Letter: Unprepared for royal relationships

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The Independent Online
Sir: A major player, yet to be fully scrutinised for its role in the demise of royal marriages, is the British preparatory school.

Anyone who was sent to a prep school at an early age will identify easily with the difficulties the 'young royals' face in their personal lives. When you learn that love is something you must do without, that close attachments to other human beings is a sign of weakness, that expressions of emotion are deeply shameful, how will you ever manage the openness, honesty and compromise that a close relationship demands. To survive the unloving environment of boarding school, we built thick walls around ourselves and kept love alive by fantasising about the kind of relationships that in real life can't exist.

The reason why former prep- school boarders are forever divorcing is that during some of the most formative years of their lives, the quality of love and relationships was characterised by distance - not closeness.

Yours faithfully,

PIERS PARTRIDGE

London, N16

9 December

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