On April 29, 2011, royalty watchers the world over will be treated to a rare sight, the likes of which hasn’t been seen in 30 years—the marriage of the heir to the planet’s oldest extant monarchy, complete with all the pomp and pageantry of which even the down-at-heels latter-day Britain is capable. Prince William Arthur Philip Louis of Wales, grandson of Queen Elizabeth II and son of the famed Princess Diana, will wed Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton, after an on again-off again relationship of eight years’ standing. The couple make a charming pair, and seem well matched, being much better acquainted, and apparently better suited, than William’s parents, Charles and Diana, were at the time of their marriage in 1981.
But as that ill-starred match, which started with a fairytale wedding, shows, all is not always as it seems. What do the stars have to say about this anachronistic twenty-first century royal union, and its chances of survival, much less happiness?
Born 21 June 1982, Prince William is the eldest child of Charles and Diana, Prince and Princess of Wales, born less than a year after their marriage. His has been an unconventional royal upbringing, based on the desire of his mother, “the People’s Princess,” that he receive much more contact with ordinary mortals, at a much earlier age, than is customary for the heir to the throne. Thus William was born at St. Mary’s, a public hospital in London, the first such royal birth ever, and attended Jane Mynor’s Nursery School with primary education at the pre-preparatory Wetherby School in London, followed by secondary education at Ludgrove School, both public (which is Brit-speak for “private and exclusive”, meaning not government run) schools.
William’s father Charles was the first Royal to receive a semi-public education (all previous Royals being privately tutored), at Gordonstoun in Scotland, but when it came time for tertiary education (a sort of halfway house between what in America would be termed high school and college), William selected Eton, a much more expansive and open venue, and in keeping with the tradition of his mother’s family, the Spencers. William acquitted himself well at Eton, afterward taking a gap year before continuing his education, which included ten weeks teaching children in Chile.
William was just ten at the time of his parents’ highly public and acrimonious separation in December 1992 (they officially divorced in1996), and spent the next five years in the parted company of both Charles and Diana, who each contributed to his development in their respective ways, Charles training him in the duties of royalty, and Diana focusing on creating a humane, yet urbane princeling with a common touch unlike his father’s cool reserve. Diana’s sudden and tragic death in a car crash in August 1997 marked a turning point in the 15-year-old William’s life, and he and his younger brother Prince Harry, born two years after William, drew closer together at this time.
In 2001, William enrolled at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, the UK’s third oldest university. He graduated with upper second class honors and a degree in geography in June 2005. The next January he followed recent royal tradition by embarking on a military career at Sandhurst Royal Military Academy, completing the course in December 2006. He was commissioned as a lieutenant with the Blues and Royals regiment’s armored reconnaissance unit. Denied active service abroad due to his status in line to the succession, William proceeded to training in both the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, where he now works full time as a search and rescue helicopter pilot, enabling him to pursue an active role without combat deployment.
During his time at St. Andrews, William met Kate Middleton, a fellow student five months his senior who lived a few doors down in the same residence hall. In 2002, Kate was one of three friends who shared a small house off campus with William. The two began to date in 2003. Buckingham Palace took no official notice of the relationship, but the couple remained an item throughout their years at the university. Middleton was invited to William’s Sandhurst graduation in December 2006, after which media speculation became intense. By the following March William was complaining of press and paparazzi intrusion, and by April the pair had parted ways, in part due to the stresses of publicity, only to reunite that summer. In June 2008, Middleton once again attended a royal function as William’s special guest, when he was invested with the Order of the Garter.
No other serious attachments have been reported for either party, but the long-drawn-out dating phase of their relationship (at one point Middleton was dubbed “Waity Katie” by her friends in token of their protracted courtship) caused speculation that the couple would never marry. But at last Middleton’s perseverance paid off, and in October 2010 William proposed to his princess in waiting, during a holiday at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya. William presented Kate with the same sapphire and diamond ring his father had given Diana. The engagement was announced from Clarence House, the Prince of Wales’ London residence, on 16 November 2010.
Middleton’s background is extremely middle class, with her father Michael a British Airways officer and mother Carole Goldsmith a flight attendant when Kate was born in 1982. These very humble roots were augmented by fiscal windfalls after the couple founded a mail order party supply company, Party Pieces, in 1987, which has since made them millionaires.
Born in Reading and raised in Bucklebury, Berkshire, Middleton is the eldest of three siblings, and was educated at St. Andrews School and Marlborough College before entering the University of St. Andrews in 2001. She graduated with honors and an Art History degree in 2005, and a year later began working as an assistant accessories buyer for Jigsaw, a British clothing chain.
