MAY / JUNE 2016: BY LILA DONOVAN
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s romance captivated the world because they seem to exude a genuine love for each other. How did a commoner win the heart of a prince?
Catherine Elizabeth Middleton arrived January 9, 1982. Her father, Michael, was a flight dispatcher. Mother, Carole, worked as a flight attendant. Carole started a family business in 1987, Party Pieces, which sells party supplies and decorations in the UK. As the business grew and flourished, Michael quit his job to help Carole. They became self-made millionaires. Kate and her siblings attended privileged schools. Kate went to the University of St. Andrews where she met her future husband.
Prince William Arthur Philip Louis arrived June 21, 1982. His mother, Diana Spencer, came from an aristocratic background and married Prince Charles in a wedding seen around the world. His parents had an unhappy marriage and divorced. The public adored Princess Diana, who gave her sons as normal a life as possible and immersed herself in philanthropy.
On August 30, 1997 Princess Diana had a horrific car crash while trying to escape paparazzi and died the next day. William grew up under the care of their father until he went to the University of St. Andrews.
College placed Kate in St. Salvators Hall, the same building as William. They shared several classes and breakfasted together. They were friends at first. Kate was dating a senior. She ended the relationship when he graduated. William invited Kate and several friends to share a flat. Soon, they started dating. They tried to keep their relationship a secret for several years, especially from the press.
After both graduated, Kate attended a royal family ski trip, making it obvious she was the prince’s girlfriend. William went to a military academy. Kate tried to contend with paparazzi and find a flexible job that allowed her to take time off to be with William. She landed at the British clothing store Jigsaw. William joined the army. They broke up in April 2007. Kate wanted to get married; William wasn’t ready yet.
Prince Charles encouraged William to not string Kate along and let her move on. William called her at work and broke up with her over the phone. Instead of becoming a recluse or eating lots of ice cream, Kate worked out, lost weight, joined a rowing team, dated other people and attended public events. She turned down exclusive interviews to talk to the press about her former relationship. The classy way she handled the breakup made Kate irresistible. Their separation soon ended.
Kate is the first royal bride to have a university degree. She is the first commoner in 350 years. She comes from a middle-class background, without titles or connections. They married on April 29, 2011, and had their first child, Prince George on July 22, 2013. Kate gave birth to Princess Charlotte on May 2, 2015.
Although people seem to call Kate a commoner, in a way she isn’t, because her parents went from the middle-class to self-made millionaires. They worked hard for their success. When you enter the wealthy class, you are introduced to their way of life and habits. It was easier for Kate to fit in with William because she understood where he came from and how wealthy people think.
Other commoners have found love with kings. Queen Letizia met King Felipe of Spain as journalist. They are married with two children. Princess Charlene of Monaco was a former Olympic swimmer; she married Prince Albert II, they have twins together.
Princess Tatianna was an event planner before getting married to Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands worked for Deutsche Bank when she met her husband King Willem-Alexander. Sofia Hellqvist was a model and reality TV star before she married Prince Carl Philip.
Princess Victoria of Sweden married Daniel Westling. He came from a rural town and owned a series of gyms. Queen Rania of Jordan married King Abdullah II, but before that worked at Apple.
As long as two people love and respect each other, can work through their problems, and fight fair, it doesn’t matter where they came from.
William and Kate have established a legacy that royal families don’t have to be miserable, but can be happy. The contrast between their happiness and William’s unhappy parents is evident. Their romance seems genuine and warms the public to the monarchy. William has found a happy ending with Kate. Somewhere in Heaven, Princess Diana is watching over them. ♥
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lila Donovan is a Christian and a university student. She loves to read, draw, write, and has a blog.