A Royal Engagement: Waity Katie No More

It’s official: After months and maybe years of speculation, Wills is finally making an honest woman of Kate. The royal engagement was announced on Twitter today on the Clarence House Twitter feed and read:

The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton – www.princeofwales.gov.uk  (Visit the link to read the full statement.)

Prince William and Kate Middleton have been dating since 2001 after meeting at university and actually split up at one point in 2007, so today’s news means royal watchers everywhere can breath a sigh of relief. Finally, Britain’s future monarch has his queen.

william and kate the waiting years

Today it was revealed the happy couple became engaged three weeks ago while on holiday in Kenya and William has given Kate his mother’s engagement ring, an oval blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds. A spring or summer wedding is being planned for 2011 after which Catherine’s official title will become Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales (but we’ll call her Princess Catherine shall we?)

princess diana's engagement ring

Kate’s birth name is Catherine Elizabeth Middleton (that’s right, with a C, not a K) which means she will become the sixth Queen Catherine of England. Three Queen Catherines were married to Henry VIII alone:  Catherine of Aragon, Catherine Howard and Catherine Parr. The first Catherine was Catherine of Valois, wife of Henry V and the last was Catherine of Braganza, married to King Charles II.

Each Catherine met an unhappy, if not disastrous fate, as in the case of Catherine Howard. Ouch! Such barbaric punishments are no longer practiced in England thankfully so things are already looking up for our newest Catherine.

Her biggest obstacle, I’m afraid, will be managing the press and preserving some semblance of privacy. She would do a good job to follow William’s lead, who has had to learn some very tough lessons about life in front of the cameras.

william and kate dating

Several times a week I listen to LBC, as I did today and naturally the topic of conversation was the royal engagement. Very quickly the calls went from expressions of joy and excitement to grumbling and moaning about the cost of the wedding.

Considering the current economic climate, many callers felt it would be inconsiderate for the royal family to splash out on a lavish wedding, after all, the British public is flipping the bill.

Others felt this happy occasion is just what Britons need to lift their spirits after two years of nothing but grim news. Then there’s the inevitable boost to the economy as royal watchers flood London to watch the happy event.

Where do you fall on this issue? Do you think the ceremony should be the traditional royal wedding, with all the bells and whistles or a more austere affair?  Boris Johnson chimed in today with his opinion, asking the happy couple to consider city hall as a cost effective alternative to a royal ceremony. What do you think? Rubbish?

I feel you only get married once (or so we hope) and William and Kate deserve the usual fanfare. The appeal of the British Monarchy infuses a lot of money into the British economy from tourism and memorabilia, so a royal wedding may turn out to be a much needed shot in the arm for a suffering economy.  Take your medicine where you can get it I say.

So what should it be for William and Kate? Fish and chips or champagne and caviar?

Their first official interview here.

Watch the happy couple face the cameras today:

Melissa is the Britophile-in-Chief of Smitten by Britain, the world’s first blog for Britophiles. When she’s not blogging here you will most likely find her on Facebook or Twitter whilst enjoying a cup of tea.


  1. Miss Marla says

    I say full on royal do. It should indeed boost tourism and interest around the world. Gives us all something to concentrate on besides the dark cloud hanging over the economy.

  2. feather14 says

    I’m happy for the them both and wish them all the best.. Will be looking forward to hearing and seeing all about it..

  3. says

    Given that the wedding will be paid for by the public, it had better not be a private affair or heads will roll. Chortle chortle. Sorry about that but the number of beheaded and otherwise thrown aside Catherine’s, meant I couldn’t resist.

  4. says

    Oh, full on do! Think of all the tea towels they’ll sell.

    I feel so sorry for them for being criticized for taking their time. It seems very measured and considered. Good for them.

  5. says

    I think that they are both practical people so it will grand but not gaudy. I am glad that they are happy and doing what is right for them.

    Sigh….guess I will have to cross him off the list of prospects. LOL!!

  6. says

    I was so not interested in this wedding until I saw she had his mother’s ring and got completely swept up in the sentimentality of it all.

  7. Donna Rose Houchen says


    So happy to have this happy news rather than the old gloom and doom!!

    I know not everyone is giddy with excitement over this, but I sure am!!!

  8. Abigail Rogers says

    I have to say that I hope it’s a big shindig. There’s just something about royalty that shouldn’t be diminished or clouded. They are, in a limited sense, the face of Britain, and a meager wedding would be something like Jimmy Carter walking to his inauguration and using mismatched china. It’s embarrassing, and doesn’t exactly project a positive, confident image.

    At the same time it would be great to show some respect toward the economy and spend less than £6,279 ($10,000) on the wedding cake (an estimate from Chelsea Clinton’s wedding).

    Probably hard to get a happy medium, though.

  9. says

    What will people complain about if they can’t complain about the cost of a lavish wedding? We out here in the colonies gave Princess Mary and Prince Frederik of Denmark a tram when they married. I wonder how we can top that?