When Prince Charles and Lady Diana Frances Spencer married on July 29, 1981, hopes were high that their fairy tale romance would be the beginning of a fairy tale life. Those hopes were quickly dashed, and the couple ended up divorcing within a decade.
Although the British royal family seems to collect divorces like crown jewels, the odds look significantly better for Prince William and Kate Middleton. Why are Prince William and Kate likely to have a real fairy tale marriage:
- They’re in love
Have you seen the photos of Prince William and Kate? They look at each other fondly. They smile at each other. Their body language shows that they clearly enjoy one another’s company.
This is a welcome change from William’s dad Prince Charles. Who can forget the engagement interview where he was asked if he was in love with Princess Diana? “Whatever ‘in love’ means,” he replied sheepishly. It was a bad omen of things to come. Charles seemed to view his marriage to Diana as an obligation, although I think Diana did love Charles.
- Their relationship began as a friendship
William and Kate met while both were students at St. Andrews University over ten years ago. They didn’t begin dating immediately, but were friends for about a year before Kate’s appearance in a campus fashion show caught William’s fancy. William has mentioned enjoying Kate’s “naughty sense of humor,” while Kate has praised William’s support of her.
William’s parents, Charles & Diana, knew each other personally for less than a year before marrying. Charles’ biographer claims that “without any apparent surge in feeling, he began to think seriously of her as a potential bride.” Friendship? Sounds more like a business decision.
- They dated for almost a decade
Prince William & Kate’s dating history included a few breakups, but they always ended up together again. Although dubbed “Waity Katie” by the British press for her long, long courtship, Kate is probably glad she took those years to truly know Prince William before making the commitment to marry him and join the formidable Royal Family.
By contrast, Charles and Diana dated less than six months before their wedding, and Charles spent several weeks of that time traveling out of the country.
- Their ages are similar
William and Kate were born the same year (1982).
This contrasts to Prince Charles, who was 32 at the time of his marriage and seemed older due to his serious nature. Diana had just turned 20 weeks before the July 29, 1981, wedding.
- They have similar friends and interests
William and Kate are well-matched in terms of personality and interests. They both are laid-back, with Kate’s humor and easy-going personality complementing William’s more serious demeanor (he’s more relaxed than his dad, Prince Charles, but there’s a limit to how casual a future king can be). They both enjoy sports and have many friends in common, notably those they know from St. Andrews University.
William’s parents, Charles and Diana, were famously different, with Charles being serious and interested in philosophy, architecture, and country living. Diana loved chatting with friends, preferably in London, and enjoyed supporting charities that dealt with the common man.
**Interested in learning more about Kate Middleton? Check out my biography of her, suitable for all ages and available in Kindle and paperback versions (affiliate link).
As someone who loved watching Charles and especially Diana during the height of their fame, I was saddened by the way their lives turned out (well, I guess Charles isn’t doing too badly). I’m happy that William and Kate seem to be getting it right. What do you think? Any other advantages you see for these new young royals?
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