Like most websites we use cookies to improve your experience and provide us with anonymous visitor information. If you are happy with this use of cookies click OK.
Read more about our use of cookies and how you can switch off cookies in our Privacy Policy. [x] Close

Family Law Blog

Comment on divorce & family law 

Pre-nup by royal decree

No matter how hard you might have tried over the last seven days, you will not have been able to avoid hearing that a certain high profile couple are getting married. After ten years together, with speculation of a royal wedding spanning nine-and-a-half years of that at least, Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement.

The simple announcement from Clarence House prompted wall-to-wall coverage on every news channel and magazine programme, newspaper and radio bulletin for several days. You can pretty much guarantee constant updates now in the run up to the big day (March, my spies tell me…). Coverage will reach fever pitch as we get closer. I am expecting many journalists and commentators to openly weep in anticipation at some point over the next few months.

While I am delighted for these two young people, I do feel a little sorry for any other couple planning a wedding around the same time and then having their day completely overshadowed. They may have been planning and saving for months, even years, while Kate was able to waltz into Westminster Abbey for a quick look around. I wonder if they will be asked for a deposit? How much would that be for Westminster Abbey?!

That got me thinking further. How do they divide the cost of the wedding? Is there some sort of unwritten agreement that the Windsors will foot what is likely to be an astronomical bill? Do the Middletons pay for the Champagne for the toast? And if you were tasked with preparing a prenuptial agreement for Kate and William, what would be in it?

Whether they will have one or not I am sure will never be revealed. Presumably though they will face the same dilemma on this as many other couples.

Pre-nup remains a dirty word to many, despite the recent high profile Radmacher case showing that English courts do take them seriously and they can help in divorce proceedings. They set out in advance exactly how the finances and other things will be divided if things go badly. This can save time and money further down the line if things go wrong. They can also save a lot of heartache.

It therefore seems logical to me that a young couple, one of whom has significantly more wealth than the other (who is by no means on the poverty line) will have some sort of agreement in advance of the nuptials. What would be in it I wonder? The Royals would want to ensure Kate was looked after as a lifelong ambassador for the family – but ensure she didn’t have any lasting claim to the family silver maybe? Some discussion of a place to live? It would be damn interesting to be involved in.

I am told Tom Jones has already offered to sing if he gets an invite. I might throw my hat into the ring. Actually, not my hat because I might need that. But I’ll table this offer – if I get an invite, I’ll do the pre-nup for free!

Andrew Woolley
Family Law Solicitor


Receive your FREE guide

Your free guide will be available to download immediately and a copy sent by email. Your email address will not be used to send any further correspondence without your permission.