The marriage of Kate Middleton to Prince William is, naturally, all over the UK news at the moment so I thought it would be appropriate for me to post about it today. Of course, it is all very newsworthy, but what has the Royal Wedding got to do with personal development, the subject of this blog? Well, I do think the wedding raises some important questions for us to consider in relation to the choices we make in life and the consequences with which we must therefore deal. And since it seems almost impossible to think about this royal wedding without simultaneously thinking back to the wedding of William’s parents, it also raises questions about the importance of character.
It was today reported on the BBC news that around 75% of British citizens now support the monarchy. Personally, I am inclined to question that figure just from my own experience. I would say that support for the monarchy is at quite a low ebb at present and I think that the actions of Prince Charles before, during and after his marriage to Princess Diana, which have left an indelible impression on the British public, have been largely responsible for this drop in support over recent years. Of course, we all make mistakes, but Charles has failed miserably, and very publicly, in terms of the decisions and judgements he has made in his life so far.
Of course, we all know he married the wrong person and believed he would never have found fulfillment with Diana, but that was essentially his own fault. Charles’ adulterous relationship with Camilla is now, of course, public knowledge. It seems that initially Charles thought it would be ok to use Diana to produce children and attend public engagements and then keep Camilla as his mistress; this despite the fact that she too was married at the time. The actions of Prince Charles have shown an astonishing lack of judgement on his part. How he ever thought he would be able to get away with this elaborate charade is almost beyond belief.
Over the years, we have occasionally overheard remarks made by Prince Charles that were not intended for the cameras, and such remarks provide us with insight into the person he has actually become. For someone who is required to contribute so very little in terms of his working life, because of his privileged position, he has shown remarkable contempt for the public that took both him and his first bride to their hearts. Princess Diana ultimately turned out to be something of a thorn in the side for the Royal Family and following her tragic death, her brother delivered a stunning and damning address at the funeral when he spoke up for the public.
Is it too late for Prince Charles to redeem himself? I would like to think it is not, but here is a person who needs to understand that, despite what he seems to think, the public can actually see him for who he is – his character – and that is what he needs to give his attention. This man is heir to the British throne and it is about time he started paying attention to developing himself into the kind of person who is able to command the respect that such a position requires. The change needs to begin from the inside. The question is: is he willing to first take on board how he has, so far, managed to fail so badly and if so, is he also prepared to work on developing himself?
This is the situation that forms the backdrop for the marriage of William and Kate. Apparently, Prince William is technically a commoner at present, something I was surprised to hear, but there are certain rules about these things so it seems that it is perfectly possible to be a prince and still be a commoner. The Queen could easily have rectified this by making William a Duke, but her majesty has rarely put a foot wrong in her entire reign, and this is probably another act of good judgement on her part. If the monarchy is to survive and command any respect in the future, it needs to evolve and this is something that The Queen has always understood.
There will be the inevitable comparisons with Diana’s dress, bouquet and various other details of the service, but I hope there will not be too much because tomorrow is Kate and William’s day. Tomorrow a young girl fulfils an amazing dream as she becomes a princess and a young man again takes upon his shoulders the hope of a nation for a future heir worthy of the role of king. I would like to wish William and Kate the very best for the future.
Postscript: The Queen did actually make Prince William Duke of Cambridge on his wedding day after all and this also gives Kate the title, Dutchess of Cambridge.