Monday, March 14, 2011

If Kate Middleton is the future of the monarchy, why are we so focused on the past?

Ah yet another article putting pressure on Kate to be the perfect future princess. It's easy to see why she would be considered to be the last great hope for the royal family. Her youth, photogenic face, style and newness are all assets that the family sorely lacks.

The family may have bona fide royal princesses like Beatrice and Eugenie. They may have Zara Philips with her eclectic style. But Kate is different, unlike them she is destined to be a future Queen. Despite their royal blood, they will move down the royal food chain the moment Kate officially becomes Catherine.

Can Kate save the monarchy? Can she produce photogenic children who do not stir up trouble? Can she and William have a happy marriage? Unless we try to predict it now, we'll find out in the decades to come.

In the meantime, all we have is the past to compare the present to. Keeping an open mind and allowing Kate to make mistakes will be unheard of. The royal marriage scorecard has too many blotches on it. And we can't forget that, now can we?

We invested hope in Diana and Fergie because they were expected to save the monarchy too. They experienced the same pressures of living up to our collective expectations. Looking at them and what they went through, will Kate let us down too? She may be a completely different person but the untenable position we'll put her in will be the same.

Kate is not taking a different road from her predecessors because that would be uncomfortable for us. Heaven forbid we give her the chance. Kate may be the future of the monarchy but with each step forward she will be expected to heal the wounds of the past.

Going forward we wouldn't want it any other way.

© Marilyn Braun 2011

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