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Kate Middleton Omitted This Word from Her Wedding Vows to Prince William So That, From the Start, They Would Be … – Marie Claire

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Up to the present day, the Princess of Wales often channels her late mother-in-law, Princess Diana (who, prior to Kate, was arguably the most famous Princess of Wales) sartorially and through her jewelry, not the least of which through her iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring. (Prior to it being on Kate’s ring finger after William proposed in 2010, Diana handpicked it and made it famous as her own engagement ring.)

Kate’s famous engagement ring isn’t the only way she’s channeled her mother-in-law.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It turns out that Kate also took a cue from Diana when it came to her wedding vows when she married William on this day, April 29, 13 years ago. Kate made what The Mirror calls a “powerful” change to her vows—just as Diana did 30 years prior on July 29, 1981, when she married Prince Charles and broke tradition in a huge way in the process, becoming the first royal bride to leave one word in particular out of her vows.

Kate—and Diana before her—wanted her vows to be more “equal” to her husband, and as such, both eschewed the use of the word “obey” in their vows, which up to Diana’s nixing of the word were part of the traditional royal vow. The words “love, comfort, honor, and keep” replaced the word “obey” in both Diana and Kate’s promises; it was reported prior to Kate’s 2011 wedding that “they [William and Kate] wanted to decide themselves what they want[ed] to say in their vows,” The Mirror reports. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

At the altar, Kate did not vow to “obey” William in an effort to make them more equal.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

Before William and Kate went to the altar (as seen here), Diana also refused to vow to obey Charles in her own 1981 vows.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The outlet continued that “William and Kate selected the Series One (1966) Book of Common Prayer ceremony, which allows the bride to drop ‘obey him’ and ‘serve him’ from the religious proceedings.” Prior to Diana, Queen Elizabeth (then Princess Elizabeth), Princess Margaret, and Princess Anne had kept the word “obey” in; after Diana, Sarah Ferguson (after marriage, the Duchess of York) and Sophie Rhys-Jones (after marriage, the Countess of Wessex and now the Duchess of Edinburgh) both put “obey” into their vows. Kate opted not to, and Meghan Markle followed suit, omitting the word from her own 2018 vows when she married Prince Harry.

In the leadup to William and Kate’s 2011 wedding, the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams praised the couple over their vows: “I’ve been very struck by the way in which William and Catherine have approached this great event,” he said. “They’ve thought through what they want for themselves, but also what they want to say. They have a very simple, very direct picture of what really matters about this event. The couple are believed to have ditched tradition and the word ‘obey’ because, after knowing each other for a decade—first at university—they treat each other very much as equals.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

William and Kate were in control of many aspects of the planning of their big day.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Diana wedding dress

The original tradition breaker in 1981.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

Such a remarkable day, and unbelievable that 13 years have passed since the first big British royal wedding of the century.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Though she too opted to buck tradition and alter her vows, Kate did keep with the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” tradition. Her “something borrowed” was Queen Elizabeth’s Cartier tiara, her “something old” was the lace in her wedding dress, and her “something new” were custom-made Robinson Pelham earrings—a gift from her parents, Michael and Carole Middleton. Uniquely, her “something blue” was a small blue ribbon that the team working for Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen (the gown’s designer) stitched into the interior of her dress.

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

Though Kate bucked some tradition, she chose to keep the “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” tradition.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

Her “something blue” included a small blue ribbon stitched inside her Alexander McQueen wedding dress.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Following the ceremony at Westminster Abbey—which was attended by 2,000 guests and watched by 162 million around the world—they transformed the Throne Room inside Buckingham Palace into a “massive nightclub” that The Telegraph quoted one guest as saying was “the most magical party imaginable.”

Thirteen years on, it hasn’t been the easiest year of William and Kate’s marriage, no doubt, as she is currently undergoing treatment for cancer, the type and stage of which remains undisclosed to the public. Speaking of their vows, former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond told The Sun that “They must both have reflected on those wedding vows, especially the words ‘in sickness and in health,’” she said. “It is often the hard times that make a marriage even stronger. They could never have imagined that they would be marking this anniversary with Catherine in the middle of chemotherapy. But I suspect that William will make even more of a fuss of his wife—in a low-key way—than ever before.” 

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

Isn’t this picture just fantastic?

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bond said she’s certain that William will have a special gift planned for Kate to mark the occasion today. “I don’t suppose many people these days take much notice of traditional gifts, but the 13th wedding anniversary is called lace,” she said. “It is said to symbolize the intricate beauty of the relationship and the special care it needs to keep it intact, and that seems particularly apt this year for William and Catherine.”

Prince William and Kate Middleton wedding

In sickness and in health.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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