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Did Kate Plan to Marry William?

Saturday, November 29, 2014

A month or so ago, we were chatting about Kate and William's relationship...you know, the way people normally sit about contemplating other people's business and all.  The rather perennial question arose: Did Kate have her sights set on William when she went to St. Andrews? Let's chew the fat leftover turkey about this lovely topic. I am going to jump right in and say exactly what I think, (what a surprise) and you can let me know your position. In my opinion, yes and no. There are a lot of different rumors, stories, reasons, and timelines that people invoke to support their opinions.  I will try to lay out the evidence for why I believe what I do.




First of all, it has been told that Kate met William in high school (American lingo there, my friends, bear with me) presumably as proof that she was out for the kill from an early age. Way, way back, I believe that Kate did meet William socially. Were they buddy-buddy? No. Would William have necessarily remembered her if he passed her in the street? I rather doubt it. Nevertheless, I suspect they met, obviously she had more reason to remember him than he would have to remember her, and perhaps she thought about him in the dreamy way that girls are given to think about boys. Did she dream the impossible dream? Maybe, but it doesn’t really matter. Kate isn’t a magician. She isn’t God. She does not speak and bring about reality.  I dream of a sunny apartment in the 8th with lazy afternoons playing tennis in the Luxembourg, and guess what, kids? It does not just appear. So, what we dream about, what Kate dreamt about, isn’t very relevant to the issue. They met. That is relevant.




She did turn down a place at Edinburgh, this is fact, and it was bold. She took a gap year, during which she re-applied to St. Andrews and awaited word. It was super risky, certainly, but it is still hard to say why she did it. By that time she would have known that William was going to St. Andrews and she would have also known that the competition for the slot she was applying was all the fiercer. St. Andrews saw a 44% increase in applications after it was announced that the most eligible bachelor in the United Kingdom had accepted a place.  That is intense. I don’t know if Kate changed places because of William. If we are all honest, no matter what you think of Kate, you have to admit we don't know




My gut says it wasn't just for William. The odds for any given girl to date, let alone marry, Prince William, were radically not good. Like, you would not take that bet...ever, that's how bad the odds were. It wouldn’t have even been a long shot, and Kate is a smart kid. Even if she were considering it, she knew the deck was stacked against her.  That being said, she’d met him, and her calm exterior hides what I believe is a very bright and ambitious woman, so, if somewhere in her heart she harbored thoughts about William, that may have been an element that played into her decision. But, I stress, an element. I truly believe that the overarching reason must have been something else. It could have been any number of things, but if I know Kate, and I know her about as well as anyone who doesn’t know her can know her, William wasn’t the only reason she risked her academic achievement, letting go of her place at Edinburgh, to try for St. Andrews. I do suspect that William was a very welcome extra. A tantalizing possibility…the hypothetical romance that keeps life interesting while one presses forward with the practical. Had you asked Kate at the time if she were going to marry Prince William, she would have laughed, and it would have been a genuine response. The likelihood was just too ridiculous. 




Kate spent the first half of her gap year in Italy studying Italia, art, and eating pasta...what their European neighbors would term, la vie en rose.




She did go to Chile during gap year, as William was leaving the same project, but although they almost overlapped, Kate applied for the program long before it was announced that William would be undertaking it as well. It was pure chance, or as I prefer to term it, Providence.

19 year-old Kate in Chile

While Kate could have had no earthly idea that William would do the same gap year program that she did, the fact that it happened meant that when they met at St. Andrews, they had just one more point of mutual interest, background, and compatibility to build a romantic relationship. She didn’t orchestrate that; something bigger made that happen. I think it is very important to highlight that the two found themselves on the same program the way they did. Kate and William, naturally have shared interests and passions, an excellent indicator they are a good match and likely to be successful life-partners. 




Once Kate got to University and met William, the game was upped a notch. At that point, I absolutely think she was wanting to marry him, but it is wrong to frame this in some kind of a predatory angle. Kate was (is) a beautiful and accomplished woman, and William was (and is) a handsome, intelligent, well-educated, young man. They were each a catch and they both had the right to fall in love. William had the right to fall for Kate just as much as she had the right to fall for him. Once they had established their friendship, no one can say who fell first and who hoped for more before the other. Again, it doesn’t really matter. It certainly isn't as if Kate was the only woman who decided she wanted to marry William...she is just the only woman who actually did. Furthermore, those who want to paint some picture of Kate as the impetus aren't being entirely balanced.




