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William & Kate: The Royal Romance (DVD Review)

20 Apr, 2011 By: John Latchem

$19.98 DVD
Not rated.

Watching England’s Prince William and Kate Middleton together, one gets a sense that this might be the love story that Charles and Diana only pretended to be.

Whether or not William learned from the mistakes of his parents, or is able to benefit from a much more democratized culture, is open to speculation. Also open to debate is how much attention any royal wedding deserves, considering the British monarchy is mostly a figurehead these days.

But as long as it persists, there will always be a subculture devoted to the lives of the royals, with special attention paid to William, the future king of England (currently second in line to replace Elizabeth II, after his father). And one glimpse at Kate’s good looks doesn’t leave room for many questions about how she literally landed a prince.

The Royal Romance — timed to arrive just in time for the April 29 wedding — is touted as an official film fully authorized by Clarence House, the office and residence of the Prince of Wales. It certainly plays like “official” — stodgy and formal, in true British fashion.

The hour-long program alternates between archival footage of William growing up and an interview with the couple. There are segments that highlight similarities between Kate and Diana, a contrast not lost entirely on William, it seems, who presented his bride-to-be with his late mother’s sapphire engagement ring.

Other (unauthorized) tribute videos might have overly romanticized the storylines, but The Royal Romance steers clear of that approach, other than one signature love song for the credits.

The lone extra consists of five minutes of the William and Kate interview, most of which is actually in the documentary anyway.

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