Kate Middleton is wearing Princess Diana’s ring, but Prince William wants to make sure his new fiancée never suffers from the depression and isolation that affected his mother. The newly-engaged Middleton is in “counseling” sessions to help prepare her for life as a royal. “Kate, as a new and vulnerable bride, is deemed to need a lot of help with that,” a source told the paper. “The royals are desperate not to have another downward spiral of a marriage and they feel Kate has very vulnerable and soft spots. Apparently she was destroyed when William broke up with her (in 2007).”
Middleton’s “training sessions” reportedly include pointers on how to cope with playing second fiddle to a husband whose first priority is his country, not his family.
She is also getting lessons in royal etiquette so she can blend in seamlessly with her new family. William set up the counseling as part of a larger effort to help Middleton make a happy adjustment to royal life, the Daily Mail reports. He wants to prevent his soon-to-be wife from ending up like Diana, who famously felt alone and unhappy shortly after her wedding.
Comparisons of Middleton to Diana have run wild, ever since the pair announced their engagement. Patrick Jephson a former aide to the Princess, told London Newspaper the Mirror that for Middleton to adjust well to her new life, she and the royal family must be on the same page about what kind of role she will take on after the wedding. “If they want her to be a wife, a pretty face, to keep quiet and stay in the background -get that straight now, not in the future…If they want here to be more active and carry on the role Diana-style – let’s get that straight too,” Jephson said. “If you speak to people who were around when Diana arrived, nobody had a serious talk to her about what she was going to do…She made it up,” he added. “She developed her own style and role and in the end it got out of synchronisation with the rest of the household.”
Despite the possible similarities, Middleton has quite a few factors in her favor when it comes to building a successful future. For one, Diana was just 20 years old when she married Charles in 1981, after only six months of dating. Middleton is 28 and has been dating Prince William off and on for the last eight years. “She is much older than Diana was. She’s got more experience,” Jephson said. “She knows William better (than Diana knew Charles).”
“Everyone can see she’s not like Diana,” Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, told CBS. “She’s not a troubled girl from a broken home. She’s a very easygoing, happy well-adjusted girl.”
Though he gave Middleton his mother’s ring, William himself won’t make any comparisons between his future wife and Diana. “It’s about carving your own future,” he said when announcing the engagement. “No one’s going to try and, you know, no one’s trying to fill my mother’s shoes.”