William and Kate’s long-standing relationship should serve them well. They have avoided several of the pitfalls that doomed William’s parents’ marriage from the start. They are the same age, whereas Charles and Diana were 13 years apart; they have known each other for a decade, and intimately for eight years, while Charles and Diana were barely acquainted until their whirlwind courtship, engagement and marriage in less than a year; and Kate, now in her late twenties, already has extensive experience with press and paparazzi, unlike Diana’s sudden thrusting into the glaring spotlight of publicity at barely 19.
Celestial placements show a simpatico between the couple but also the potential for difficult times ahead. In addition to the typical Venus and Mars factors, there are asteroid referents for both: William is represented by asteroid Wil (#2412, for “Wills,” the nickname his mother gave him at birth and by which he is still popularly known) and asteroid Williams (#1763), while there are an almost dizzying number of asteroids which can be used for Kate—Katharina (# 320, for Catherine, her full birth name), Kathryn (#2612), Kathy (#4711), Catalina (#83360, a Spanish variant of Catherine), Ekaterina (#6955, the Russian version), and even plain old Kate (#2156), the name by which she is most commonly known. I also chose to look at asteroids Regina (#285, Latin for “Queen”) and Rey (#13647, Spanish for “King”).
Born 21 June 1982 at 9:03 PM UT in Paddington, London, UK, Prince William’s chart shows some remarkable potential. Born just hours after a Solar Eclipse, William’s natal Sun at 0 Cancer is conjoined the 27 Gemini Descendant, indicating the importance of relationships in his life, and the Sun’s opposition to asteroid Juno at 2 Capricorn, ruling marriage, further reiterates the impact of a spouse for him.
The Sun is also conjunct the Moon, which at 4 Cancer is itself exactly conjunct a Black Hole. Black Hole Moon natives frequently experience the loss of the mother at a tender age, due to separation, divorce, or death (all three of which apply to William in turn), or at the least, an emotional separation or unavailability. Although it is never possible to truly understand a parent/child dynamic from the outside, to all appearances, his relationship with Diana was very close; the alienation of which Black Hole Moon is possible seemingly enacted on the more literal level of separation via decease. But even this closeness can be a Black Hole Moon manifestation, as in the alternative, it often manifests as a parent who smothers or “devours” the child in some sense. There is no indication that Wills’ relationship with Diana went to this extreme, but in her attempts to keep the royal family from undue sole influence, we may see it to some degree.
Also conjoined the Sun is asteroid Rey, the “King”; exactly atop the Quasar at 8 Cancer, this is a sign that his will be a very notable, noteworthy, and highly public or publicized reign. Another Quasar at 26 Gemini is closely conjunct the Descendant, so his relationships will of necessity come under much public scrutiny, with the hot glare of media attention and notoriety, and little privacy or chance for anonymity.
Natal Jupiter at 0 Scorpio conjoins both another Black Hole at 29 Libra and the Midheaven at 2 Scorpio, representing his regal (Jupiter) position in the world (Midheaven), and a loaded Ninth House (with Pallas, Mars, Saturn and Pluto also there) suggests academics and study to be of paramount importance in his life. The trine from Jupiter to the Sun suggests that academically, William is on a firm footing and successfully meets his educational challenges with ease.
Indeed, William’s honors earned at St. Andrews are the highest of any member of the royal family, and the energy he displayed (Mars) in pursuing his education, as well as the broad scope of his military training in all three branches of the service (also Mars) reflect the transformational (Pluto) role that scholarship (Jupiter) and training (Pallas) has played.
The clumping of Mars at 9 Libra, a Black Hole at 13 Libra, Saturn at 15 Libra (exactly conjunct a Quasar) and Pluto at 24 Libra is another indicator of the highly public (Quasar), devastating (Pluto), violent (Mars), sudden loss (Black Hole) of a parent (Saturn). The inclusion of asteroid Diana into this mix from 19 Libra indicates which parent.
The 27 Sagittarius Ascendant is also conjoined by a planet, namely Neptune at 25 Sagittarius, marking William as idealistic and empathetic, but also not completely grounded in practical reality. In particular, others may have a distorted, romanticized view of him, and as this Neptune also broadly opposes the Sun, he may not even see himself clearly, and may have boundary issues. The incidence of the Galactic Center closely conjunct from 26 Sagittarius suggests that his will be a life of notable global attention and notoriety, which of course is not in dispute, but also that he will make some contribution of universal importance or impact, which is yet to be revealed.
Venus exactly conjoins Chiron at 25 Taurus in the Fifth House, with a Black Hole at 24 Taurus close by. William is drawn to unconventional (Chiron) women (Venus), but they cause him pain (Chiron), whether directly or indirectly (as in his mother’s loss at an early age). This Venus/Chiron forms the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjuncts to Neptune at 25 Sagittarius and Pluto at 24 Libra, indicative of the perhaps fated (Yod) destruction (Pluto) of a woman (Venus) he idealized (Neptune), but also the potential for another to replace her, to heal the wounds (Chiron) that loss engendered.
