Kate Middleton and Prince William have been very busy arranging the many details of their upcoming grand gala wedding. Yet often overlooked, amidst the hustle and bustle of the rehearsals and gown fittings, is another fascinating tale – the story of how Kate and William have been quietly and wisely planning their life together, after the cheering stops and the TV cameras go away.
For some time Prince William has been quietly living on the remote Welsh island of Anglesey, working as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot. With about as many sheep as people, this wind swept western island isn't the “standard” royal residence that an heir to the English throne usually brings a beautiful young bride to – unless you stop and appreciate the wise choices this royal couple is quietly making.
Since 2010 William has been living off base in Anglesey in a rented cottage not far from RAF airfield, on the southwest side of the island near a lovely three-mile stretch of sea-washed sand called Llanddwyn Beach. Kate has often joined him there. Together they’ve enjoyed drinks at the local pub and shopped for groceries just like any other young couple planning a life together.
And though their ever-present security detail might be hovering nearby, the local Welsh folk let them move undisturbed through their day. Here Kate can stroll without the crush of paparazzi documenting which designer sweater she’s not wearing. And William, known as “Flight Lieutenant Wales“ to his base buddies, can even drive himself to work without a security detail clearing the streets ahead of him.
All of this precious normalcy is made in large part possible because of a Welsh concept known as “parchus”. Unique to the Welsh language, it can loosely be translated as “a respectful independence of distance". And surely that seems to be what Kate and William want, including the fact that pre and post wedding they are doing their own washing, cleaning and cooking – in short, no gossiping or graveling servants.
A royal with no servants? Amazing as William’s father, Prince Charles, has over 150 supportive staff members. One can only applaud the free and modern spirit of this young royal couple who have no intension of repeating the tragic mistakes of the past.
Together they are seeking to establish a firm and realistic foundation to their marriage and that includes home cooked meals enjoyed together. So which cookbooks might a modern princess need? Well, most possibly something hip and with the times but also with a touch of tradition. Here’s just a few suggestions:
Your Culinary World copyright Ana Kinkaid/Peter Schlagel 2011