William, Kate to follow model of Queen`s marriage to Philip

Last Updated: Apr 24, 2011, 18:18 PM IST

London: Prince William and Kate Middleton will follow the model of Queen Elizabeth II`s marriage to Prince Philip in an effort to cement their marriage before the public role takes over.

Quoting a palace official, The Sunday Times said: "Prince William and Catherine (Middleton) will follow the model of the Queen`s marriage to Prince Philip. They have had a strong relationship and William is keen to cement his
marriage before the public role takes over."

According to the report, Prince William has asked for two years to ease his bride into public life so that he can protect her from the pressures endured by his mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

He wants to establish the foundations of his marriage before the couple embark on a lifetime under the spotlight.

William, the report said, has told palace aides that their marriage will be stronger and they will be able to serve more effectively if they can copy his grandparents, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

He has discussed his plans with the Queen who, as a young bride, was a Royal Navy wife in Malta. She has said those were some of the happiest days of her life.

Since the engagement was announced in November, Catherine, popularly known as Kate, has emerged as the new star of the royal family with a series of assured public appearances.

But there are no plans at present for her to perform solo engagements and in the month after their honeymoon the couple will carry out only two joint appearances.

They will attend the Queen`s official birthday ceremony at the trooping the colour parade in June and the public celebrations of Philip`s 90th birthday before setting off on an eight-day tour of Canada.

"The Canada trip will be nearly double the length of Prince William`s previous trips, but the decision was taken that Catherine is ready for it," a palace official said.

On their return to their cottage in Anglesey, where William will be based as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot until 2013, Kate will be given time to work out the extent of her royal role.

A Clarence House spokesman said: "Catherine`s primary role will be as an officer`s wife."

William has studied the way in which the Queen has maintained her private life throughout her reign of almost 60 years. She met Philip eight years before their marriage.

After their wedding in November 1947, he was promoted to first lieutenant in the Royal Navy and assigned to HMS Chequers in Malta in 1949.

On one occasion Philip bridled at an over-zealous photographer, asking: "Haven`t you had enough?" only for his new wife to retort: "Now, Philip, they are only doing their job. Now that you have married me you will have to lump it."

By contrast, Prince Charles and Diana had a brief courtship before their wedding in July 1981.

They then threw themselves into a full schedule of royal engagements, separated in 1992 and divorced in 1996.

Prince William will marry Kate on April 29.

PTI