Sorry, if we were living in Britain, that sentence would have read “Prince William to wed Catherine (Don’t call me Kate) Middleton.”
Thank you, George Washington, for saving me from the horror of actually having to care about the British Royal Family. Obsessing over the Britney Spears is much more respectable. At least she can dance.
But there is an interesting wrinkle to the massive waste of time, money, and ink about to be spent on the royal nuptials. For the first time, U.K. laws would appear to hold pre-nuptial agreements enforceable. Which leads to the obvious questions: should the royal couple sign a prenup?
I think the answer is yes, and not to protect the crown jewels from a spurned future Catherine. See, it turns out that Kate Middleton is a “commoner” only in the insulting, archaic, British sense of the word….
The ABA Journal reports on the recent change to British law:
Until recently, the advance pacts about how to handle marital assets in the event of a divorce, weren’t considered valid under British law. But following a landmark supreme court ruling last month in the case of German heiress Katrin Radmacher, they are now enforceable, according to the Financial Times (sub. req.) and the Guardian.
Obviously, William and Catherine are in love now. But their much publicized courtship has had a lot of turmoil during their eight years of dating (I’ll take “S**t or get off the pot” for $200, Alex). And the House of Windsor has been more like a house of horror when it comes to lasting relationships: Diana, Fergie, Princess Anne — marrying a British royal provides only slightly more stability than pounding Four Lokos with Charlie Sheen.
Prudence would suggest that Middleton consider a prenup — for her protection. Middleton is “common” by British standards. Apparently her ancestors did not ferociously inbreed for centuries. In America, we’d only mention Middleton’s family to talk about how rich they are. Her father and mother started a company selling mail order party favors, and now they’re rich. Multi-millionaires. And they didn’t even have to inherit hemophilia to make it happen.
Prince William, on the other hand, sure seems rich and all. Something like half a billion dollars in personal wealth for QE II and the Pathetic Prince. But Prince Charles can just ask his namesake, Charles I, how quickly monarchical wealth can be taken away. The British royalty exists because the British people allow it to. Why they do this is beyond me, but that it could end, tomorrow, if the people said “what the HELL do these people do” cannot be discounted. And if the Brits ever do throw off their masters, I’ll bet they’ll want some of that $500 million back.
Oh, it’ll never happen, you say? Don’t be so sure. The Empire isn’t what it used to be, we’re in rough economic times, and when Queen Elizabeth II dies (she’s got to die at some point, right? I think we’ve definitively proven that monarchs are not Gods) there will be a coronation for a “King Charles” the people don’t even like. It could be a perfect time for the people of England to say “enough” with this totally ludicrous anachronism.
So I hope Catherine seriously considers a prenup. Her family sells things. They build wealth and help the economy. Her family’s contribution to British society far outstrips that of her fiance’s.