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DVD Review: A Royal Romance: William and Kate, An Unauthorized Tribute

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What more can one say about Kate Middleton and Prince William of Wales? What more is there to reveal about what the maker of this video, Inception Media, calls “the most breathtaking romance of the century?”

So much has already been said and shown. Many celebratory DVDs focus on the romance itself, without reminding viewers of the life of the groom: the handsome, privileged, self-aware Prince William, left motherless at a young age. 

Inception Media says that William is “fully aware of the role he is to play as the future King of England.” I think he is aware of it. Perhaps choosing Kate Middleton, and the eight years it took him to settle down, has also been a part of his final acceptance of that ancient role. From William the Conqueror to William the Charming, England has seen almost everything. Now it will experience a completely modern young man and his modern bride. (Kate and William, who lived together before marriage, have been the first future King and Queen to do so.) This is a compelling tale.

A Royal Romance (originally entitled Destiny), offers a more fully detailed and thorough exploration of the life of Prince William of Wales than one normally finds in this kind of Royals-watcher video. It is not choppy, doesn’t leave much unsaid about his family, and is touching in its re-telling of the nature of William’s relationship with his mother, Princess Diana, before her terrible death in 1997. William’s life story, from babyhood to the pending moment of his nuptials, reappears like a lost dream, found again now that he is a man.

Probably because Miss Middleton has been silent and is now well-guarded during her years of waiting to marry the Prince, it has a bit less to say about Catherine, or Kate, who will marry the Prince on April 29th in Westminster Abbey, London.

We know he proposed to her in Kenya last year and gave her his mother, Princess Diana’s, sapphire and diamond ring; we know she has been quiet while followed and harassed by the media for being Will’s girlfriend, but we do not know much about the young woman herself, or her inner thoughts and feelings. However, she seems strong, healthy, and cheerful, especially now that William finally proposed. It seems she will be able to manage the job of being a Princess, and later, a Queen, very nicely.

It was said, the narrator tells us, that the Queen wanted Wales and Middleton to wait at least five years as they dated and got to know each other. This is hardly surprising. Most of us recall the disaster of Prince Charles’ marriage to Lady Diana Spencer, whom he only slightly knew. Of course with Charles there was also the matter of the his being in love with another woman (his present wife, Camilla Parker-Bowles). The Queen no doubt wished to avoid a similar disaster with William and Catherine.This seems to have paid off as the couple, now 28 and 29, seems comfortable and settled together.

One is moved by the devotion of William to his mother’s memory and her charities, and his determination to know the plight of others. We learn in the documentary, for example, that he’d tried to experience what it’s like not to have a home by spending time out on the London streets, sleeping amongst the homeless.

I was actually most impressed by the open and honest way he spoke of religion in services such as the one he and brother Prince Harry held 10 years after their mothers’ death. He seems to have a genuine sense of religious consciousness: “For God is love…” I can’t remember hearing Charles at his age saying such things. William will really be a Defender of the Faith, whatever that faith may say and however it has altered by the time he becomes king.

How surprising it must be to grow up and to discover, as the narrator reminds us, that William can’t be a policeman as he wished as a child, so he could protect his mother. “You can’t—you’ve got to be King,” Prince Harry told “Wills.” It is too bad he couldn’t protect Princess Diana, who died when he was fifteen.  But William, though he must be king, will be a good king, I think, if the monarchy still exists when he comes to the throne. 

A Royal Romance will be released April 12, just in time for the wedding. It appears to have been originally meant to focus on the “destiny” of the future King, but was re-vamped to highlight the engagement and wedding of the about-to-be married couple.

The DVD has its flaws. I found the female narrator’s voice, which rises and falls sharply, annoying and rather condescending. Easily this is the worst feature of the video. Still, after a bit, one is drawn into the story. I was also sorry there were no subtitles. I would have liked, at least, to see a version of English for the hearing impaired.
Obviously, A Royal Romance: William and Kate will probably be the most appreciated by passionate fans of the Royal Family and especially who follow the lives of William and Kate. It would make a nice gift for someone deeply devoted to the memory of the People’s Princess, but it’s also worth viewing if you aren’t well acquainted with the events that led up to this vivid and upbeat moment in the life of the English Royal Family.

“This documentary will give viewers an inside look at what is already being considered the romance of the century, and a key factor in the future of the British monarchy,” says Andy Reimer, a partner at Inception Media Group. “We have timed this title to arrive at retail a couple of weeks prior to the wedding so viewers can more fully appreciate the significance of the history they are about to witness.”

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