The big day is here for Prince William and his fiancé, Kate Middleton – and for the 2 billion people expected to witness their televised nuptials. That’s about 35% of the world’s population. I recently heard talk-show host Rachael Ray say, “The obsession that we have with the royal wedding is really reaching its peak. And a part of that is that this is a real-life fairy tale; and Kate is about to become a real-life princess.” I must admit that these two getting married doesn’t interest me more than anyone else doing so, but I certainly wish them well. Here’s a little Frank Love to help the royal couple get off on the right foot.
Find the right blend of tradition and individuality. The mystique and interest around your relationship is a dynamic that was built many generations ago. By accepting your royal titles, you have clearly chosen the traditions, values and public scrutiny that come with the roles. But know the difference between where you “must” adhere to tradition and where you can forge your own way. You are two individuals with your own unique quirks, interests, needs, and desires, and your relationship may suffer if you don’t preserve some of those qualities that make you who you are – and that attracted you to one another in the first place. Admittedly, I don’t know what those qualities were. One of them could have been the ability to construct a business-style relationship with each other that can maintain extensive scrutiny over time. But maybe not. This is an opportunity (and sometimes a struggle) that every person faces – deciding which advice, values, traditions and beliefs you will take with you from your upbringing, and which ones you’ll put your own, unique stamp on.
You don’t owe anybody anything. And no one owes you anything either. Though the monarchy has survived for centuries, the past does not guarantee future results.
You may live as royalty for the rest of your lives, or your circumstances may change based on your own decisions or outside forces. Whatever the case may be, if you maintain some degree of humility, your relationships with each other and everyone else will be more successful.
Create a life/work balance. To uphold the mystique around this fairytale is part of your job. People will expect you to hold hands and act artificially lovey-dovey when you are in public, even on days when you don’t feel like doing so. There are undoubtedly a lot of “shoulds” that have and will be placed upon each of you individually and as a couple. If you choose to accept these, which to some degree you already have, look at it as a job, a role you must play. And couples who work together know that it’s important to have space at home – at least right now, while you’re spending most of your time together. Set agreed-upon and mutually-sanctioned time to get out of each other’s faces and to pursue your own hobbies and interests. Enjoy the fairy tale, and most importantly, manage it, for as long as you chose to be a part of it.
Allow yourself to be as imperfect as your predecessors. Allow yourselves to be human and to make mistakes. They are inevitable. Your predecessors made them, and while technology makes it even harder for you to hide them, don’t beat yourselves (or each other) up about imperfection. It’s an unavoidable side effect of being human.
I wish for the two of you whatever you wish for yourselves. And I hope that you each choose to become a Powerful Person in a Partnership.
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