The failed marriage of virgin Diana to non-virgin, non-faithful Charles is being used as an example of why people should have sex before they marry. In reality, Charles' love for Camilla, which included adultery with her, a married woman, while he was a married man, was the much more likely cause of the failure of his marriage to Diana.
The virginity of both parties would have increased the chances of real love to develop between the two. As Diana said, there were three people in her marriage. On the other hand, the cohabitation of Kate and William is no guarantee of the success of their marriage, and to my mind may very well contribute to the possibility of its failure.
I remember a Playboy survey in the 1970s that surprised the magazine no end. People who had one partner only and who waited until marriage to have intercourse reported a much higher degree of satisfaction than people who had multiple partners and didn't wait.
But Charles was the only partner in his marriage to Diana who didn't wait. Charles had been encouraged by his Uncle Montbatten to play the field before he picked a suitable virgin to marry. Charles' playing around (in other words, fornication) led him to a unsuitable bond with Camilla, who was not considered suitable for a king's wife (for good reason, I say). When Charles went away on a trip, Camilla accepted that he wouldn't marry her, and she married someone else, but the connection continued because Charles and she were hooked on each other.
Because of this kind of powerful bond that often forms whether or not you want it, my advice to non-believers in traditional morality, and to scoffers against sexual self-control--just for practical reasons--is, "Do not have intercourse with someone you wouldn't marry. You may become attached in a way you don't want." I have known and heard of many, many people who have spent years attached to partners who they knew from the start they didn't want to marry. They say that breaking up is hard to do, for a good reason.
We play with the force of marital love, which is from God and is life-giving, while separating it from its real fruition and completion. And we and suffer many ills as a result, just as little children would do if they gorged on sweets for the pleasure of it day after day instead of real food for the nourishment of it, until they got sick.
I am sorry for girls like Kate who give themselves away to men like William. They have to use contraception as part of the modern courtship, that's a given. So they are locked for years into what I call "guy sex," intercourse with enforced sterility and intimacy without unconditional love. And they live with dread of the possibility of pregnancy during those times of no-commitment, and they experience great pressure to abort any "by-product of conception" that might arrive unwanted on the scene. Women wait for years in "relationship" limbo, making an awful gamble, in hopes the man will make a commitment to them. I don't know how women can routinely bear these risks.
They called her "Waitey Katie."
At least one school friend reported that Kate was a virgin when she met William. Kate was dedicated to William for years until he broke up with her, and she admitted during one of their engagement interviews that the break-up was very hard on her, even though they got back together after a couple of months.
As one commenter said, Kate got her Handsome Prince in the end, but many girls like her do not. Then they have to begin the search again, with the odds mounting against them and their biological clocks ticking.
Just by chance, I only just now read a 40 something journalist's article on her sorrow about not having kids, which included a life history of one uncommitted "relationship" after another. By the time she found someone to father children with her, she was around 40, and then had two miscarriages. That "relationship" broke up too. Her story is not at all uncommon.
I think of women like that journalist as "relics," like widows, but with no status. Relics of the guy-sex revolution. Nothing to show for all the love and years of their lives that they gave, nobody to recognize the griefs associated with the series of attachments that ended like little deaths, without the permission of society to mourn.
I suspect that Kate has some wounds from the long wait before the breakup, the breakup itself, and then the added long time that passed before William's proposal, wounds which may not be healed by the marriage. And those wounds added to other getting off on the wrong foot aspects of a marriage that was embarked upon in a state of rebellion against God's plan for marriage may lead to much unhappiness between them as time goes by.
The woman across the table from me gushed, "Charles and Camilla have suffered so much. They deserve to be happy together after all these years." Surprised, I retorted, "They should be doing penance for adultery." We never met before that night, and she hasn't much liked me since. At one point, she told me "we are not of the same kidney." Indeed.
I was surrounded by Catholics at that dinner table, current and former members of the Gregorian chant choir that I sang with, except for the husband of the woman who spoke so sympathetically about the Charles and Camilla "relationship." The husband was a member of a group who attended choir dinners in the unofficial status of "choir friend." The wife, let's call her Miriam, had dropped out of the choir years before, but would sing at Vespers from time to time. She was a converted Jew, and since I knew she was a Catholic now, I was surprised at her tolerance for the couple under discussion. All seemed to be justified to her mind under the name of "love."
But then, I have seen the same lack of good Catholic formation in the sprinkling of converts that started out as choir members and became believers. But that's another story. Maybe it's due to the fact that people who love the traditional music of the Church but who are selective about the Church's doctrines and moral teachings attrack converts who become Catholics in their image.
Where do you start to explain the facts to someone like that? First of all, the C&C relationship started with fornication. After she married, it continued with adultery. And when he married, their continued affair was based on betrayal on both sides to their marriage vows. If Camilla's marriage was valid in the eyes of the Church, her divorce did not end the marriage. "What God has joined together, let no man put asunder." She would still be married in the eyes of God to Parker Bowles.
When the widowed Charles "married" the divorced Camilla in a civil ceremony, it was not a valid marriage. Even if the Parker Bowles marriage wasn't valid, a civil ceremony does not a valid marriage make.
To unpack my remark that they should be doing penance, I meant that whatever they would have to suffer because their love is invalid should be better offered up as penance for their sins. Because they cannot validly marry, they are obliged to live chastely separately, and purify themselves, in preparation for the judgment we all have to face after death. That is what is meant by making amendment. They cannot undo the betrayals of their spouses or take away Diana's hurt about not being loved, but they can accept their own sufferings as partial recompense for the harm they have done. That would be the Catholic way to go.