On Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, Britain’s most eligible bachelor was taken off the market when Prince William announced his engagement to longtime love Kate Middleton (cbsnews.com). The couple met at the University of St. Andrews nine years ago, and speculation over an impending marriage has been ongoing. During interaction with the press today, Middleton revealed that the proposal was “very romantic.” In fact, the engagement ring that the prince gave to her is the same one that William’s father, Prince Charles, gave to the late Princess Diana. The wedding will take place in the spring or summer of 2011.
The news of the engagement has taken the media by storm. There is nary a place on the Internet that doesn’t have some reference to the prince and his fiancé. The last time the world had such a strong reaction to a celebrity marriage announcement would have to be when Tom Cruise proposed to Katie Holmes in 2005. Nothing was more shocking or seemingly odd than the pairing of those two actors.
There are a number of reasons why the Cruise/Holmes engagement caused such a stir. For starters, Cruise had been married twice before, most notably to actress Nicole Kidman, with whom he adopted two children (BBC News). It didn’t make a lot of sense that he would choose a third wife as young as Katie – she was 26 at the time; he was 42. Also, according to BBC News, they dated for a meager two months before becoming engaged. People were still getting used to the idea of the famous Cruise dating the “Dawson’s Creek” youngster. There is nothing wrong with having a fast courtship. But, when there are children involved and previous failed marriages, one would normally take plenty of time to make serious life decisions.
The relationship was a bit unbelievable from the start. Many people believed that the two stars were pretending to be a couple to bring attention to their respective movies. However, an engagement seemed to be taking it a little too far. Despite speculation, Cruise and Holmes proved that they were an item when they announced they were expecting a child together (people.com). Shortly after the birth, they finally tied the knot. The media have hounded them since the beginning of their relationship, and I suspect that the reason is because the union of these two particular people is just so hard to believe!
Even though Cruise and Holmes are used to being in the spotlight, nothing could prepare them for the frenzy of attention they have received during their time together. Through it all, they have managed to keep their marriage going. If their experience with the media is any indication of what Prince William and Kate will have to go through, there is still hope for the young royals to sustain marital bliss. As long as two people are truly happy with each other, nobody can take that away from them.
Jessica Derschowitz, “Prince William Engagement: Ring, Happy Couple Make Public Debut”, CBS News
“Cruise Engaged to Actress Holmes”, BBC News
“Tom & Katie Expecting a Baby”, People.com