A Royal Pain in the Prenup
While in America celebrity prenuptual agreements are standard form, in Britain prenuptual agreements have only recently been accepted in a court of law. A German heiress was the first to have a prenuptual agreement recognized in Britain. Katrin Radmacher had a prenup with her now ex-husband. Ms. Radmacher had a 106 million GBP fortune that she sought to protect in her divorce. Ms. Radmacher signed a prenup with her ex-husband prior to their wedding in London in 1998 that stated that neither party would profit from the dissolution of the marriage. Their divorce drama lasted four years. Now, however, they have paved the way for future divorces and pre-marital planning just in time for the royal nuptuals. This decision has been criticized as a prime example of the British Supreme Court legislating from the bench.
Several legal sources are encouraging Prince William and Kate Middleton to sign a prenup. It is suggested that they would be seen as a truly modern couple if they were to enter into a prenuptual agreement. However, Prince William is clearly bringing more to the marital war chest than Kate Middleton. Some see it as tacky for them to enter into a prenup as result of their financial inequality. Additionally, there is history of other royal couples entering into prenuptual agreements on the European continent. One such example is the Danish Crown Prince Frederik who married a real estate broker.
Considering the frequency of divorce, the glare of the spotlight, and the fact that there are possibly over a billion people geared up to watch the royal wedding, a prenuptual agreement may be in the best interest of Kate Middleton. It may be the easiest way to ensure that if things go wrong, if somehow the fairy tale were to come to an end, that she can walk away with her head held high and not have to go through something as horrible as what Paul McCartney recently went through with Heather Mills.
Sometimes the most romantic thing you can do is be practical. In lieu of the extremely ugly divorce of his parents, I hope that Prince William and Kate Middleton take the new legal precedent into consideration and enter into a fair and equitable arrangement to protect both parties before making this union.
Prenuptual agreements between royal families are historical. They always made sense when two unions were being formed between countries. In recent British history, Queen Elizabeth famously entered into several prenuptual discussions with Spain to create an alliance. There is no reason for the modern era to shun the agreement in the name of romance.