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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Prince William to Marry Kate Middleton

A statement this morning from Clarence House said:
The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.

The wedding will take place in the Spring or Summer of 2011, in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.

Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya.

Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton's father.

Following the marriage, the couple will live in north Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.

What I Say:  It brought a tear to your Head Trucker's eye to see Diana's engagement ring on Kate's finger.  It was very, very touching to hear William say he wanted to put that ring on Kate's hand so that his mother could in some sense be present to share in their joy.  I well recall getting up at 4:30 in the morning to watch, over pastry and a steaming pot of tea, the live coverage of Diana's wedding, which outwardly was just perfection: all the joy and pageantry and splendid celebration that anyone could wish.

And yet as we now know, even then the trouble had already begun. By strange coincidence, I spent this past weekend looking - for no particular reason - at videos of Diana, and for the first time watched the famous Panorama interview she gave. I also read Google views of several books about her, including the Morton book based on her own tape recordings.  At this late age, I see and understand much more about the nature of things than I could have when all that was happening.

All of which is very, very sad. I was, in my romantic youth, very fond of the Princess of Wales; and it was very troubling when the fairy tale all crashed into pieces, which happened to coincide with the shattered hopes my first husband and I had. All too hard to bear; so after that I didn't keep up much with what Diana was doing, though I was of course horrified at her death, and I did watch her deeply moving funeral.

One could say a great many things about all of that; but the bottom line is, there were two great problems in that marriage. First, Diana married much too young, before she had a chance to become her own person, know her own mind, discover her own strength.

The second, of course, being that her husband - who, I believe, is a fundamentally very decent man - did not love her in the way she needed to be loved: truly, madly, deeply. Which is not to say he didn't love her, but it was not the kind of love Diana needed. A tragic mismatch of personalities.

And your Head Trucker knows from personal experience that having the form of love but not the substance makes you crazy in a very short time. Just crazy. Not the kind of crazy that gets you locked up in a padded cell - but crazy nonetheless.

Which can go on for years and years. Which nothing heals. Nothing but time and distance and, eventually, a new perspective.

But I think even those of us who, like your Head Trucker, have long since shed their romantic side can be hopeful about this young couple. William, remarkably, seems to have his head on straight. And Kate, I think, though of course still young and inexperienced, is better grounded and better prepared than Diana was. Kate has had time to grow up and know who she is and what she really wants; and like most young women of this generation is more worldly-wise, one might even say shrewd, than Diana was in 1981.

Of course, as we who have fought the wars and lived to tell about it know, these young people, like all others, still have an awful lot to learn. But as they said themselves in an interview this morning - which I hope to post here later - they are trying to learn lessons from the past. And no doubt the same could be said for all the Royal Family.

So let us wish them every happiness, and the best of life and luck. Even an old grouch and confirmed realist like your Head Trucker cannot help smiling at the thought of young love, tender and sincere. God bless them.

Update:  the whole interview isn't available yet, but here's a clip from it that shows the ring:

Update 2:  The full interview is now available here.


Doorman-Priest said...

Trying to muster the enthusiasm to care.

Failing miserably.

FDeF said...

Not even trying.

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