Newscasters here and abroad are discussing plans for the Royal Wedding. Predictions for the success or failure of this 21st century marriage are inevitable. To a degree, however, they are also cruel in that many cannot resist comparing Kate to Prince William’s mother, Diana. In so doing, many proclaim that she, too, will not be able survive the pressures she will face and therefore this marriage will fail just as did that of his parents.
One can’t help but note that while many in England are looking forward to the wedding as a time-out from the the country’s economic and political turmoil, others are only too happy to predict a complicated and unsuccessful union.
Such is human nature and such is the nature of the media which often creates stories, treating rumors as news, hinting at scandal where none exists in order to fill space on the written page or hours of endless chatter on television.
Given the number of couples I’ve counseled over the years, William and Kate have much in their favor. From where I sit, it appears that this will be a good marriage. I say this knowing the divorce statistics of marriages world-wide and knowing, as well, that certain factors seldom improve after a marriage if they are problematic beforehand.
With William and Kate, their lengthy courtship has given Kate time to know what William’s life is really about: his royal responsibilities and obligations, as well as his role within his family. That she seems to feel comfortable with the Royal family and has already attended many occasions with them but without William, due to his military obligations, speaks well for her ability to be independent and to “fit in” to a lifestyle most (even those from similar heritages) would find too daunting. And William – off-spring of a royal marriage and a royal scandal – has learned to be loyal to both his beloved, deceased mother and his father, as well.
He presents himself as having the capacity to be doting and mature, qualities necessary for a successful marriage and often missing in the children from dysfunctional families where parents enter into a divorce and children are caught between warring factions.
It seems not to be a coincidence either that he has taken his time before “proposing,” given all that he had to have known about his parent’s brief courtship which, in retrospect, seemed doomed from the start.
He appears to have the wisdom and the insight to know that he does not want to repeat his father’s role model as husband. Clearly, he has given great thought to considering his family’s history and the price paid for mistakes made which hurt both parents and children.
Luckily for William, Kate is beautiful, stylish and seemingly well-intentioned. There’s no need for competition with William’s memories of his mother in any of those areas. With grace and dignity, he has also voiced his faith in Kate’s ability to carve out her own successful destiny.
That she has an in-tact family that has – by his own admission – genuinely embraced him as their own, without the fanfare of public attention and adoration that has been his since birth, can be nothing short of refreshing. What bodes as well for them is the fact that he and Kate were schoolmates for years, that they shared similar intellectual proclivities and a coterie of like-minded friends.
Although most of us can’t truly imagine the stresses imposed upon those belonging to royal families who, in today’s world seem to live fairy tale existences when compared to anything we know as resembling reality – it’s all too easy to think that their wealth and power outweigh any problems they may have with the paparazzi, their lack of privacy and the need for safety for themselves and their loved ones. Yet, we do know in far too much detail the toll that the Palace’s power took on the naive and inexperienced Princess Di.
In counseling couples before they marry or when they are contemplating divorce, the most critical areas of discord are those which make one or both partners feel unloved or disrespected. When two people lead parallel lives and not lives in which values and areas of interest are shared, it is much more difficult to help them rekindle whatever passion may have existed in the very first months or years of their being together. The fact that Kate and William seem so well-suited – their similar interests and intellect, the time successfully spent in a variety of environments and situations – is yet another reason to feel hopeful about their future.
That Kate is neither as young as was Princess Di nor as naive or unloved by a prince who did not proclaim his adoration for her to the world as William did for Kate in a charming and endearing manner should be another hopeful sign.
Here’s to all young couples, future brides and grooms everywhere who have stars in their eyes and reason to believe that theirs will be a life worth sharing!
And here’s to Prince William and his lovely Kate!
*Visit my website http://www.applemanshapiro.com to learn more about my private psychotherapy practice, my work as an oral historian, and my book, FOUR ROOMS, UPSTAIRS, which can be purchased directly from the website.