On April 29 2011 the happy couple will celebrate their vows at the ancient and magnificent Westminster Abbey in London. King Henry I and Princess Matilda of Scotland were the first Royals to get married there when they tied the knot on Nov. 11, 1100. And of course it was the venue for the heart-rending but ultimately inspiring funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1997.
There have been a lot of column inches written about this most modern of couples, and their romance seems to have captured the imagination of the entire world.
Since meeting as students at St Andrew’s University in Scotland, their love affair has had plenty of time to flourish and mature. There can be no doubt that both of them are absolutely in love and committed to a lifetime’s partnership together.
And unlike Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, who infamously replied to the question as to whether he was in love with Diana “Yes, whatever ‘in love’ means…”, you can be certain that his son and future daughter-in-law know exactly what love is.
Much has been made of the future King of England marrying a commoner. Vestiges of snobbery masquerading as court protocol still haunt the royal corridors. Taunts of ‘doors to manual’ have been reported as being used by some aristocrats and courtiers of Kate, a reference to her mother’s former occupation as a flight attendant.
From what we have seen of her and her family, such underhand, pathetic and childish comments are undoubtedly taken with a sense of humour. They reveal more about the taunter than the recipient.
The Middletons are respectably middle class. Kate’s father, Michael, is the son of a former airline pilot, and himself started as an airline steward for British Airways (where he met his future wife Carole Goldsmith) before rising to the rank of flight dispatcher.
They made their money in the party ware business, and their company, Party Pieces, is as far as anyone can tell, thriving. It even features Royal Wedding items in its stock.
The family home in the small village of Bucklebury in the Royal County of Berkshire (not that far from Windsor Castle) is where Kate has spent most of her formative years. Of course as is perfectly normal for people of her class and income in England, she had a privileged education at the prestigious private boarding school Marlborough College.
Interestingly, a former school friend has described her as ordinary, hard-working, athletic and easy-going. Perhaps it is these down to earth qualities which not only attracted her to Prince William in the first place, but which will help keep both their feet firmly rooted in the real world for the rest of their lives.
What is certain is that their lives will be on display, even more so than Diana’s. How they cope with the ups and downs of life, the paparazzi, the inevitable press intrusions, the whiffs of scandal, will be a big test for their maturity, wisdom and love.I hope their love last forever.Tags: airline pilot, british airways, diana princess of wales, former airline, prince william and kate, prince william and kate middleton, westminster abbey, william and kate