Tag Archives: George VI of the United Kingdom

Where there’s a Will…is there a way the marriage can last?

27 Apr

To most plebs like me, the pomp and ceremony of a Royal Wedding is an event to die for. But these days it’s a rare Prince or Princess whose marriage doesn’t die long before they do.

The fact is that, looking at recent history, the omens for couple- of-the-moment William and Kate are not good. The Queen and Prince Philip have been married for a remarkable 63 years and five months.

Indeed, most of us weren’t even born when the then Princess Elizabeth got hitched to the then Prince Philip of Greece and Denmark on November 20, 1947. (I should really say ‘most of YOU weren’t even born’ – but that would be giving my age away!).

I’m sure there have been plenty of ups and downs during the intervening years but the main thing is that, six decades and 27 Philip foot-in-the-mouth gaffes later, the marriage continues – and will inevitably continue to continue until, as the wedding oath affirms, ‘till death us do part.’

Which is a lot more than can be said for their children. Indeed, the word ’divorce’ has sown a trail of destruction throughout the Queen’s immediate family ever since her uncle, King Edward VIII, abdicated in 1936 in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson.

That world-changing decision thrust her father stuttering onto the ultimate stage as King George VI – and the then Princess Elizabeth became heir to the throne.

Next for a taste of divorce pain was her only sibling, Princess Margaret, who wanted to marry her father’s equerry Peter Townsend, only the Church of England to object to him being a divorcee.

How pitiful that reason now looks in light of the plethora of royal divorces that have followed! Margaret subsequently hitched up with photographer Anthony Armstrong-Jones – Lord Snowdon – and 18 years later became a divorce statistic herself.

Whilst there has never been any suggestion of her own marriage breaking up, divorce was something the Queen was going to have to get used to. Because THREE of her four children proceeded to go down the same path as Princess Margaret over the next couple of decades.

The Prince of Wales (Charles), the Princess Royal (Anne) and the Duke of York (Andrew) were all married in the sort of glitz and glamour that befits the most illustrious family in the world.

And which the public so adore. And whilst our Liz and Phil can thank Princess Diana, Mark Phillips and Sarah Ferguson (aka the Duchess of York) for their part in produce half-a-dozen of their grandchildren, sadly their marriages all ended up on the rocks.

Between them, Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew managed a total of 44 years of marriage to their original partners, though how many of those years they were actually living together is anyone’s guess.

Certainly no one believes the Prince and Princess of Wales were actually an item for the entire 15-year span of their marriage. What the Queen and Prince Philip made of it all is anybody’s guess.

The one thing they certainly won’t be complaining about is the nest of eight grandchildren – four boys and four girls – produced by the ‘Three Divorces and a Stay-wed’ brigade.

Two princes (William and Harry) a couple of princesses (Beatrice and Eugenie), plus Princess Anne’s untitled Peter and Zara Phillips and Prince Edward’s one of each make it an equal split

The only surviving marriage is of course that of the Earl and Countess of Essex – ‘baby’ of the Queen’s family Edward and his wife, former public relations manager Sophie Rhys Jones.

Perhaps the secret of keeping a royal marriage together is avoiding the headlines. And quiet man Edward has achieved that admirably despite numerous attempts by stir-mongers to ‘out’ him as being a closet homosexual. Edward vehemently denies it.

And the evidence of nearly 12 years of marriage – plus their children, Princess Louise, 7, and three-year-old James, Viscount Severn – would tend to indicate otherwise. But as William and Kate prepare to make history today, it is certainly going to be one incredibly gay day…

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