Why No Prenup for the World's Most Famous Married Couple?

Cristen Conger

No prenup for Wills and Kate. (Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)

One of the most surprising things that did not happen with the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton was the signing of a prenuptial agreement. Although William earns only around $61,000 as a flight lieutenant with the Royal Air Force, and Kate has been unemployed since the engagement, both bring sizeable family fortunes to the table. When you bring a lot of financial assets into a marriage, prenups legally outline how those will be dispersed -- or not -- should the union dissolve. And let's face it: statistically, there's a good chance that something could rent a couple asunder.

So why no prenup for the newly named Duke and Duchess of Cambridge? It might have something to do with legal custom.

While prenups are becoming more commonplace among American marriages, and it's practically expected for celebrity couples to ink an agreement, the legal practice isn't as common across the pond. Perhaps that's why no royal prenup was drawn up. ABC News explains, "only in the last year have British courts agreed to recognize (prenuptial) deals."

If the marriage turns sour, Wills might have to pay a pretty penny to sever ties with his lovely Duchess. Just ask his pops, Prince Charles. When he and Princess Diana called it quits, Charles reportedly forked over around $27 million. In response to the costly settlement, Charles' former financial adviser Geoffrey Bigness told the Sunday Telegraph, "Diana took him to the cleaners." Or maybe his lack of legal foresight took him to the cleaners.

Victoria Pynchon over at Forbes thinks it's wise that Kate didn't sign any prenuptial deal because she currently has no bargaining power. Sure, she could hedge her bets and sign a deal assuring her incrementally more money based on the number of years she and Wills keep things kosher and the number of heirs she bears. But Pynchon further goes on to say that "people in love (particularly those publicly in love) possess no real bargaining power, which expresses itself only when we demonstrate our willingness to walk away."

There is one document that some suspect Middleton may have been asked to sign -- aside from the marriage license. "It is also quite likely that Kate would sign a confidentiality clause, in order to avoid a scandal like Charles and Diana's divorce," ABC News reports.

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