So, tomorrow two people you have probably never met, are getting married in front of millions of viewers, even though they would clearly much rather be having a private ceremony, with a seating plan that has less risk of endangering international relations. I am of course talking about the royal wedding between William and Kate.
It cannot have escaped your notice that amongst the many articles produced to quench the public’s wedding fever induced thirst, there are several that presume to give this future monarch advice on how she should behave. Inevitably there were warnings to not follow Diana’s example and even amusingly advice on how she should model herself on Camilla.
So, to enter the spirit of this festive occasion and to help our future queen through this tough time of transformation, I too have compiled a list of useful lessons she can learn from her more ancient predecessors.
Eahlswith – wife of Alfred the Great
Don’t let your spouse do the cooking. (A lesson Kate appears to have learned already perhaps)
Eleanor of Aquitaine – wife of Henry II
Don’t side with your kids against your husband, you will probably end up imprisoned in a castle.
Isabella of France – wife of Edward II
Don’t take a red hot poker to your husband and rule as regent on behalf of you underage son with your lover. Your son will grow up, kill your lover and spread rumours that you are a weak woman, susceptible to the wiles of a man to defend his father from being branded (no pun intended) a homosexual.
Margaret of Anjou – wife of Henry VI
Don’t involve or rely on the French to help you keep your throne.
Elizabeth Woodville – wife of Edward IV
Don’t marry off all the eligible aristocratic heirs and heiresses to members of your commoner family in a bid to make them the most powerful faction in court. (However annoyed this may make Pippa Middleton and uncle Gary Goldsmith of La Miason de Bang Bang fame, it will be better in the long run for the succession chances of her children).
Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour – wives of Henry VIII
Bear him a son if you wish to be remembered as the wife he truly loved. And don’t be an interesting party animal – you’ll just get accused of being a witch.
Catherine of Braganza – wife of Charles II
Instigate a nice enduring custom in England, that will make it more civilised; Catherine of Braganza introduced tea and the fork. ( A new Middleton party hat custom?)