Kate Middleton is reportedly getting counseling to help her ease into her upcoming royal role. Some preparation sounds like a good idea — but therapy mandated by the royal family is also kind of...unsettling.
Middleton doesn't even marry her prince until April, but her psychological state is already a subject for public debate. A source told the Daily Mail that "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)." But according to Ingrid Seward of Majesty magazine, "Everyone can see she's not like Diana. She's not a troubled girl from a broken home. She's a very easygoing, happy well-adjusted girl." That may be true, but Prince William apparently wants to safeguard his bride-to-be from the suffering his mom felt — so he's ordered up "counseling" for her. As the Mail puts it, "As part of carefully laid plans initiated by Prince William, she will have 'training sessions' to avoid the depression and isolation felt by Princess Diana, who felt abandoned and unloved by Charles within months of their wedding."
In addition to briefings on royal etiquette and procedure, Middleton will receive "pointers on how to cope with playing second fiddle to a husband whose first priority is his country, not his family," according to the NY Daily News. Some tips on dealing with the ways her life will inevitably change in April are probably a good idea — and maybe all celebrities would fare better if they received a little pre-fame counseling. At the same time, the idea of said counseling being managed by the royal family is a bit disturbing. A former aide to Princess Diana explains the need for Middleton to get in step with what the royals want:
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.
And according to the Daily Mail, part of Middleton's princess prep will be meeting with Prince Edward's wife Sophie. "A 45-year-old former PR guru and firm favourite of the Queen," she'll reportedly "help Kate to avoid some of the pitfalls she suffered, such as being caught in a newspaper sting making disparaging statements about the Royal Family." So is Middleton's counseling really about her psychological health, or is it about turning her into the kind of princess her betrothed's family wants her to be?
There's just something a little Yellow Wallpaper-y about getting therapy to better fit in with your fiance's family — especially if said family happens to rule Britain. Of course, knowing the Daily Mail and the general rabid attention paid to the recently-affianced pair, it's possible that all this is totally overblown — maybe the rumored counseling will just be a few chats over tea and scones. But the fact that it's become big news just makes it extra-weird — it can't be fun to see various "sources" speculating about your mental health and your probability of entering a "downward spiral." At this rate, Kate Middleton's going to need therapy just to deal with the rumors about her therapy.
Kate Middleton Gets 'Counseling' To Avoid Depression Princess Diana Suffered: Report [NY Daily News]
Kate Middleton To Be Given Counselling To Avoid Depression That May Be Caused By Being The Future King's Wife [Daily Mail]