Friday, March 04, 2011

Big deal, so Prince William is marrying a commoner

Since the engagement was announced, one thing that people cannot seem to let go of is the fact that Prince William is marrying Kate Middleton, a commoner.

*Gasp and sharp intake of breath*

Yes, it's true, he is indeed marrying someone who is not royal. Though genealogists have managed to find some obscure link between the couple (how do genealogists do it?) According to an article in the Daily Mail, William and Kate are 12th cousins once removed. Proof that you cannot stop inbreeding in the royal family no matter how hard you try.

However, they may be distantly related that still does not change the fact that Kate is a commoner. Many ages ago, in a less enlightened time, William would have been expected to marry someone of royal blood. Even if she happened to be a first cousin.

 *Gasp and sharp intake of breath*

Yes, too close for comfort, right? But they were supposed to keep it in the royal family. Not dilute the blood royal. And there were lots of cousins to choose from - they were like bedbugs. William would have expected to marry a cousin named Victoria (almost all of them were named Victoria or had it amongst their given names) and the matter would have been settled regardless of whether he was happy or not.

Despite the big deal being made about Kate's commoner status, William is not doing anything unique by marrying one. Forget alliances, forget diluting the blood, If they're good enough for the Crown Princess of  Sweden and the Crown Princes of Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands, then choosing a commoner of his own is following a new tradition in royal marriages. That of choosing to marry someone they love and are compatible with regardless of status.

© Marilyn Braun 2011


Andrew said...

It's not only not "diluting the blood," whatever that means, but -- especially on the Continent -- the idea was to keep the monarchy from being seen to be too closely allied with any particular class or region. As Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn pointed out, the reason Archduke Franz Ferdinand's marriage was morganatic was because he married a member of the aristocracy from Bohemia, and tying the imperial-royal family that closely to a particular class from a particular region of the Empire was incompatible with the idea that the Crown belongs to all the people in all the Empire equally.

Besides, the Duke of York (future George VI) married a commoner too, so this isn't even a unique occurrence within the British royal family. But you knew that.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes Andrew royals have married commoners before - George V & Queen Elizabeth, Andrew and Fergie, Edward and Sophie, Anne and Mark/Timothy...

But what good is bringing up that fact to people who think it's fun to diminish William and Kate's happiness in whatever way they can?

Andrew said...

I'm sorry. I didn't realize from your original post that people were bringing this up as some kind of slam against Kate or the couple's evident happiness. I thought your point was simply that those people think this particular fact is somehow newsworthy or groundbreaking.

Shame on them. Although you're right that such people are probably beyond shame.

Marilyn Braun said...

Yes I think people mentioning the commoner thing is meant as a slam, especially from people who don't like Kate. Don't feel that she's good enough for William or for the royal family.

With William marrying a commoner, the media does play it up as groundbreaking because to some people it is. Maybe for them but to me it's not a big deal, especially considering that its happened before. :)

So yes that was the point of the article but the focus on Kate's commoner status has a derogatory aspect as well.