People either fall in love or they do not. More importantly, a man may date a woman and say or promise all number of things, but proposing is a whole different picnic. Given how long these two dated, William had several opportunities to walk. Many would have found it natural, even preferable, that the prince detach himself from his university “fling” and go on to sample other possibilities before settling on a more suitable and aristocratic match.






Indeed, William and Kate had several rocky periods in their relationship and not just the very famous 2007 split. They had tough patches in college and afterward, that tested their commitment to one another. Any one of those rough patches could have provided William with the out he “needed” had Kate simply been a conniving social climber. William and Kate made it work again and again because they loved each other. Because Kate couldn’t imagine her life without William, and William couldn’t live without Kate.  Because they fit. They are a wonderfully compatible and complementary match.




In 2007, certainly we saw Kate do everything in her power to win William back, although she did it her way: discreetly and silently. Far from being a low moment, this was an excellent study of Kate and the royal relationship. It was the greatest test of her character and she more than rose to the challenge. Kate weighed her privacy and her pain with her love for William, and instead of following the natural inclination to hide, she fought for him--which is no small thing. She had every right to fight, and she did it with finesse and panache.




There was one question dictating Kate's reaction to the 2007 split: was it worth it? A woman (should) only fight for a relationship that is worth fighting for, so William must have loved Kate enough for her to justify the 2007 struggle.




She didn’t scramble for William simply to hold on. She didn’t pursue their relationship despite negative signs and inclinations. Had she felt that he didn’t love her the way she loved him, I think she would have been woman enough to admit it and walk away. She toughed it out through the rough, accepted the struggles as they were presented, she held it together through the hard times, because she saw something in them, as a couple, as a team—that was beautiful enough to warrant the emotional investment and risk that it took to give their relationship the best she had to give.  




There seems to be a lot of judgement connected with the question, did Kate go to St Andrews because of William? Perhaps it is because we intuitively understand that every woman wants to be charmed. Every woman wants a man to pursue her and value her and love her for the unique and precious person that she is. It also presupposes that to be a lady means not chasing. But, not chasing does not mean not providing opportunity. I believe that Kate chose St. Andrews for a reason I do not know, but it was a reason sufficiently compelling to her that she risked her position at Edinburgh to roll the dice. I do think that a portion, although not the majority of the decision, involved William. I think we would all agree to that. She knew he was going, she had met him in high-school, she knew the risk...he factored into her choice. 




Kate "got" William because fate—if we choose to term it such—played the largest role; the rest, as is almost always the case in life, was left to her. She is the Duchess of Cambridge because despite her placid exterior, Kate is a feisty, intelligent, and driven woman who chose to gamble a bird in the hand for two in the bush, and I think this daring is part of her magnetism for women today. It is certainly a significant factor in my interest. She is Carole’s daughter. She was raised by an entrepreneur, and has a spirit of opportunity in her blood. No one put boundaries on how far she could go or whom she could love. That energy which propelled her toward the unknown, rewarded her with a crown, but more importantly with her soulmate, her helpmeet, her spouse.




For William's part, and this seems to be an element often overlooked, he chose her, as well. It takes two to tango. He had his pick. The Prince could have married any number of stunning, landed aristocrats. He could have dated Kate and called it a nice time and moved on. He didn’t. They met, they formed a friendship, and they fell, very deeply, and entirely mutually, in love.




This is one heck of a romance. William is clearly very proud of Kate and ridiculously in love with her. It is manifestly evident in the way he watches her, cares for her, protects her…Kate is lucky that William saw beyond all the pretty faces vying for his attention to her heart, her spirit, her essence. He saw and loved the qualities that make her who she is and he chose her rather than any other woman. But, William is just as, if not more, fortunate. She didn’t just get him, he got her; or as Kate put it, "he is lucky to be dating me." Somewhere, somehow, probably by his sheer luck, he sparked a flame in her heart and he will never be able to fully account for his good fortune in winning the love and loyalty of such a woman. She will continue to be a blessing to his life ‘till death do them part.  They are a very blessed duo...well, now a quartet. 




