How to Marry A Prince

More than 2 billion people — that’s right, “Billion” with a “B” — are expected to watch this week’s Royal Wedding as Britain’s heir to the throne Prince William, 28, says “I do” to his college sweetheart Kate Middleton, 29.

The two billion people tuning in represent roughly one-third of the world’s population — or every man, woman and child in the United States, China, Brazil, Russia and Japan combined.

But why do people care so much? At its core, the William and Kate story is a classic fairytale: the future king falls in love with a common girl. Bucking tradition, the handsome prince proposes despite the fact that it’s been almost 350 years since the last time a commoner married a future king.

Kate’s father is a former airline pilot, her mother is a former airline stewardess. Kate, the oldest of three, grew up as a normal child: she majored in art history and played intramural sports. She’s pretty, but not in the exotic, high-cheekbones, unattainable Angelina Jolie sense. Her face resembles the girl-next-door: 5’10″ with brunette hair, clear skin and cute dimples. She’s not a supermodel or a genius or an Oscar-nominated star. She’s incredibly human. She reminds us of ourselves. When we see Kate marry the future king, we think to ourselves: “that could be me.”

As E! Online put it:

William and Kate are going to re-enact your favorite childhood fairy tale, Cinderella.

But why did William — who could have his choice of the world’s most beautiful women — fall for Kate? She seems to possess some of the same traits I’ve seen in other friends who have snagged highly-sought-after husbands:

1. She’s Not Pretentious.

Wealthy people can spot a gold digger from a mile away. Most have a keen sense for uncovering who is genuinely interested in them – and who only cares about their wallet. If a potential suitor seems more interested in luxury hotels and designer labels than in truly understanding his or her partner’s fears, hopes and dreams, that person is probably not The One.

Both Will and Kate have been described, again and again, as people who don’t get caught up in the glamor of their lives. They’ve been buying groceries at supermarket Tesco since their college dating days. After they marry they’ll move to the countryside, far removed from the glitz of London, where they’ll do their own cooking and cleaning, according to a report in The Globe and Mail.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, who has spent a great deal of time with the couple leading up to the wedding, described the duo as “deeply unpretentious” and “sensible,” according to the BBC. Kate even plans on wearing flats while she walks down the aisle; a sensible choice, given how much standing she’ll be doing. (She’ll slip into heels for the reception.)

2. She’s Patient.

Many wealthy people are guarded and wary: they’ve been burned a time or two by inauthentic friends who either used them for their fame, money and connections or who tried to knock them down due to jealousy.

Many privileged people have learned to narrow their trusted inner circle to only a select few whom they’re absolutely certain have their best intentions at heart.

Kate understands that trust can’t be won overnight. William’s decision to marry her – or anyone – is fraught with risk. The royal family frowns upon divorce. Any divorce or scandal could jeopardize William’s claim to the throne. (In 1936, King Edward the Eighth’s decision to marry a divorced woman forced him to resign. He ceded his kingship to his younger brother, King George the Sixth, who became Queen Elizabeth’s father and William’s great-grandfather.)

Kate’s understanding of these risks and her patience with William kept her waiting eight years for a proposal. During that time the relationship remained her top priority. She went as far as to negotiate with her employer, fashion house Jigsaw, the right to take a leave of absence “whenever she wanted, for however long she wanted, whenever William called,” according to the New York Post.

In the end she proved that patience is indeed a virtue. First, however, she had to endure years of being mocked by the public, as the British media dubbed her “Waity Kaity.” Which leads to my next point …

3) She’s Thick-Skinned.

Like any public figure, Kate has been criticized for everything you can imagine: detractors say she’s too thin, she’s never developed a career, she’s not from a respectable family. She’s handled every criticism with grace, never retorting back or launching a counterattack.

During the only interview she’s ever given, with Tom Bradby of ITV News, she showed no animosity to her detractors, simply saying, “You can only be true to yourself.”

4) She’s Disciplined.

At university she jogged each morning before meeting William in the dining hall for breakfast, she avoided the party lifestyle, and she graduated with Honors.

When she and William briefly broke up, she drowned her sorrows not with food or booze but with exercise and charitable work. She stays lighthearted and fun — William said he loves her “naughty sense of humor,” and she enjoys an occasional pina colada — but she’s always polished, composed, and in control.

As the New York Post puts it:

(She) refreshes her makeup before leaving a nightclub at 3 a.m., and has never been photographed stumbling out of a bar.

Discipline, patience, down-to-earth sensibility and refusal to cave to criticism are sharp skills that can earn you anything: an Olympic medal, a bestselling novel, a sold-out concert tour. This is exactly the mix of skills you would need to excel at sports or music, succeed in business, build a millionaire portfolio — or in Kate’s case, marry the handsome prince and make her Cinderella fairytale come true.

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8 Responses to “How to Marry A Prince”

  1. Shannyn
    23. May, 2011 at 12:40 pm #

    I admittedly adore Kate Middleton. While I don’t think all men (or women) are worth waiting around for like that- for a woman who has her own things going and is getting something out of the relationship that adds to her life and has potential for a sound marriage (well I hope so) patience can truly be a virtue.

    I’m not a fan of the women (as much as I hate the stereotype) who pester a man to get married when they’re not ready to as a couple. Marriage is not going to solidify a relationship, what will make it solid is waiting through the good times and the bad and being a steady, reliable partner who is dedicated to helping her/himself be their best and putting that towards the relationship.

    But good lord that was a beautiful wedding! I’m so hooked!

    • AffordAnything.org
      23. May, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      @Shannyn — I totally love Kate Middleton too! She does a great job of balancing tradition with modernity. It’s tough to strike that middle ground between abiding by traditions while still “being yourself,” and she balances it beautifully. She doesn’t mind obeying the royal tradition of choosing a wedding dress that has sleeves and a conservative neckline, but she’ll still make her own major life choices, like living with her boyfriend before marriage.

  2. Shannyn
    23. May, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    So do you have any princes you can recommend me to? Heck I’ll even take one that acts like a gentleman without the title! ;)

  3. Yani
    09. May, 2012 at 8:54 am #

    Hi Paula. Always a pleasure for me to read your materials.
    How are you ? Settled down back in the US?
    Yani (Kibbutz Dalia)

    • AffordAnything.org
      09. May, 2012 at 10:49 am #

      @Yani — Hi Yani!! It was great meeting you! How are you? It’s been a long time!

  4. Penelope
    12. Aug, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    I have been reading things were Prince Harry is looking for the right girl to settled down and he wants kids. Well maybe he is just looking in the wrong places. Maybe he needs just a plain jane type of girl. One that is more in to the stuff he is. With the motorcross etc. And stop going for the models. Find someone that knows how to have fun. And thats not there for his money or title. But for him. And that can stand up and take what is thrown at her. Oh i have to look at his photos on my phone daily. I dont care about money titles or any of that stuff just him. I would LOVE to meet him and be with him.

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