Prince William's Engagement!

The Prince of Wales announced the engagement of his eldest son, Prince William, to a commoner woman, Kate Middleton, on November 16, 2010, Tuesday. William presented Middleton an exquisite oval-shaped blue sapphire engagement ring surrounded with 15 diamonds previously worn by his mother, Diana, on her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981.

Prince William is the first British heir in history to marry a middle-class woman, if he had lived prior to the 20th century, his marriage would be considered "morganatic" and would lose his place in the line of succession.

His future wife, Catherine Elizabeth Middleton, who is six months older than him, is a daughter of Michael and Carole Middleton, both flight attendants before founding a family business, Party Pieces. They lived in Berkshire county near Windsor Castle. Her middle class background is viewed as nothing but a mockery at its finest form to the most exalted royal court on earth. Since the 17th century, no future British King ever married a non-aristocratic woman.

Unlike the late Princess of Wales, Diana, Kate Middleton did not generate mass hysteria when she started dating Prince William. Her unimpressive personality failed to capture everybody's fascination of a fairytale Princess.

Let's admit it, the survival of the monarchy partly relies on public approval, King Edward VIII already cost his throne all because of inappropriate choice for a wife. Though Kate is not divorced unlike Wallis Simpson, she is hardly a phenomenon who could add glamour and charm to the dilapidated House of Windsor.

Some royal watchers are even disgusted with her wild partying image and her eagerness to jump into the royal bandwagon. The press even called her "Waity Katie" for being " too lazy" to find a suitable career and a serious job after graduation and her eagerness and just wait for the marriage proposal to land in her palm.

In contrast to other commoners who are independently-established, accomplished, and have soaring careers before marrying royal Princes in the European court, Middleton has no career of her own and did nothing except tailing Prince William all through out their 8-year relationship. It is doubted if she could really carry a role of a future Queen Consort and could handle the pressure of being in the royal fold.

William should learn from history. His great-great uncle, King Edward VIII, voluntary abdicated in 1936 because his choice for a wife almost created a Constitutional Crisis. The King was besotted to a commoner, twice divorced American woman, Wallis Simpson, the British subjects strongly opposed her to be their "regina". The King abdicated and lived in a lonely exile, he was also stripped of his properties and his wife did not receive a royal status.

Though William and Kate had been in a relationship for almost eight years, her total lack of aristocratic background and unfamiliarity of the royal routine fretted other royalists and doubted if she could survive in the rigid system of the British establishment. After the collapse of his parents' marriage in 1990s, many royalists suggested that Prince William should choose a woman within his circle who is more discreet and familiar with the royal decorum.

The "outsiders" (royal family's term for commoners) find the royal routine dour and boring that some of them who joined the establishment became disillusioned with their role. The marriages of Princess Anne to Mark Phillips, Prince Andrew to Sarah Ferguson and Princess Margaret to Tony Armstrong-Jones, all ended in divorce.

Andrew Morton once wrote "Grafting commoners into the Hanoverian (Queen Elizabeth's bloodline) Tree proved to be very disastrous". Lord Mountbatten, the favorite uncle of Prince Charles, told the latter in early 70's "Love is not an option for a man who would be King of England, it is a consideration in marriage but not a guiding force".

Traditionally, royal brides should come from a suitable background with royal pedigree, not a Roman Catholic because a British King would automatically become a Supreme head of the Church of England which is a protestant church. She should free from any sort of scandal and could carry a royal responsibility with ease. Royals who were suggested to Prince William during his teenage years include Princess Madelaine of Sweden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark both well-educated, very independent and accomplished.

The idea of choosing a royal bride is this: The monarchy is a different institution, people within their circle are reared with a certain role to fulfill which only royalty could grasp, inviting commoners into the turf, would mean exposing the "magic and charm" they held precious. The outsiders hardly understand this ancient royal tradition.

Only fortune teller could tell how long Kate Middleton could endure the upper-lip system of the British establishment which Princess Diana later on found "unbearable". Let's just hope that Prince William's future marriage wouldn't pass to the same troubled water his royal relatives' marital union gone through.

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