Royal Wedding Dreams: Do The Royals Worry About Mastering Personal Finances?

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Royal Wedding Dreams: Do Royals Worry About Mastering Personal Finance?

In the coming days, a commoner, Kate Middleton, and the bonny Prince William will unite in marriage. But what does that have to do with my dream of personal finance mastery? Well you may ask.

Here it is. I need a break from looking inside my own head. The two most public figures in the world, at least for the time being, seem like a good diversion. And I’ll bet they have money issues too.

As it happens, I’m reading an excellent historical novel called Elizabeth I, by Margaret George. It takes place during the late 1500s and early 1600s. And you know what’s fascinating? Queen Elizabeth had money troubles. She had Spain to fend off on a regular basis – ships to build, armies to mount, negotiations with other countries in an effort to secure some allies. Expensive.

Then, she had Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh wanting to gallivant all over the planet looking for the City of Gold, finding instead places to plant the early seeds of British Colonialism, which cost more money.

She had appearances to keep up. Crushed pearls in her face powder, for example, so she would look a-glow. Red wigs as a continuous reminder of her father, Henry VIII, whom people still feared. The royal jewels that had been passed down since the time of Arthur that represented the history of her family’s wealth and power.

On top of all that, she was the Virgin Queen and had no direct heir to assume the throne, so she was always having to look over her shoulder to see what pretender was sneaking up behind her.

Interesting way to live.

I suspect that Prince William and Princess Kate won’t have Elizabeth’s kinds of money troubles. But here are some they might just have:

  1. The Lottery Winner syndrome.
    You know how people who win $148 million in the 5-state powerball lottery find that they cannot cope with the amount of money they suddenly have, so then they spend it or give it away or have a very noisy breakdown in public? Well, here we have Kate Middleton, a commoner, whose family appears to be comfortable but not even on the same planet as the Windsors, money-wise. I wonder if the royal retainers have given her any lessons or preparation on how to think about money, or not think about it, as a princess? Does she have a budget? A money mentor? A line of credit that she can’t exceed? What will she be accountable for, as one of the suddenly wealthiest women in the world?
  2. The Be Real syndrome.
    Where is that line between not thinking about money at all, and allowing oneself to become totally oblivious? Like that time when George Bush commented on the new-fangled grocery store scanner – he came off as oblivious to something most people take for granted. Subjects like it when their rulers have at least a bit of recognition of the old day-to-day. Just because you don’t have to think about money doesn’t mean it has ceased to dominate the thinking of many other people. So, Mr and Mrs Wales, how do you have a real conversation with a real person whose money worries are real, when your financial life is basically unreal?
  3. The Wedding Gift syndrome.
    What does one give a royal couple as a wedding gift? Toaster ovens? A Weber Kettle? Probably not. More like, lots of ceremonial stuff. Where does all that stuff go once the bows are untied and the wrappings hauled out with the trash? There’s only so much of it that could go on display in a residence, or even in a museum installation some day long hence. Yet I bet it never entered anyone’s mind to add a line to the Royal Wedding Invitation: “No Gifts, Please; Your Presence is Our Gift.” What if this modern couple decided to make a request that instead of being presented with a gold elephant statue with emerald eyes and ruby toenails, they would just rather have a check made out to a favorite cause?
  4. The “If We Don’t Talk About Money, How Will We Know What Matters” syndrome.
    How many times have you heard someone say that money behavior is the outward expression of individual beliefs and values? It’s just a given, common knowledge. It’s one of the ways two people get to know whether they share each other’s values or not. So, if you don’t talk about money because you don’t NEED to talk about money, what do you talk about instead to get at the difficult-to-define and critical-to-discuss stuff?

Just goes to show you. I can’t imagine being a royal, or a commoner about to marry one, or a person with so much money that I never need to think or talk about it.

How about you, Dreamers? Regardless of your actual financial condition, do you find yourself thinking about money fairly often? Or does it only rarely enter your mind? A penny for your thoughts!



  • Michelle

    To point three it’s heart warming to know that the new royal couple have asked for charitable donations in lieu of gifts

    As far as money mentor, well I think Kate will be ok. Fergie, has given her the cheat sheet on what not to do. My guess is, in place of money, how scrutiny and duty is dealt with will thrash out what’s important Will & Kate as a couple.

    Discussions on whether and how the royals work always remind me of debates about whether stay-at-home mums do “real work” and should they be paid. Since the senior royals are accountable to the public, they probably do think about finances and budgets a great deal. Imagine if your shopping list and expenditure was published annually for the world to see!
    The more you get to know about the Queen the more you realise that her values are very middle class. Rumour has it she’s served her cornflakes in tupperware (hopefully a British brand).

  • eldorado81

    “I think its ridiculous how the British give their tax money and bow down to these “royals” and are obsessed with every move they make while being chased down by paparazzi.­I feel sorry for Kate Middleton­. I don’t think she realizes what she’s in for.”

  • I think about money quite often. I think it is because I am always worried about my son. I love him and don’t want him to go without. It’s probably a normal parenting feeling.

    I could never get my ex to talk about money — he hated those conversations. So what did we divorce for? Money. Go figure.


  • Richard Calhoun

    You have hit the mark with this post.

  • Ken Neller

    I like the lottery one. I want to wine but worry I’ll burn through it in a year on fast cars and even faster women!

  • Jean

    Thy may be fun to watch, but I don’t think they understand regular folk with regular financial problems and given these economic times, this wedding smells of “let them eat cake”. I would have been more impress if William and Kate had eloped and had a small tea party with just family. hey have been living together for all these years. Why repeat the big wedding and the mistakes of their parents?

  • Mike Punch

    I don’t understand why the Royal Family can’t get jobs and support themselves like everyone else has to. It is one thing for the taxypayer to contribute to the upkeep of certain buildings of national and historical importance, such as Windsor Castle, but quite another to fund the ridiculously extravagant lifestyle of individual members of the royal family. These people wouldn’t know financial planning if it bit them on the ass.

  • Sophia

    I say we serve the royals with a Section 28 Notice To Quit, and kick them out of Buckingham Palace. We then nationalise the Palace, and turn it into a world-leading hotel charging astronomical amounts for rooms. We take the money raised, and put it into helping the homeless. As an old lady, I imagine a bungalow would suit the Queen better, anyway and the rest of the family could get real jobs and learn how to balance a bank book!

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