Katy Guest: Darling, will you marry me (or maybe not)?

Teaching Robbie Williams a proposal trick or two

Share
Related Topics

If a man's proposal can be assumed to presage the style of the wedding and augur the type of marriage that the happy couple will go on to have, then Ayda Williams, née Field, must know what to expect from her new husband, Robbie.

The formerly private former Take That member, who has done everything short of jumping up and down on Oprah's sofa to broadcast to the world that he finally got a girlfriend to stick, has been telling fans how he proposed to his bride: by writing "will", "you", "marry" and "me" on the backs of the four queens from a pack of cards.

"When we first started going out," he explained, "this weird thing would happen. "When I had a deck of cards, I would split the pack and always come up with a queen of hearts. Because I'm into mysticism, it filled my heart and made me stop worrying about whether I was with the right person."

It's a good job Ayda, an actress, was there, then, or he might easily have ended up marrying Derren Brown.

Just as Robbie's proposal was inspired by his mysticism, so the wedding, too, had spiritual overtones. A white marquee was placed on the spot where Robbie claims a UFO once bathed him in golden light while he was lying on his sun lounger at night. The bride and groom were joined by their eight dogs, who filled in for bridesmaids.

"They really are the perfect match," reported a friend of Ayda's, "because Robbie's finally found a girl who not only loves him, but shares his interest in UFOs and aliens."

Robbie and Ayda have been together for three years, and he had evidently been planning his pro-posal for a while. As early as last year, he told ITV's Loose Women that a marriage proposal "could be on the cards" (with the presenter, Carol McGiffin, here apparently playing the role more traditionally reserved for the future bride's dad). But declaring your hand this soon is a risky manoeuvre that can easily go wrong.

The moment a man proposes is the point at which he must be most confident that he knows his intended and their relationship inside out. The tried and tested one-knee classic is the safest method before a certain age, at which one or both knees begin to seize up.

The speech should be kept to a minimum for fear that she will miss her cue. The occasion should be lavish, or nostalgically shabby in a way reminiscent of early days. He should provide a ring – unless he suspects his girlfriend to have a mind of her own, in which case she may prefer to choose it herself.

An unusual or extravagant proposal could have the catastrophic effect of driving the proposee away. To propose live on TV, for instance, involves such a kind of bullying pressure that a certain sort of person could only refuse. Roses, balloons, teddies and pinkness are not necessarily what one looks for in a lifetime partner. Candles might be the wrong choice if your betrothed is safety conscious, or a firefighter. And never spend a month's salary on a ring for a girl who is prone to losing things.

Whatever the proposal faux pas, however, it would be hard to do worse than Robbie's first attempt, after which it is amazing that he continued to have a fiancée at all. It happened last November, live on Australian radio, in front of complete strangers and apparently out of the blue. But that's not what was bad about it.

The problem was that Robbie later announced through his manager that the whole thing was only a joke. "He did say it, but he did it in a jocular manner. They are not engaged." The first rule of proposing is never, ever to take it back. You will be needing your knee caps if you ever have to propose again.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teacher require...

KS1 Teacher

£21500 - £31500 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Would you like to work...

Java Developer - web services, XML and API

£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...

Maths Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Cyclists v the rest of the world – can we please call a truce?

Philip Hoare
Brooks Newmark  

If Brooks Newmark is ‘sick’ what does that say about the rest of us?

Simon Kelner
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style