November 16, 2010 11:01 pm

Speculation swirls on royal prenuptial

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Family lawyers are already speculating whether the couple will become royal pioneers of prenuptial agreements. “Signing a pre-nup would be practical and sensible and avoid a lot of unnecessary heartache. They would be seen as a modern couple,” said Vanessa Lloyd Platt, a well-known divorce lawyer.

Another partner at a leading family law firm added: “Three out of four of the Queen’s children have been divorced, and given what’s happened I would have thought the couple would consider a pre-nup.”

But one divorce lawyer who handles “big money” cases said she believed Kate Middleton and Prince William would shun this option. “I would be amazed. She is the financially weaker party and there is a lot of money in the royal family. I think it would attract bad press if they did do it.”

In many European countries, it is considered normal and not at all unromantic for newly engaged couples to draw up prenuptial agreements. There have even been reports that continental royals such as Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark, who married a former estate agent, have opted to sign them.

But until recently the situation was somewhat different in England and Wales, where prenuptial agreements have not been legally binding. Last month’s landmark ruling by the Supreme Court on the case of German heiress Katrin Radmacher means that judges can now give “decisive weight” to pre-nuptials.

Patrick Jephson, the late Princess Diana’s private secretary, said on Tuesday: “This is no ordinary marriage and the last decade has had these terrible divorces. You’ve got to be practical. If she was my sister, I’d tell her to get a good pre-nup.”

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