Why Harry and Meghan need to sign a pre-nup

StarMetro Edmonton - - Views - Vi­nay Menon Vi­nay Menon is colum­nist and fea­ture writer who cov­ers pop­u­lar culture for the Star.

Should Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sign a prenup?

The only sen­si­ble an­swers to this ques­tion are “bloody well right” and “well, duh.” But if a re­cent story in the Daily Mail is ac­cu­rate, the bearded royal is not keen on the idea.

“He’s de­ter­mined that his mar­riage will be a last­ing one, so there’s no need for him to sign any­thing,” an anony­mous friend tells the pa­per.

It’s a beau­ti­ful sen­ti­ment. It’s also blis­ter­ingly fool­ish.

Please don’t mis­un­der­stand. I am not pre­dict­ing doom or cast­ing as­per­sions on the young cou­ple.

I’m hard pressed to think of an­other celebrity cou­ple that seems more in love at this mo­ment. And this is pre­cisely why Harry and Meghan need a pre-nup.

I have a re­la­tion­ship the­ory my wife doesn’t let me share at cock­tail par­ties. So I’ll bore you with it now. The ba­sic for­mula is some­thing like this: if a re­la­tion­ship is pow­ered by raw pas­sion be­fore mar­riage, that union will be on shakier ground than ob­servers might rea­son­ably pre­dict.

Pas­sion fades in time, no mat­ter the start­ing point. So for a mar­riage to be a “last­ing one,” to quote Harry’s friend again, too much pas­sion can ac­tu­ally be a dan­ger. Any pos­si­ble breakup in the fu­ture is in­evitably uglier than it should be.

That’s why safe­guards, like a pre-nup, can help save a once pas­sion­ate mar­riage: It re­moves ma­te­rial in­cen­tives that might oth­er­wise ac­cel­er­ate the col­lapse. It pro­vides a good rea­son to keep work­ing on a re­la­tion­ship that is short-cir­cuit­ing.

So in­stead of view­ing this as a waste of time or an in­sult to their de­vo­tion, Harry and Meghan should see it as a kind of in­sur­ance pol­icy in the event their feel­ings change. In case of ir­rec­on­cil­able di er­ences, heaven for­bid, such an agree­ment could spare them need­less agony in the pub­lic eye.

Be­sides, all they have to do is glance at their own fam­i­lies to re­al­ize there are no guar­an­tees in love: they are both chil­dren of di­vorce. The odds of a breakup among us com­mon­ers is now about 50 50. It’s a coin toss. The odds get even worse for roy­als and celebri­ties. Markle’s irst mar­riage lasted two years.

No­body swaps vows ex­pect­ing to get di­vorced. But it hap­pens. And if there are as­sets at play — the Daily Mail es­ti­mates Prince Harry is now worth £30 mil­lion while Markle will be tak­ing £4 mil­lion of her own into mar­riage in two months — the po­ten­tial for out­right hos­til­ity mul­ti­plies.

So do the pa­per­work, you crazy kids. Sign a pre-nup for the peace of mind. Do it for the myr­iad ways it may for­tify your re­la­tion­ship in the years ahead, when the ro­mance goes from boil­ing to a gen­tle sim­mer, and your bod­ies be­gin to sag and you’re no longer dis­cov­er­ing new things about one an­other.

Do it for a love so beau­ti­ful, it de­serves to be pro­tected.

A pre-nup can save a once pas­sion­ate mar­riage: It re­moves ma­te­rial in­cen­tives that might oth­er­wise ac­cel­er­ate the col­lapse.

Cathrin Brad­bury

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