Kate stresses over 'world's wedding'
Prince William's fiancee to get counselling to help cope with the UK's national nuptials, says Julia Molony
Published 28/11/2010 | 05:00
KATE Middleton is to receive counselling, apparently. It's not really a surprise. A wedding is stressful enough without having to carry the burden of the hopes and dreams of the whole world on your shoulders as you march down the aisle.
For one thing, Kate may be the only bride this year for whom her wedding is not really "her" day. It's been hijacked as a holiday for the whole of Britain. Imagine having to share your nuptials with every person in the country. It sort of takes the 'me, me, me' out of it, which is the main reason most brides want to get married in the first place.
As much as the world may have cast her as the ever-wishful bride, it became clear as she and Wills spoke to ITV, that joining the fam is a rather stressful prospect for Kate. She was charmingly awkward, her voice tremulous. There was visible terror in her eyes.
So on her future husband's behest, as the reporters have it, she will be seeing a counsellor (alongside her lessons in etiquette and royal protocol) in preparation for her marriage, in order that she might come to terms with her new responsibilities and the burden of marrying a man with so many duties outside the home.
This presumably is a stark attempt to avoid history repeating itself. The family she's marrying into does come with more than your average amount of baggage. It puts one's own Christmas time blow-ups into perspective, thinking about what it must be like at the Windsor's house as they all sit down to watch the afternoon film with a box of Roses.
The royals are desperate not to have another downward spiral of a marriage and they feel Kate has very vulnerable "soft spots" said the "Royal Insider", who released this news to the world. And of course, everyone who read it immediately thought of Diana and the public relationships catastrophe that followed her psychological unravelling where she somehow managed to cast herself as the only person with a beating heart in the palace, suffocated by a bunch of living museum exhibits without souls.
Obviously her account wasn't the most reliable, but it does raise the question of what it must be like to try and win over the in-laws when they hold the highest seats in the realm. Not so easy, apparently, that one couldn't do with the help of a trained mental health practitioner to ease the transition.
Clearly, Kate's quite anxious, high achieving and eager to please. "I was quite nervous about meeting William's father," she told the reporter during her post engagement interview, but he was very welcoming, and very friendly, so it couldn't have gone easier for me really." And when asked about his grandmother, all she could manage was, "she was very friendly," which she said with a stricken look on her face, like she'd convinced herself that saying the wrong thing could get her thrown in the Tower.
According to the loose-lipped royal insider she will be supported through "the coping process of William having something else much more important than his future wife. This is his country and he has loyalty to it".
As far as I can see, the best way he could express that loyalty is by being nice to Kate. Yes, there's charity work and travel and all that other vital stuff he does, but besides that I'm sure his duty towards his people and his fans could be easily dispatched by continuing to demonstrate himself to be fairly normal and in love, and by giving them a reason to feel optimistic and cheerful as they stand around the water coolers.
The notion that there might be a genuine love match on the throne for the first time since Queen Victoria has already gone a long way. Therapy is all very well, and seems to suggest a touching willingness for the family to follow the modernising instincts of Kate and her future husband but it's no substitute for full acceptance from one's in-laws, commoner or otherwise. Let's just hope this spirit carries through to the royals' interactions with their new member. Perhaps through Kate's arrival the stiff upper lip may be loosened and the family will have the chance to demonstrate their warmth.