Four weddings (and a divorce)
So, how long will these marriages last? Matthew Bell reads the runes – and wishes the couples the best of luck
Sunday 03 July 2011
A man in possession of a fortune is in need of a wife. This is especially true if he's 53, balding and has already fathered a couple of illegitimates. Oh, and he's got the future lineage of Monaco in his in-tray.
Today, as Prince Albert wakes on the second day of the rest of his life, armed with an Alka Seltzer after three days' partying, what does the future hold for him and his 33-year-old bride?
Any wedding is a joyous occasion, and we wish the royal couple well as they set off on honeymoon. Prince William and Catherine are effectively still on theirs, touring Canada as media darlings more than two months after tying the knot. But at a time when 45 per cent of marriages end in divorce, when the average union lasts 11 years, and romance – according to one poll – fizzles out after two years, six months and 25 days, only the most naive would assume this summer's crop of celebrity marriages will last for ever. Here, we gaze into our Independent on Sunday crystal ball and see what happens once the paps have packed up.
Prince Albert and Charlene Wittstock
What might a 53-year-old scion of the house of Grimaldi have in common with a 33-year-old South African swimmer? The good news is they've been together 11 years and, until last week, there were no impediments to a blissful future. Then reports claimed she discovered he had not two but three love children, and she reportedly tried to leg it to South Africa. Her passport allegedly was confiscated at the airport. Happily, she did appear at the altar, and now all they need is an heir and a spare.
Kate Moss and Jamie Hince
There were transvestites, there was Sadie Frost, and there was most of Primrose Hill. This was "Mossstock", the three-day wedding of Kate Moss to Jamie Hince, guitarist of The Kills. It may look as if all the ingredients are there for the perfect rock'n'roll marriage. But Kate Moss is worth £45m, and The Kills's last album peaked at 40 in the charts. Only Moss's name appears on the deeds of their £8m Highgate home. Is Hince at risk of becoming a "Threapleton" – a less famous spouse, so called after Kate Winslet's forgotten first husband, Jim Threapleton? We're sure not.
Peter Crouch and Abbey Clancy
Asked what he would be if he weren't a footballer, Peter Crouch once said "a virgin". Still, the beanpole England striker has settled down now, and last week married his hottie girlfriend of four years, voted 10th in FHM's 100 sexiest women. Although footballers have the worst track record for longevity in wedlock, bookmakers William Hill are optimistic. Last night they gave the longest odds on them being the first of last week's three weddings to end, at 5/1. Prince Albert was at 2/1 and Kate Moss was the favourite at 4/7. Ouch.
Freddie Bourne and Heidi Withers
It's stressful enough planning a wedding without your stepmother firing off emails informing your fiancée of her social deficiencies. But Carolyn Bourne's outburst will only have strengthened their bond, giving the couple something to laugh about for years to come. Friends have piped up to deny accusations Heidi is rude, and Freddie's mother says she's delighted by his bride. If they can survive what has been dubbed the Bourne Ultimatum, they can survive anything.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver
Love can, alas, die, as the wife of the ex-governor of California showed by filing for divorce on Friday. Married 25 years, they were a leading US power couple, a happy union of politics and showbusiness. But then she discovered he had a child by their housekeeper, Mildred Baena, and she cited irreconcilable differences. Their $400m fortune looks set to be split 50/50.
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