgeous beings! I wish you all the best and wish you every success!