This is not a post about the relevance of Royalty in a modern era. It is a post on successful parenting…
Some of the most important things people need to experience to be content are relevant and regular rituals. In a secular world where many of us have ditched church (etc) rituals are often few and far between. The pomp and ceremony of a Royal wedding is highly ritualistic and this one obviously satisfied a need in anything up to a half of the world’s population, if the stats are to be believed. We watched it. Even people who would never consider themselves to be Royalists…watched it. But this is not a post about rituals – per se.
There were a few things which struck me (yes, I watched it too) as I watched Kate and William throughout the ceremony. Things, which told me a lot about the parenting they had received. (Go ahead burn me at the stake!)
Firstly, they were obviously in-love. They were looking out for each other and they managed to sneak some private moments despite us all watching. People are more likely to struggle to find that kind of deep attachment if they haven’t first had it with a significant adult in infancy and growing-up. Even if you believe half of the press surrounding these two, is highly likely that both Kate and William had (have) great relationships with their mothers. If infants and children do not have their normal and natural dependency needs met they spend the rest of their lives trying to fulfill those needs. (Some of us intellectualise our lives to overcome our childhoods…I will not do the same to my kids as was done to me, kind of thing). People who are snarky, mean and sad have not had these needs met. Attachment could be claimed to be the root of addictions, as attachment works on the same parts of the brain and with the same chemicals as addiction. Given the pressures on their time, both Diana, Princess of Wales and Carole Middleton must have made the effort to make sure their kids felt safe and secure. No matter how difficult it was for them.
Likewise the involvement of people who were close to the couple. Kate didn’t have 17 bridesmaids, she had one – her sister, and the flower-girls and page-boys were the children of people close to them. There were friends of William’s in the guards of honour alongside those who had done well in their careers. They had all the dignitries that they had to have at the ceremony, but it was their nearest and dearest who to got to be part of the celebration Prince Charles hosted in the evening.
The ceremony wasn’t Over The Top. Yes, I know there would have been a lot of input from the Palace as to what and when and who were involved, but there was a simplicity in it as well. The dress was elegant; there were no performances from rock-stars or divas; it was enough to satisfy the world’s hunger for ritual but there was no more.
Kate and William were both serene. They have obviously worked out where their private and public personnas begin and end. They know who they are as people first and dignitaries second. The efforts put in to keeping William’s childhood/adolesence/early adulthood as private as possible has paid off. He’s been able to be as much of a boy as he could – out of the public eye. His mother was known for protecting him from the harshest realities of public life as much as she could, and the press ban on his time at St. Andrews has meant the early stages of their relationship were kept private. Being a child needs to happen in childhood – we all know people in their 30s, 40s and beyond who have yet to pass this stage. ( If you don’t get enough hours playing during childhood, your brain will try to fulfill that need throughout your life.) Both William and Kate showed they had come to terms with their roles in life – they didn’t show-off or try to out-party anyone, they just were – this is a sign of maturity.
And finally both Kate and William were dignified. They have both had to follow rules that they might not have wanted to during their childhoods and teenage years: William due to his birth and all that is involved with being part of The Firm, and schooling; Kate with her schooling and, I assume, at home. People who accept things aren’t as they would ideally like them to be, show this kind of dignity.
Lastly, Kate and William have managed to stand firm on what they wanted to include in their day – this knowing when to comply and when to stand firm – is maturity and self-assurance bourne from great parenting. (Not going to a Princess School as a child, in Kate’s case.)
So while I watched and enjoyed the ceremony I also celebrated what it might mean for the world. These two young people will find it natural to be great parents, because their brains have had the chance to develop along the same lines as they are biolgically meant to have developed. Now, if we can just convince Kate to breastfeed…
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