Two weeks ago, beloved Prince William of Wales split from his long-term girlfriend of four years, Kate Middleton. The split was a surprise to some, but seemed necessary to others. Some critics of the royals love life contended that Middleton wasn't bred to be a princess.
Breeding isn't the only speculation, though (and believe me, there are plenty of theories). Others speculate that the break was caused because the couple wasn't ready to tie the knot. In fact, royal-watchers were eagerly expecting an engagement announcement from the couple, not a press release about a break-up.
The couple met in 2001 while in college at St. Andrews University in Scotland and began dating in 2003. Four years later, it would make sense to expect some sort of commitment from the dashing young prince, who is second in line to become King of England.
As stated earlier, one of the most rumored reasons for the break-up was that Middleton wasn't bred to be royalty. Middleton, who is the daughter of self-made middle class entrepreneurs, attended private schools throughout her life, and graduated from St. Andrews in mid-2005 with a degree in the history of art.
Middleton might not have been born into a noble family, but despite her beauty and smarts, she had to put up with the royal media circus when she moved to London in 2005. Since then, her and the Prince's relationship, which began as friendship, was carried on in the public eye.
Bred for royalty aside, Prince William obviously liked Middleton, and whether or not she would have made a good queen and whether or not this crossed Prince Williams mind are difficult to speculate. But as for the pressure to get engaged, whether your grandmother is Elizabeth II or you have a regular family, the pressure can still be the same.
Young people struggle with the institution of marriage more and more each day. If you enter into a serious relationship, often your family and friends, whether on purpose or inadvertently, put pressure on young people to get hitched. Whether there is the belief that someone should wait to consummate marriage vows only after a wedding, or if its a societal standard, the pressure for engagement and marriage can become trying.
Prince William is no stranger to the heartbreak that a divorce can cause, either. Is it worth it to get married to someone not knowing if it will work out or not, especially when you would be causing heartbreak to not only you and your partner, but potentially to children as well?
The Prince and Middleton are at an even greater disadvantage when it comes to the engagement and marriage scenario. Not only did the couple face familial pressures, but the pressures of media and paparazzi following and documenting their every move couldn't have helped the situation.
Under such scrutiny, the Prince and Middleton couldn't even get a flat together and see what its like living in the same space (commonly referred to as living in sin), a luxury some couples might take for granted. Even though they might receive a lecture from their parents, the average couple would also not have the worries of a judging media while stocking their apartment. However, whats done is done. And I know, engagement might seem like a big deal, but I just wanted to let Prince William know, in the totally obscure chance that hes reading this, that hey, Im single. And I won't be pressuring him to get married, even though I'm sure I would make an awesome princess.
Copy Editor Alyssa Kleven is a senior from Albany, Ore. She majors in English with a concentration in media studies.