Nothing like a Treatise on romance to kick off the Christmas season. I hope they are both celebrating a little Thanksgiving in their beautiful new home in Norfolk today. A very happy weekend to you. See you in December!

N.B. Input is welcome, as always, kindly remain on topic and refrain from straying into a discussion of Kate's job history. 

10 comments:

  1. Also, for the past week or so I have been unable to view the comments for each different blog entry. Is the comments section down? I enjoy reading them so any help you could provide would be much appreciated!!

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  2. In the beginning of the 'St. Andrews years' she had a boyfriend Rupert Finch. He studied at St. Andrews. Maybe he was one of the reasons she choose St. Andrews? She and William were friends on the beginning because she wasn't single.

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  3. Beautifully written, Jane. I agree with you.

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  4. The fact that you took your time to break this down gave me a new perspective to this argument.
    For a fact, we may never know some things.



    www.iblogwithgrace.blogspot.com

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  5. Very insightful...this is a lovely neutral piece of writing which gives us a good dose of gossip that we all crave along with a large serving of common sense. Personally, i really like Kate. She is very graceful and carries herself extremely well. The lady has class but there is always a touch of genuine niceness in her demeanor. Stay blessed Royal couple!

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  6. I just realized I have had a huge goofy smile on my face that has been there for about 10 minutes. The entire time I was reading and just studying the pictures and rereading this beautiful tribute to their love story.. It has always upset me when people have said that Kate and Carol planned this out and "caught their prince". Totally absurd simply because we know that Wills tests peoples loyalty and is extremely private.. Hello you idiots she's still there!!!! She obviously passed many many many tests. And I totally agree he IS lucky that she married him and has put her whole life on display for very little reward besides not wanting for anything.. EVER..... I don't believe she would have no matter who she married. I wonder exactly what she wanted to be when she grew up? I wonder what field of business was she planning to go into with her major being art? I wonder if he's ever asked her exactly why this and that and if it's true etc? I know they've talked about why she chose St.Andrews etc but I mean this subject. Has he ever accused her of this or is the truth so "normal" that they find this subject hilarious?? We'll never know....... Valerie G. from the US on my mothers laptop.

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  7. Absolutely amazing pictures! The DOC is lovely, of course, but she didn't used to be so slight. This is the length to which the she disciplines herself for her role, I suppose - or perhaps it's a function of society/youth to be so weight-conscious...? From the look of things, she always was athletic so I don't think we can attribute anything to her current outings. But I think her earlier pix [Kate in Chile, Kate on graduation], in which she has a bit more on her bones, are charmingly healthy - a sort of slightly modern-day Reubenesque-ness. Of course, being in love and being excited about one's life produce a high energy from such positivity that melts away weight/calories. (I've been there...it's true!) And the modern underscoring of eating "clean" and/or healthy would, over time, probably bring down one's girth. So, ok, she looks good both ways - good on her!

    As far as the DOC aiming herself at William - well, many women AND MEN, both frivolous and wise, have aimed themselves at people they want to be with. If she saw her soulmate, so be it! Even with all the "chances" she took, remember that she IS competitive! And she has a lot to work with, and just being a woman being admired is something, y'know. Not knowing all the toffs in UK society (oh-la!) I couldn't begin to suggest who, but I know as sure as anything else that she would have married someone very worthy - and worth a lot, character-wise and, yes, monetarily, too. Kate wouldn't allow anyone less: she appears to have a humble-looking-but-rock-solid sense of self-worth. And Mummy Carole would not have had it any other way: what mother wouldn't want that for her children or future grandchildren? (She and her husband worked very hard for their children's success.)

