It may seem romantic to marry a British royal, but so far this century, the reality has been somewhat sketchy. When we heard the news that Kate Middleton is engaged to wed Prince William, we worried: would they be able to stick together when so many royal romances went south?
Kate and William have lived together, which is a radical departure from royals of yore. Dubbed “Waity Katie” by the British press because she showed such patience over their eight-year on-again-off-again relationship, she’s finally got a ring on her finger. But whether it stays there is another question.
Some other royal romances have had their scandalous moments; how do these two add up?
In 1931, handsome Prince Edward met and fell in love with a married woman named Wallis Simpson. He ditched his two other married mistresses to be with her. He was eventually crowned King Edward VIII, but wasn’t allowed to marry a divorcee -- so he gave up the crown in 1936 to be with her (as well as his home -- they were both exiled). Romantic! But awful! Thank goodness Kate was never married before.
Prince Charles was in love with Camilla Parker-Bowles way before his family “suggested” he marry Lady Diana Spencer. The huge storybook wedding didn’t lead to long-term love, as Charles and Camilla could never give each other up. Eventually Charles and Diana split (and of course the beloved princess, William’s mom, died tragically), but that scandal paved the way for the twosome to finally make it legal, which they did in 2005. Many say this quietly cost Charles the chance to ever be king, and others say that’s a relief to him anyway. William has had tons of gal pals -- will he be true to Kate?
Charles’ brother Andrew was super-naughty as a young man, shocking the British press with his romance with erotic star Koo Stark. But he seemed to settle down with Sarah Ferguson -- except that darn girl couldn’t settle down herself, constantly brushing up against the strictures of the royal family. They divorced in 1996, after 10 years, and she’s still making headlines with dubious money-making deals. Will Kate be able to deal with the rules and regulations of being a royal? Interesting side note: Though Camilla is now, technically, the Princess of Wales, she never uses that title because it’s so heavily connected to Princess Di. But if Charles becomes King, guess who’ll be the next Princess of Wales? Kate. Sort of marrying your mom: weird royal “perk.”
Do you think Kate and William are part of a new royal tradition -- one where you can have a somewhat normal relationship even in the public’s eye? Tell us in the comments!