William and Kate's Big Week: Nothing Like His Parents
By Nicki Gostin Posted Apr 25th 2011 09:45AM
In these heady days leading up to the Royal wedding it has to make you happy to know how dramatically different the circumstances are from the last big Royal "I Do's" between William's parents, Charles and Diana.
Starting with the press conferences announcing their engagements. We all vividly remember the awkward exchange when Charles and Diana were asked if they were in love. "Of course," Diana replied giggling while Charles answered, "Whatever in love means." It was an odd and ominous sign of things to come.
How different William and Kate's press conference was. Entering a room incandescent with camera flashes the pair strode in together looking like a couple in love and more importantly Kate was confident and self-assured. Of course that can be partly attributed to the almost 10 years that Kate has on Diana when they got married but surely it has to do with the confidence that comes from a secure relationship. Their lovely engagement photos by Diana favorite Mario Testino are gorgeous - the duo look relaxed and completely comfortable with each other. In Charles and Diana's engagement photo Diana is clutching her right arm while Charles stands stiffly behind her with one hand in his pocket and the other grasping her shoulder.
British Royal Weddings
It seemed straight out of a fairy tale when Prince Charles, 32-year-old heir to the British throne, married 20-year-old Lady Diana Spencer on July 29, 1981. Despite the births of Prince William and Prince Harry, the couple were very ill-suited. Diana bitterly claimed "there were three of us in this marriage" -- a reference to Camilla Parker Bowles. Charles and Diana separated in December 1992 and were divorced in August 1996. A year later, Diana was killed in car crash in Paris.
Anwar Hussein, WireImage
Anwar Hussein, WireImage
Royal Weddings Through the Years
When Diana confided to her sisters about her unhappiness and possible misgivings one of them is supposed to have said, "Well bad luck Duch (the family nickname for Diana) your face is on the tea towels so you're too late to chicken out."
Charles's official biographer Jonathan Dimbleby claims that Charles insisted on personally delivering the bracelet but that it was only an, "act of courtesy."
When Diana was told of this 'polite' behavior she is said to have yelled, "Bollocks to that!" (Which basically is a naughty way of saying nonsense!).
I think the contrast that is most revealing was the night before the wedding. Diana spent it at the home of Charles's grand-mother the Queen Mother. She was so lonely that she went looking for company and ended up having a drink with the Queen Mother's page.
Kate will be spending her last night as a single gal at London's Goring Hotel with her close-knit family, parents Michael and Carole, sister Pippa and brother James. The family are famously functional in marked contrast to William's unhappy background. He is said to adore spending time with them and calls Michael, 'Dad.'
And I'm pretty sure that Kate and William's honeymoon will be a lot more romantic than his parents was. While sailing the Mediterranean Diana discovered photos of Camilla that fell out of her new husband's diary. He also callously insisted on wearing cuff links that his long time mistress had given him. Diana also admitted to her biographer Andrew Morton that the sex was "infrequent" and when it did happen, "it wasn't up to much." The new princess of Wales confided that her, "tremendous hope was slashed by day two."
Kate and William have already shared many romantic holidays, skiing, the Mustique (a private island) and of course a trip to Kenya where he proposed.
Naturally no one knows what the future will bring and the media scrutiny that Kate will soon face for the rest of her life is daunting, but one must feel much more hopeful about the future happiness of this royal match.
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