Kate Middleton: To Obey or Succeed?

Prince William & Kate: To Obey or Succeed? Image Credit: Flickr

Amidst all the frenzy surrounding the upcoming Royal Wedding and what Kate will wear, Salon addresses a more important point: what will Miss Middleton say?

When Kate Middleton walks down the aisle to wed Prince William on April 29, spectators all over the world will be hanging on her every word. And the one they’ll be listening for in particular isn’t “love” or “cherish.” It’s “obey”… In 1981, William’s mother Diana dropped it from her vows to Prince Charles. But five years later, Sarah Ferguson slipped the word back into her wedding vows to Prince Andrew. And in 1999, Sophie Rhys-Jones did likewise when she tied the knot to Prince Edward.

Much good that little word did for Sarah or Sophie. The latter has all but disappeared from the public’s radar, and Sarah not only ended up divorcing Prince Andrew, but was last seen trying make money in some hotel room by selling access to her former husband. Can we say pathetic?

Salon states that the Palace, along with most other details, is remaining mum about whether Kate will “obey” or not. Archbishop Rowan Williams, who will marry the couple, had a report issued by his Council back in 2006 that labeled the word as outdated.

However, I would not be surprised if Kate did opt to keep the word in her vows. After all for Kate it has been one sacrifice or compromise after the other. From putting an end to her photography exhibition, to abandoning her career in fashion, Middleton has only been too willing to prove to Queen Elizabeth that she is no Diana.

Kate Should Not Compromise When It Comes to the Issue of Royal Succession. Image Credit: Flickr

What I am more interested in than William and Kate changing language in their vows is whether or not they change a 300 yr old tradition giving preference to sons over daughters for royal succession.

In January of this year, Keith Vaz, Labour Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, introduced legislation which would attempt “to remove any distinction between the sexes in determining the succession to the Crown”. Vaz stated that, “Britain is an egalitarian country and this should be reflected in our succession rules.

With the law as it currently stands, if Kate and William have a daughter she will immediately be passed over if Kate has a son.

Forget about who Kate swears to “obey” or not. If there is anything this couple must change right away it is legislation that denies women access to power simply because of their gender. That in my mind, is seriously outdated.

*This post of mine was also published on Forbes Woman & Ms. Magazine.

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