In addition to this Venus arrangement, we can get a general idea of the type of woman William is looking for as a life partner. Juno also conjunct the Ascendant says he will want someone “out front,” someone who shares his public identity, something a Queen Consort does even more than a typical spouse.
Juno is also involved in an out-of-sign T-Square incorporating the Sun at 0 Cancer, with Neptune at 25 Sagittarius and asteroid Eros at 26 Virgo. William needs someone he can feel passionately about (Eros), but also someone he can set on a pedestal as his ideal (Neptune), and these features are ingrained into his essential self (Sun).
Asteroid Hera, Juno’s Roman counterpart in marriage matters, at 3 Libra conjoins Pallas at 5 Libra and Mars at 9 Libra. Mars here is a further indication of a highly sexual/attractive quality being necessary to a fulfilling marriage for William, while Pallas/Hera mandates that she be a thinker—intelligent, skilled, able to devise plans of action and strategize, with a wisdom beyond her years.
Asteroid Regina (“Queen”) at 28 Aries conjoins the 2 Taurus IC, making William’s future Queen a foundational influence, one that forms the basis of his domestic life and provides a sense of security and belonging; opposed Pluto she will be a very powerful personality, and prove a catalyst for his full development.
Several astrological factors point to Kate Middleton in particular as a probable choice for partner, even before we examine the synastry between them. Asteroid Kate at 1 Leo is tightly semisextile the 0 Cancer Sun, but also tightly squared the 0 Scorpio Jupiter, adding royal impact and emphasis, as well as indicating the academic setting which would bring them together. Asteroid Catalina at 13 Libra is exactly conjunct a Black Hole, suggesting a powerful transformative role, and also conjunct Mars (sexuality), Saturn (consort, formal partner, official position) and even asteroid Diana, suggesting some inner psychological link between the two for William. Asteroid Ekaterina at 24 Taurus falls dead center on the Venus/Chiron conjunction, bringing a specifically romantic, intimate and loving focus to the name for him.
Asteroid Wil at 14 Aries shows links to several other variants of Catherine, with a sextile to asteroid Kathy at 13 Aquarius, opposition to Catalina at 13 Libra, and trine to asteroid Katharina at 15 Leo. Kathy is also trine to Mars at 9 Libra, reinforcing the sexual attraction. Asteroid Williams at 11 Pisces forms a Yod with Catalina at 13 Libra and Katharina at 15 Leo, suggesting a fated circumstance between the two.
Born just five months prior, on 9 January 1982, Kate Middleton naturally shares much of William’s astrological make-up in a generational sense, but there are some surprising similarities one would not normally expect. Due to Mars and Hera retrogrades in the intervening period, Kate also sports a Mars/Hera conjunction, something unusual for partners separated by as much, and as little, time as Kate and Wills, and indicative of a complimentary need to his for a spouse providing sexual attraction and excitement.
With Mars at 10 Libra, her planet of sexuality is also atop William’s, another rare circumstance given their birthdates, and Hera at 12 Libra in her chart conjoins Catalina in his, one more celestial urging to unite in marriage. Kate’s Sun at 19 Capricorn is exactly conjunct a Black Hole, indicating a potential for a sudden shift in realities, a plucking from obscurity into prominence, and while it is too far wide to be considered in opposition to William’s own, her natal Moon resides somewhere in early to mid Cancer (birth time unknown), so it likely makes contact with his own Moon, something important for domestic harmony and compatibility, as well as true intimacy.
Kate’s Mercury/Venus conjunction at 6 and 7 Aquarius is trine William’s Mercury at 8 Gemini and his Mars at 9 Libra, forming a synastric Grand Trine which combines romance/intimacy (Venus) with sexuality (Mars) and communication (Mercury). Her Venus also squares her own Jupiter exactly, indicating the potential for a love match (Venus) with a Royal (Jupiter). Kate’s Venus further conjoins her asteroid Wil at 0 Aquarius, so her Venus conjoins Wil and his Venus conjoins Ekaterina, providing a double bond of romance.
Her natal Wil also opposes William’s asteroid Kate at 1 Leo which is exactly sextile her own Kate at 1 Gemini (thus trine her Wil), while her 13 Pisces Ekaterina conjoins his 11 Pisces Williams, and her asteroid Kathy at 17 Sagittarius conjoins her own asteroid Williams at 18 Sagittarius and her Juno at 16 Sagittarius, drawing the matrimonial noose even tighter.
