Ups and downs of the royal wedding doubles: They wed on the very same day as Kate and Wills. And from cancer to infertility, they’ve weathered some storms in their first decade, too
They wed on the very same day as Kate and Wills. And from cancer to infertility, they’ve weathered some storms in their first decade, too…
Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge leave Westminster Abbey following their Royal Wedding on April 29, 2011
Grief could have torn us apart, but love saved us
Michelle Stevenson, 44, a financial crime investigator, married Derek, 49, (pictured together) a plumbing manager, at the parish church in St Brelade, Jersey
Michelle Stevenson, 44, a financial crime investigator, married Derek, 49, a plumbing manager, at the parish church in St Brelade, Jersey. The couple live near Glasgow with their two children, Hamish, eight, and Murron, three. Michelle says:
I only managed half an hour’s sleep the night before our wedding — held like the royal couple’s on April 29, 2011. I was so nervous, but I remember thinking: ‘Imagine having the eyes of the world on you.’ I bet Kate Middleton got even less sleep!
Our son was born a few months before Prince George and, funnily enough, Hamish was one of the names the bookies were taking bets on for the future king. Derek and I have faced our fair share of challenges, the most devastating of which was losing our unborn twins over Christmas 2015. The grief was terrible and we feared that we might struggle to conceive again. But then along came our daughter Murron, healthy and very cheeky, in November 2017.
I’m aware these sorts of hurdles can tear couples apart. I am proud to have reached this milestone, to give our children a stable home and to still love and enjoy each other.
The couple (pictured on their wedding day) live near Glasgow with their two children, Hamish, eight, and Murron, three
After leukaemia and lockdown, we take nothing for granted
Jane Witty, 45, an aircraft engineer, married Stuart, 54, a railway signaller, at Carlton Towers country estate, near Selby, North Yorkshire (pictured on their wedding day)
Jane Witty, 45, an aircraft engineer, married Stuart, 54, a railway signaller, at Carlton Towers country estate, near Selby, North Yorkshire. The couple live in Eastrington, East Yorkshire, with son Connor, seven. Jane says:
We decided to get married on a Friday thinking that way it wouldn’t clash with any other major events. Then, lo and behold, a few months later the future king and queen announced their wedding would be on the very same day.
Of course, some of our 42 guests couldn’t resist peeking at Kate and William’s nuptials on their phones. We found the subterfuge quite funny.
Our son was born two months after Prince George, in September 2013. A month later, I nagged Stuart into getting his persistent cough checked out, and we were horrified when he was diagnosed with hairy cell leukaemia. He began chemotherapy and, although the prognosis for this type of cancer is generally good, it was a very scary time.
Fortunately, the treatment was a success. But Stuart’s immune system was compromised and he has had to stay home throughout most of the pandemic, only returning to work this month.
It would have been difficult for us to have more children following Stuart’s treatment, but I certainly don’t envy William and Kate their three, as we’re very happy with the one we’ve got.
Ten years into marriage, we don’t take anything for granted — in a funny kind of way, Stuart’s illness means we now enjoy life even more.
The couple live in Eastrington, East Yorkshire, with son Connor, seven (pictured together)
Longing for a big family like duke and duchess
Hollie McCully, 34, a dance teacher, married Paul, 41, (pictured on their wedding day) a Royal Marine and college lecturer, in Tandragee, Northern Ireland
Hollie McCully, 34, a dance teacher, married Paul, 41, a Royal Marine and college lecturer, in Tandragee, Northern Ireland. The couple live in Hartlepool, Co Durham, with their son, Foxx, three. Hollie says:
I’ll be honest, I was a bit annoyed when the royal couple announced their wedding date — I thought ‘Oh no, they’re stealing my big day!’
Of course, I couldn’t resist having a look at Kate on the television while I was getting ready.
However, mine and Paul’s journey to parenthood has been much more difficult than William’s and Kate’s — I have endometriosis and, although we’ve had six attempts at IVF, we’ve had only one live birth, our gorgeous little boy, Foxx.
When Prince George and Princess Charlotte were born, we had to put up with people, who knew we were married on the same day, but didn’t know we were struggling to conceive, saying things like: ‘Ooh when is it your turn?’
The couple live in Hartlepool, Co Durham, with their son, Foxx, three (pictured together)
In February, we lost another baby, a little boy, who was born nine weeks early. We’re still grieving and have had a lot of support throughout from the Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia charity, CDH UK.
Thankfully, what we’ve been through these past ten years has made our marriage stronger and brought us closer together. We would love to try for another baby, but would need yet more fertility treatment, which is expensive and not without its stresses, so it’s a big decision.
Our son’s due date was this month. We’d imagined celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary with our two little boys, but it wasn’t to be.
Hopefully, we’ll do something lovely tomorrow, and be thankful for each other.
When they had Louis, we said no way to a third baby
Laura Cattell, 41, a university administrator, married Matthew, 47, a software engineer at St Winefride’s Catholic Church in Shepshed, Leicestershire (their wedding day, pictured)
Laura Cattell, 41, a university administrator, married Matthew, 47, a software engineer at St Winefride’s Catholic Church in Shepshed, Leicestershire. They live in Austrey, Warwickshire, with daughters Eva, nine, and Freya, five. Laura says:
We were thrilled when William and Kate announced they would be marrying on the same day as us, as it wouldn’t just be our family and friends, but the whole nation who would be in a celebratory mood.
Of course, we knew that our 50 guests would be keeping an eye on the royal wedding via their phones, and although we missed the whole thing, we enjoyed the occasional update. Because of this connection, we’ve taken more of an interest in the Cambridges’ lives — such as when they had children and where they set up home.
I think time speeds up when you have kids. We’ve made some wonderful family memories, but the past decade has flown by.
Being a parent is harder work than anyone anticipates and we weren’t at all tempted to have a third child when William and Kate added one more. We’d experienced enough sleepless nights and chasing around after toddlers by the time Prince Louis came along.
Although I wouldn’t swap places with them — I’d choose a quiet life out of the media glare over theirs any day — William and Kate are lucky enough to have an army of nannies, housekeepers and chefs to ease the load. I don’t know how we’d have coped with three children, as well as working from home, during a year of home-schooling.
They live in Austrey, Warwickshire, with daughters Eva, nine, and Freya, five (pictured together)
Once Covid is all over, we shall reward ourselves with a celebratory anniversary dinner.
For now we’ll settle for afternoon tea at the Fig & Olive in Middleton to mark our anniversary — I think the royal couple would approve.
When the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced they were marrying on the same day as us, some of our relatives panicked and persuaded us to call our registrar, fearing it might mean ours would be off.
Reassured, we decided to really embrace the fact we were sharing our big day with the future king and queen and had memorabilia — tea towels and mugs — bearing our photographs made as gifts for our guests. Our nuptials were in the late afternoon, so I watched Kate and William exchange their vows while getting ready and felt so emotional that my make-up artist kept having to say: ‘No more tears now!’
Benjamin was born the same year as Prince George. He is the light of both our lives.
As the restaurants won’t be open for indoor meals tomorrow, we’ll make do with having something nice to eat at home, with Benjamin.
The real celebration will come in June, as I’ve booked a table for two at Le Gavroche in Mayfair.
The couple live near Aylesford, Kent, with their son, Benjamin, eight (pictured together)
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