Royal Marriage Pressure
As Prince William and Kate Middleton prepare to tie the knot on Apr. 29 in a royal wedding ceremony that will be watched by a global television audience of nearly two billion people, there growing speculation as to whether the royal marriage will bring the couple closer together or have the opposite effect. Despite the fact that of the seven British royal marriages since 1947, four did not survive, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said preparations for nuptial event were going well during a cabinet meeting. Now, some observers are even asking if the fairy tale wedding might not include a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements are uncommon in Britain but some of the more vocal British divorce lawyers have said in the UK press that it might be a good idea for the Prince since he has a lot to lose if things don’t turn out well. William will receive an inheritance from the queen, whose current fortune has been estimated at $460 million as well as the portion of Princess Diana’s $34 million estate he has already received. It wasn’t so long ago that Prince Charles’ former financial adviser told Britain’s newspapers that Princess Diana took Charles to the cleaners when he handed over his entire personal fortune of more than $27 million at the time their marriage ended in 1996. So far, the Prince’s press office has not commented on whether the future king will sign a premarital contract.
The most famous broken royal marriage is William’s own parents split, that of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer, who were married in 1981 and divorced in 1996. However, out of Queen Elizabeth’s four children, three experienced failed marriages. The list includes Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones who married in 1960 and divorced in 1978, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips who married in 1973 and divorced in 1992 as well as Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson who married in 1986 and divorced in 1996. Obviously, the public’s desire to know what’s going on inside the royal family can make it difficult for their high-profile marriages to succeed. Once a royal couple’s internal frictions leak out through friends and close associates, the media picks it up and the negative tabloid headlines only amplify the marital tension. The resulting media attention helps make the royal marriages unsustainable and eventually they fail.
The overwhelming public attention and scrutiny can push normal tension to the breaking point in a royal marriage. No doubt Prince William and Kate Middleton will feel the weight of expectation on their wedding day as broadcasters around the world broadcast coverage of the Westminster Abbey ceremony to an audience estimated to be over two billion people. Hopefully, this is one royal couple that will not go the way of their infamous predecessors and they will be able to live in marital bliss indefinitely.