If the royal experts are right, Prince William and Kate Middleton are going to modernize the monarchy big time when he takes the throne. The truth is, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been dragging the royal family into the 21st century for years now. One example of their tradition-toppling ways that’s a bit vintage but currently getting fresh life in the royal news cycle dates back to their engagement interview in 2010.
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Now, doing an engagement interview is very traditional for high-profile royal couples (Prince Harry and Meghan Markle did one, too), and Will and Kate’s had plenty of traditional moments—like when they shared some choice details from their engagement story. Royal fans learned that Will popped the question during a romantic trip to Kenya and that Kate didn’t see it coming.
“It was a total shock when it came,” she said at the time (per People). “There’s a true romantic in there.”
One thing that might have helped keep the proposal a true surprise for Kate is the fact that Will actually skipped a big ol’, outdated engagement tradition and did not ask her dad, Michael Middleton, for his blessing before asking the actual, autonomous adult responsible for the decision how she felt about the idea.
According to the Mirror, when journalist Tom Bradby, who conducted the sit-down interview, asked Will if he had asked Michael for Kate’s hand in marriage, the future king was very open about the fact that he did no such thing.
“Well, I was torn between asking Kate’s dad first and then the realization that he might actually say ‘no’ dawned upon me,” Will explained at the time. “So I thought if I ask Kate first then he can’t really say no. So I did it that way round.”
We would have preferred a Taylor Swift-style “f*ck the patriarchy” reason for the break in tradition, but we’ll take any excuse to see a royal model that it’s totally okay to pass on outdated traditions so definitely here for it.
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