The highly publicized wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton was an event that took the world by storm. Interested viewers in the United States woke up at 4am to watch the ceremony and to catch a glimpse of the new princess. Every detail of the wedding was captured, analyzed and commented on. Catherine’s dress, her make-up, her hair, every inch of her was analyzed and scrutinized. Can you imagine what amazing gifts the couple would get for such a special day? However, instead of accepting royal princess gifts from their high profile guests, Catherine and Prince William instead provided a list of recommended charities for their guests to give donations to in their family’s name. But what was missing from this fairytale? Reality! This particular wedding wasn’t just a union between a man and a woman; it was a change in the way of life for both of these young people. By signing the marriage license and saying her vows, Catherine was also certifying that she would change a few things in her life. With all the things that Catherine will be able to do now that she is princess there are some things she can’t do. Is becoming princess really worth all the hype?
As a freshly minted princess, Catherine is prohibited to vote. Now as royalty, she must refrain from voting because it would be seen as unconstitutional for her to do so. Catherine’s new public role dictates that she must appear to be politically neutral. As a member of the Royal Family, Catherine must follow in the footsteps of the Queen and other members of the Royal Family when Prince William and Kate present themselves as identifying with every faction of society. Catherine must display strong support for all English constituents and part of that is giving up her right to vote. Is this something you would be able to give up? Is giving up your right to vote to become princess a fair trade? It seems as though as soon as you marry into royalty you are under the rule of the family you just married into.
In addition to giving up her right to vote, Catherine is also prohibited from holding a job. Now I’m sure most of you are thinking, “She’s a princess, why would she want to work?” But what if she wanted to work? What if she were passionate about her career? Due to the fact that she married a prince, Catherine’s career came to a halt. Luckily for Catherine, she has a degree but doesn’t seem to be in a rush to do anything with it. She has decided that she is content with just being a housewife to her prince and will make public appearances with her husband when necessary. Why shouldn’t Catherine be able to choose for herself whether or not she would like to work? Why does this decision have to be made for her? Is this “royal rule of law” setting a good example for the future women of the world? Leave all of your ambitions behind because now you’re married and have to become HIS housewife. Is this sending the message that it’s acceptable for women to be educated, but if you’re lucky enough to find a wealthy man early on, you won’t have to use your degree? Is a degree to some women a “nice to have” and only serves the purpose to complete your “MRS” degree? Catherine is considered the oldest spinster to get married to a future king at the age of 29.
Most people might think that once you’re a princess you have some authority to boss people around and do whatever you want, but in fact you are still under the reign of the Queen. And when the princess has the pleasure of eating with Her Majesty the Queen, she is to stop eating the minute the queen does, fork in hand. No matter how hungry Princess Catherine might be, once the Queen decides she is done eating – so must all princesses stop eating. Not that she looks like she eats a lot, but Catherine or any princess for that matter should have the option to finish her meal if she wants to. What if she has to go to the bathroom during dinner and by the time she walks all the way down the palace hall to the restroom and comes back and the Queen has since been stuffing her face and she’s now full and Catherine can’t finish her meal? That doesn’t sound like something that is desirable. It seems like a princess would be able to decide when she’s full and when she’s not. Princesses should be setting the example of healthy eating.
Additional liberties that Princess Catherine gave up when she took her royal title is the ability to sign unofficial papers (I guess that includes the right to sign autographs!), do or say anything controversial, and believe it or not – Catherine can no longer play Monopoly – it’s true. Prince Andre Duke of York found that the game got “too vicious” when played by the Royal Family, so it was banned from royal grounds. Are these prohibitions easy to adjust to, or are they going too far? For us “common folk” it seems that with royalty comes freedom and the authority to do whatever you choose, but it seems that in some respects it’s the complete opposite. Catherine’s royal ways will be so severely scrutinized that everything is predetermined for her all the way down to what board games she is allowed to play. Does that sound like happily ever after?
Is wearing the tiara worth relinquishing freedoms that most of us take for granted? It depends on the woman, but one thing is for sure, being a real princess is a lot different from what the fairy tales portray and for some it may not seem worth it. There are lists of other specific liberties Catherine has given up now that she’s a princess, but only a few examples were discussed here. She is now going to live her life under a microscope and under the control of the Royal Family with particular guidelines to follow. Is she sacrificing too much? Is she sacrificing anything really, besides the opportunity to play Monopoly?