With her Kathryn at 6 Pisces forming a Yod with her Katharina at 6 Leo and his Hera/Mars at 3 and 9 Libra and her Mars at 10 Libra, there really doesn’t seem any way out of this fated union! Not to be outdone, her natal asteroid Regina at 14 Aquarius is exactly sextile his natal Wil at 14 Aries, conjoined his Kathy at 13 Aquarius, and opposed his Katharina at 15 Leo—she’s his Queen, no doubt. And to top it off, her Kate at 1 Gemini conjoins her natal asteroid Rey (“King”) at 6 Gemini, trine her Wil/Mercury/Venus.
The timing for marriage was right for William, with transit Pluto criss-crossing his natal Juno the past few years, and coming to its final station at 2 Capricorn in September 2010, exactly conjoined the arbiter of nuptials barely a month before he popped the question.
When the engagement was announced on 16 November 2010, the transit Sun at 24 Scorpio was closely opposed William’s natal Ekaterina/Venus/Chiron conjunction at 24/25 Taurus. Transit Rey and Regina were conjunct at 23 and 28 Cancer, with Regina exactly conjunct a reality-shifting Black Hole (after all, we knew he was going to be King, she’s the surprise!) and exactly squared William’s natal Regina, also squared the Venus for the day, at 27 Libra retrograde, which was itself conjunct both Plutos, indicating the dramatic change in romantic/relationship circumstance.
Transit Kate and Wil are squared from 10 Sagittarius and 7 Virgo, with transit Ekaterina at 10 Leo squaring Williams at 9 Scorpio, which broadly conjoins transit Kathy at 0 Scorpio, itself exactly on William’s natal Jupiter. Transit Katharina at 27 Sagittarius exactly conjoins William’s natal Ascendant and is within orb of his spouse-ruling Juno, while transit Juno at 17 Virgo exactly squares Kate’s natal Juno/Kathy/Williams conjunction. Transit Kate at 10 Sagittarius is further conjunct transit Mercury (news) at 11 Sag, Eros (passion) at 12 Sag, and Mars (sexuality) at 14 Sag, all forming a temporary Grand Trine with William’s natal Katharina at 15 Leo and Wil at 14 Aries.
When those wedding bells ring out in Westminster Abbey on 29 April, 2010, Rey and Regina will still be conjoined at 16 and 19 Cancer, opposed Kate’s 19 Capricorn Sun. Transit Wil at 29 Leo is exactly conjunct Regulus, the Royal Star, appropriate for the occasion, and trine William’s 27 Sagittarius Ascendant. Transit Kate at 0 Pisces opposes Wil/Regulus, and conjoins transit Katharina at 2 Pisces, both trine William’s natal Sun at 0 Cancer. Transit Venus at 10 Aries combines with Mercury at 14 Aries, the latter exactly conjunct William’s natal Wil and both opposed the couple’s natal Mars placements at 9 and 10 Libra. The 8 Taurus Sun squares Kate’s natal Venus/Regina at 7 and 14 Aquarius, opposes her natal Jupiter (royalty) at 7 Scorpio, and is inconjunct Mars for each.
The many Mars and Venus contacts, both in their respective nativities and on their wedding day, argue for a happy and fulfilling personal union, but there are also indications of possible problems down the line. 0 Pisces Kate for the wedding, in addition to opposing Wil, is also exactly conjunct transit Neptune, and allied with William’s natal propensity to idealize his spouse as reflected in the Neptune/Juno conjunction. This could suggest issues will arise once the heady atmosphere of a royal wedding has died down to the humdrum existence of waiting for the throne. And the 10 Aries Venus opposes not only transit Saturn at 12 Libra, but also William’s natal Saturn at 15 Libra, which could indicate a loss of love or lack of affection in years to come, although Venus/Saturn can also result in strong ties of affection.
More problematic is the exact triple conjunction of Mars with Jupiter and TNO Eris at 21 Aries, all of which exactly oppose the bride’s natal Saturn. Mars/Jupiter is a royal roll in the hay, for sure, but with Eris here, named for the Greek goddess of strife and discord, there may be some acrimony or tension twixt the purple sheets. The opposition to Kate’s Saturn could signal sexual abandonment or desertion, or what is politely termed “loss of consortium,” and has been known to indicate childlessness as well, due to reproductive malfunction.
Taken all in all, there is promise in this union, the first ever match of a British royal heir and a true commoner with no noble antecedents. Although an Earl’s daughter, William’s mother Diana paved the way for this more open style of monarchy by bringing working class experiences into the rarefied atmosphere of the court, and ensuring that her sons were exposed to ordinary concerns and ordinary citizens as early, and fully, as possible. For a twenty-first century prince, it seems a match made in the heavens, or at the least, prompted by them.