Not posh enough for a prince?
I’m not sure if the latest bit of royal news has made it across the Pond yet, but over the weekend it was announced that Prince William (heir to the throne after Prince Charles) had split up with his girlfriend of four years, Kate Middleton, whom he met while at the university in St. Andrew’s (an obscure and remote but quite posh college in Scotland). The press buzzed with conflicting reports on how it ended - the suggestion was that William ended it after a “royals’ summit” and that he had been told that the royal family couldn’t afford “another Diana”.
It’s been suggested that Kate’s class is what did for her - she is the daughter of a former air stewardess “made good”, but her mother still shows her working-class background by chewing gum (at royal parties) and saying “pardon” rather than whatever the royals say. The problem for the royals is how they can reproduce now that they can no longer find some aristocrat to pressure his daughter into a marriage of convenience, because no woman in her right mind would put up with the restrictions and the intrusion of royal life. The life of a Windsor heir’s wife may not be the notoriously miserable lot of the Japanese crown prince’s wife, but it still carries far higher expectations than any other section of society. The likely answer is that the monarchy will have to drastically down-size if it is to survive at all.
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