Thursday, January 11, 2007

Is the Prince Worth It?

USA Today is on royals watch. It reported the other day that Prince William’s girlfriend, the really cute commoner Kate Middleton, has been given her own security detail, a sure sign—they say—that an engagement announcement is imminent. I think William is incredibly good looking, seems like a smart, nice, well-grounded guy, and, after all, he’s richer than God and set to be the future king of England.

A catch, in other words. No doubt Kate is madly in love with him, and would be thrilled to receive a proposal.

But here’s the thing: is marrying into the royal family worth it?

They have rules and courtiers, duties and traditions, and the Queen, as I understand it, has to give permission for just about every major decision anyone in the family makes. Years ago, when I read Fergie’s book (that’s the Duchess of York to you), I was astonished to learn they even had rules about having microwaves in the royal apartments, and guidelines about the raising and lowering of window shades.

Oh, come on.

Worst of all, there’s the paparazzi.

Diana’s story is still fresh in my mind, maybe since I saw the fabulous movie THE QUEEN a few weeks ago. I don’t think Diana slid so well into the royal fabric, but of course she was only nineteen at the time, and Kate is twenty-five. And, after all, maybe the suffering that Diana endured has made the royals more sensitive to newcomers. Let’s hope so, for Kate’s sake.

So here’s my question: if you were madly in love with a prince, would marrying into his family, with all their rules, restrictions and traditions, be worth the loss of life as you know it?


Sally MacKenzie said...

Well as a romance writer, I have to say yes. True love and all that. And if I were 25 again and madly in love, I'd probably say yes, too. Love is blind, and most 25 year olds--I got married at age 25--are...young. (I'm still married to my prince, btw. His family lives a few states away, and his mom is very nice and doesn't comment on how I probably don't take the best care of her boy. Have I mentioned I'm the mother of sons? Makes for a distinct change in perspective.)

But at the doctor's the other day--waiting rooms are my main source of People magazine--I read about the paparazzi circus Kate is being subjected to and I also wondered if it was worth it. If I were Kate's,I'm not so sure what I'd advise her...but having a son who is almost 25, I suspect my wisdom would fall on deaf ears.

Colleen Gleason said...

If it's twuuuuu wuuuvvvvv, then yes.

And I'd think, judging by Kate's saucy little dimple there, and the fact that the Queen ain't gonna be around for that much longer, if anyone can try to break the mold of the British Royals, she might just be the one to do it.

Goodness knows, Sarah Ferguson tried. To great fanfare, and went down in flames, but she tried. So I say: Go Kate!

Wendy Roberts said...

Kate's decision to marry is a huge lifestyle choice. There is no way she'd be going in blind. She knows what the expectations would be, however, even twenty-five seems a little young to make that kind of leap.

May said...

I think if it's twuuu wuv, my prince would help me break the mold, as Colleen said.

Because I couldn't live that way.

It's not Diana I'm thinking about, but the Japanese Crown Princess Masako, who's not been performing her official duties in more than a year, because she couldn't cope.

Ann Christopher said...

Hi, May--

I thought about Masako also. They say she's been treated for a major depression, and had fertility problems before giving birth to a daughter (not a son) a few years ago. And wasn't she a Harvard-trained career woman?

I dunno ... that royal life can wear down the best of them...


Eve Silver said...

I believe with all my heart in the power and value of love.

The truth is that royals or not, everyone gives up life as they know it when they enter into marriage. A great marriage involves love and affection, passion and compassion, sacrifice and compromise, a ton of hard work, and of course, a ton of laughter. For my true love, my forever love, yes, it would be worth it (and yeah, I met my prince many years ago, and married him, and I still love him with all my heart).

Caroline Linden said...

What I wonder is, can even Tru Luv survive the scrutiny and prying and spying when one of the parties is royalty? Kate may be truly deeply in love with him, and he with her...but how will they feel when fifty people interfere in every aspect of their lives? When they can't see each other for two weeks because of official obligations? When every single thing they do or don't do is dissected on national television? When the Star runs a photo of her at a nude beach or in a terrible bikini or walking with another man, and it becomes a matter of national interest?

I keep thinking of ordinary people who get married believing-truly-that it's true love and will last forever. Then, stuff happens. Stresses intrude. Kids, jobs, families, etc. Twenty years later they aren't in love anymore and just need a fresh start. If that can happen to ordinary people, can't it happen to two people who will not be able to go on vacation together and have a romantic getaway for just the two of them? Who will be photographed in their workout gear, all sweaty and gross? Who will be hit on by gorgeous men and women at every turn? Maybe Wills can shake up the palace, once his Grandmum and Dad kick it (when, 30 years from now?), but he'll always belong first to England. I don't think kings get vacation days and paternity leave and things like that, not really.

If I were Kate Middleton, I would be very nervous about marrying him. It's one thing to be the prince's girlfriend and another to be a princess, when everyone thinks her 'future queen' status means they have a stake in everything about her. I mean, Diana had trouble; Fergie had trouble; Sophie's had trouble. It's not an easy family to marry into.