How Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Marriage Is ‘Different’ From Other Royal Marriages, According to a Royal Historian and Author

The royal wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is, according to a royal historian, unlike other royal marriages in one unique way. Hint: It has to do with where Catherine’s from and why royal princes historically marry. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding happened in April 2011

Prince William and Kate Middleton smiling and holding hands following nuptials at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011
Prince William and Kate Middleton | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

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The couple, who are now parents to three children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis — met as college students while studying in Scotland. Over time their friendship turned romantic and now they’ve been married for a decade. 

On April 29, 2011, William and Catherine exchanged vows at Westminster Abbey. Millions of people around the world tuned in to watch the ceremony live on TV. Meanwhile,celebrities attended the royal wedding in person. Elton John, David and Victoria Beckham, and Guy Richie, were just a few people on the star-studded guest list.

William proposed to Catherine in the fall of 2010 during a romantic trip to Kenya. The Duke of Cambridge and second in line to the throne got down on one knee and asked his then-girlfriend to marry him using the engagement ring that once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. 

Prince William didn’t marry Kate Middleton to ‘cement an alliance with a foreign power’

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According to royal historian and author Sarah Gristwood, William and Catherine’s nuptials wasn’t a strategic move unlike previous royal marriages. 

“Historically royal princes married to cement an alliance with a foreign power but William’s marriage to Kate Middleton was different,” Gristwood told Vanity Fair in May 2021. “Kate was a commoner and thus cemented an affiliation with the British people, which has done the monarchy a lot of good.”

“The royal family must be watching and learning,” she added. “This middle-class girl from Berkshire has actually managed a seamless and fairly flawless move into the royal family. She’s endeared herself to the family and the public by being the old style of royal, she’s now modifying the pitch.”

Catherine’s confidence has grown after 10 years as a member of the royal family. Now she’s spearheading her own projects. Most recently, the 39-year-old released Hold Still, a coffee table book that documents life in the United Kingdom during the coronavirus pandemic. Through it all she (and William) rank high as some of the most popular royals in the U.K. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary with a family video and portraits

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge hit a marriage milestone in April 2021. They celebrated 10 years of marriage. To mark the occasion, the couple released an anniversary video featuring a rare glimpse of their private lives with George, Charlotte, and Louis. 

That wasn’t all the couple did to celebrate. William and Catherine released anniversary portraits. They posed for photos at Kensington Palace in the days leading up to their wedding anniversary and shared two snapshots. 

Reminiscent of their engagement portraits where they both wore blue, or as some might say, photos of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Catherine and William engage in some PDA, which is unusual for them.