Continuing with the Enneagram of Famous Figures, Subhuti explains numbers Nine and Seven taking more British Royals as examples.
Number Nine stays in line
“He was sent to jail for the rest of his life.”
When we read a statement like this in a newspaper, or hear it on the television news, we assume that a criminal is being punished for a serious crime, such as murder or espionage. We do not think of someone like Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. And yet this was the reality that faced Prince William from the very beginning of his life.
From the moment he could speak, listen, communicate and understand, he was informed that he was imprisoned. His jail had golden bars and a glamorous title, but his freedom to choose his own destiny had been taken away.
William had no choice. He was a member of a family business, the Windsor Royals, and would be extensively trained so that one day he could take over as head of the firm.
As a growing child, the more he understood his situation, the less he liked it, mainly because he came to appreciate the difficulties faced by his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales. She was married to Prince Charles and faced continuous and massive media exposure.
The public was obsessed with Diana and the pressure on her was relentless. One of William’s first recorded statements, regarding his choice of personal vocation, was that he would like to become a policeman in order to protect his mother. He was seven years old at the time.
Harry (see Prince Harry: a high-flying Number Seven comes down to earth), his younger brother, quickly reminded him this was not an option.
“Oh no you can’t, you’ve got to be King!” he told his sibling.
At about the same age, in one of his rare rebellious moments, William told his father, Charles: “Actually, I’d just as soon not be King.”
That may have been the first and last time he was heard to object to his fate.
On the Enneagram of nine personality types, Number Nine learns at an early age that his opinion and his feelings are not valued in his family environment. Slowly, he comes to understand that it doesn’t matter what he thinks or how he feels. He is expected to go along with whatever the more important people in his family decide. This develops into a lifelong habit. Nines gradually lose contact with their inner voice because it is ignored by others and eventually they fall into a routine of just doing what other people expect of them.
In William’s case, this meant listening to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth. While at school at Eton, William was required every Sunday to go to Windsor Castle and have tea with his grandmother, while she lectured him on the duties of being a Royal.
By the time William was a legal adult, all thoughts of rebelling against his destiny had vanished. He accepted his fate as third in line to the British throne, awaiting his turn to be promoted to chairman of the board.
Number Seven thinks she’s in heaven
Now let’s take a look at a very different life story. While William was being educated at Eton, a young teenage girl in Marlborough College, another English private school, was lying on her bed gazing at a picture of the young Prince she had pinned to the wall. She was happily dreaming about life as a princess and was not romantically interested in the boys around her.
This kind of ‘feel-good’ fantasy is typical of how the Number Seven type stays upbeat and positive. Even if her situation is already privileged and pleasant, she can always imagine something more ideal that would bring even greater happiness.
In 2001, when it was time to go to university, this young woman, Kate Middleton, found herself at the same university as Prince William, studying the same subject – Art History at St Andrews in Scotland.
It wasn’t just coincidence. Of course, there were other hopeful young women who chose St Andrews because the Prince was studying there. But Kate had good connections. She shared mutual friends with the Prince – young men who’d been educated with her at Marlborough College – and being an intelligent, good-looking girl with a pleasant personality, she was soon admitted to the Prince’s trusted circle.
So far so good. One of the names given to the Enneagram Seven type is ‘Plan’ and this particular piece of planning by Kate seemed to be going extraordinarily well.
Young men, as we know, tend to be ruled by their hormones and when Kate walked down the catwalk of a student fashion show in a see-through dress, showing her black bra and panties underneath, she was well aware that the Prince was in the audience.
We can assume he was suitably impressed because, not long afterwards, William invited Kate to share a rented cottage with him, together with other close friends, and their affair began.
The biggest challenge for Kate happened five years later, in 2007, when Prince William, feeling constrained by their relationship, chose to break it off and cut loose. Spotted in a drunken state at a Bournemouth nightclub, hugging two women, with his hand on one woman’s breast, he was heard to declare happily, “I’m a free man!”
For Kate, all seemed lost. Her plan lay in ruins. But essential advice was on hand from her mother, Carole Middleton, who advised her daughter “No tears…and he’ll come back.”
Kate did much more than holding back tears. In childhood, Sevens quickly learn the art of giving a positive twist to any negative situation and if Kate was heartbroken, she certainly wasn’t going to show it.
In London, she was joined in her Chelsea flat by her sister Pippa, who had just finished university, and the two appeared together at a series of upmarket social events. Kate’s dresses grew shorter, her tops lower. She was frequently photographed getting out of taxis in the West End, smiling of course, with bronzed limbs and a swirl of brunette hair. Far from abandoning her, the media was finding her more newsworthy as a single woman than as the Prince’s girlfriend.
The killer photo, most probably the one that halted William in his solo tracks, was of Kate standing at the helm of an all-girl boat crew called ‘The Sisterhood’, rowing down the Thames, in training for a charity event. She looked like a strong, fearless and beautiful Amazon who didn’t give a damn about old love affairs.
It is just speculation, but one gets the feeling that this wasn’t just an act, put on for William’s benefit. For Sevens, when Plan A fails, there is always a Plan B, Plan C and Plan D. So if the Prince had withdrawn permanently, Kate would probably have done well for herself, both as a celebrity and as a prize catch for some other male suitor.
But William got the message. Mindful of the disastrous decision taken by his father, Charles, not to marry his true love Camilla when they were both in their twenties, William did a U-turn and invited Kate back into his life.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Or, to quote the ending of every fairy story ever written:
“…and they lived happily ever after”
Well, happily so far, at least. Kate has behaved impeccably as a princess, even under intense media scrutiny, showing no sign of the emotional melt-downs exhibited by Diana, nor the gross blunders of Fergie, Duchess of York.
The Queen must feel blessed to have a grand-daughter-in-law who, although a commoner by birth, knows how to behave as a Royal should.
And William? Well, he’s just being the Nine he’s always been, going along with the Royal program. After all, it is his destiny, so why fight it?
One little footnote: maybe it’s not entirely an accident that Kate’s parents made their fortune by developing a mail order business that sells supplies and decorations for parties. What a suitably cheery atmosphere for a Seven to grow up in!
Subhuti gives workshops about the Enneagram all over the world and also gives individual online Enneagram sessions. Contact: anandsubhuti (at) yahoo.com
Related articles on the Enneagram by Subhuti
All articles in this series: Enneagram Famous Figures
The Enneagram – a journey with the Enneagram from Oscar Ichazo’s original school to Osho’s Multiversity
The Enneagram: Types – Enneagram type descriptions, childhood environments, problem areas and sentences which characterize each type