Is a Royal Prenup Happening Before the Royal Wedding?


"Should've had a prenup" is one of those phrases often heard by folks seeking divorce advice in Pasadena. Now British divorce lawyers are raining on the media parade of the upcoming wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton by warning the prince that he should get a prenup before it's too late.

As royal watchers know, the prince and Middleton are set to get hitched April 29, but the UK's top divorce experts are saying they hope William will make a visit to his lawyer's office before he walks down the aisle.

"It's an absolute statistical no-brainer that a prenuptial agreement would be highly beneficial in this case," said divorce lawyer James Stewart from the firm Manches, the law firm that handled the headline-making divorce between pop star Madonna and director Guy Ritchie.

Stewart and others are quick to point to William's family history with divorce. Most notably his mother, the late Princess Diana, and his father, Prince Charles, divorced in 1996. The very public and ugly divorce was financially devastating to the Prince Charles, who reportedly gave Diana his entire personal fortune valued at more than 17 million pounds. Three out of four of Queen Elizabeth II's children have been divorced. Diana's brother and William's uncle Charles Spencer has two ex-wives.

Prenuptial agreements have been common in the United States for decades but remain rare for most British couples. Stewart says the English, including the royal family, need to look at the reality of increasing divorce rates and make the necessary financial arrangements.

"In the 21st century, there is a real need for any couple in the public arena to enter into a properly drawn up prenup," Stewart adds.

Prince William's office has declined to comment on whether the couple has signed a prenuptial agreement.