    One other thing in this relationship mix that you didn't mention: HRH P. William is a very tender, emotionally-vulnerable man...the troubling airlift stories (I admire that he recently said that!), the people-person brightness and sincerity when he talks, the sweet father interactions with his kids, and his solicitousness with Kate...which, of course, makes him as irresistible to woman as Fitzwilliam Darcy was when he confessed his sister's history and his initially torturous love of Elizabeth. Kate saw that, and took care of him. Her whole family did - and still does - in a way that no one else does. I don't think that Kate's a therapist for him: I think she cares deeply, concentrates on him as a person, and is a compass towards "normal." (This last was ingeniously stressed in a made-for-TV movie now, believe it or not, on the Hallmark Channel, "William and Kate." Yes, I am serious.)Turns out, the DOC is a good judge of character, both his and her own. It will be interesting to see them as king and queen: a whole new set of "not normal" and huge responsibilities. Despite the fact that they won't actually run the country: what they do and how they comport themselves will be HIGHLY influential to world politics, humane-ness and, I believe, peace. (Please add P. Harry and Eugenie - who I believe TRHs are grooming - to this mix.) Cheers, Suze

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  8. This is a lovely and honest article, thank you!
    I only want to add that the thing you call "something bigger," or providence, I believe, it is a law of attraction (LOA). Kate has had the right attitude, the right energy (thoughts and feelings) that gathered momentum and made her dream come true. The facts of her "humble-looking-but-rock-solid sense of self-worth" (from the above comment), of the ability to see opportunities, her risk taking qualities says that she did have an extraordinary energy that attracted William to her. Their marriage is a very nice fairy tale and the LOA proof.

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  9. We can't say with certainty that Kate applied for Chile much in advance. And doing so without having a whim of knowledge that William would be going there. I think it was very brave of her to go, even if she wouldn't be there at the same time as he was. What it shows is her willingness to go to impoverished overseas areas even, for adventure and chance. And then switching to St. Andrews, like many other young women did. Did she go to that school for her boyfriend Rupert, or did Kate settle when she saw William start dating Massy-Birch his first semester there. Either way, it shows she wasn't obsessed and realized there's plenty to of fish in the sea. For all we know, she was as curious as anyone else, but maybe William also had to pass some tests to get to know her as well. I'm sure a down-to-earth girl like her wouldn't have wanted to marry an insipid, arrogant, stuffy aristocrat. I'm sure even she couldn't compromise that far for rank. She seems like a smart genuine person who would want the same in turn. Maybe William had to prove that to her before she fell in love.

    What is wrong with providing yourself with opportunity? I admire her for that, and agree wholeheartedly with you. She's not God, she couldn't force William to fall in love with her. She could hope. And he saw something in her, something that set her apart from all the other college girls there. And that is quite a feat because I'm sure he's met many eligible women there and in his lifetime. She appears genuine, unassuming, intelligent, kind, and unpretentious. Maybe while he saw other girls throwing themselves at him and conniving, he saw Kate only had genuine hope and warmth.
    So what if she planned to meet him? What's wrong with her letting him know she exists? What is wrong with providing yourself with opportunity? People commend you if you do that with education, with a good job, and other things in life, but scorn people for providing themselves the best opportunities to fall in love with someone compatible. It's not wrong. It's admirable, and I think this a great love story. I think she's a good example for many accomplished young women, and men. I think their story is a good example of love in general :)

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  10. All I know or need to know is that these two married after they knew each other for so long, which was/is so smart and not something we have seen in royal families, and I respect this young woman very much - she must love him so very much. This cannot be an easy thing, the world watching, etc(I remember watching the Duchess of York on a chat show, talking about light bulbs. I know, silly, but it was a million years and it stuck with me. That the light bulbs in hers and Andrew's home all had to match exactly and if one went out it was this epic battle to set right) No one would sign on for this life unless they knew "I cannot live without this person in my life for the rest of my life", you know? I am happy for both of them (erm, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, that is) every time I see them, because that is some real, serious love. I think about the Queen, who I sort of newly love and have mucho respect for (I love a fab Matriarchy! I come from one! :0)) and think how sad it must have been for her that 3 of her 4 children ended up divorced, how awful it is when your children hurt or are sad. I think this marriage makes a lot of people happy. And maybe even hopeful.
    Sorry, that was supposed to be like one line :) Lovely blog, BTW, will have to bookmark and return!

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