The recent Royal Tour by William and Kate from 19–26th March was an eight day visit to the Caribbean region – specifically Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas – intended to celebrate the 70-year rule of William’s grandmother and to shore up support for the monarchy in the region.
What was supposed to be a “charm offensive” on the part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge soon turned into a PR nightmare with images described as “cringeworthy” by The Washington Post, and one journalist from the Daily Mail declaring herself to be “dying of embarrassment” during her coverage of the tour.
William looked like a startled rabbit caught in the headlights when Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that the royals’ presence allowed “unresolved issues” to be “put front and centre”, and then went on to say that Jamaica was “moving on” from British rule. From that point on, the week’s theme became focused on unresolved issues such as the fact that Jamaica’s independence in 1962 has not released it from the Commonwealth, and the damages incurred by colonialism and slavery needed to be addressed through sincere apology, and future reparation for the British Empire’s past sins.
As the largest English-speaking nation in the Caribbean, Jamaica has struck a blow for its neighbouring Commonwealth nations, especially when it synchronized the commencement of its transitioning process to become a republic with the world spotlight on the Royal Tour. The timing couldn’t have been worse for the royal couple as images went viral of William in his tropic whites and Kate in her virginal white lace frock standing upright in the same stance and vehicle as the Queen and Prince Philip used in 1966. If nothing else, this visual alone would have convinced Jamaicans (and remaining Commonwealth countries) that it is indeed, a time for outreaching posts of the Empire to move forwards in their own right.
The well-known phrase “two steps forward, one step back” implies that you are moving into unchartered territory and that there are times when you have to retreat back into the familiar in order to regroup and try again. In astrology, the comparison of two charts drawn slightly differently holds true to the same principle. Even though it doesn’t feel like it, progress is still happening and that however painful, two steps forward, one step back, still implies that one step forward is going to be the overall net result.
The practice of reading a natal chart through dual-system delineation, that is, a quadrant system alongside the older Whole Sign house system, may initially feel not worth the bother, but persistence brings rewards as both systems have merit in understanding a person’s path in life.
Both systems serve a purpose. Quadrant systems such as Placidus, Alcabitius, Campanus, Koch, or half a dozen other divisions of the space between the Ascendant and the Midheaven, produce houses of irregular sizes which demonstrate Earth’s rotation in the time period of twenty four hours.
Earth’s tilt and the wobble in its axis produces a less than perfect revolution around the Sun over the course of one year and must also be accounted for in these types of house systems creating uneven seasons, curious rising times, differing signs of long and short ascension, and basically, uneven houses and angles greater or less than ninety degrees between Ascendant and Medium Coeli (M.C. or Latin for ‘middle of the sky’).
The twelve houses in the quadrant system are messy and irregular; creating the doubling up of some signs and the omission of others on house cusps, whilst the houses themselves often contain planets in different signs from those featured on the house cusp. But they should not be entirely discarded in favour of a more perfect system simply because they reflect – and are symbolic of – the nature of life itself on this planet. Life is messy, and unpredictable, often seemingly random and nonsensical, and these experiences fit both philosophically and physically within the bounds of a quadrant house system.
In a perfect world where every day heralds the same unchanging season and equal day and night was a reality, it should follow that we too as inhabitants of this perfect world would understand the meaning and purpose of our existence. Every waking moment would be filled with enlightenment and we would be at one with the universe, fully appreciating and manifesting the Emerald Tablet’s opening lines:
“True it is without falsehood, certain and most true.
That which is above is like to that which is below, and that which is below is like to that which is above, (in order) to accomplish the miracles of one thing.”
Not going to happen. But perhaps the Whole Sign house system is the closest we can hope to accomplish by recreating this perfect alignment between house and sign, beginning with the first house encompassing the Ascendant’s degree as a point, and marking the M.C. in whichever house the ‘middle of the sky’ occurred at the time of birth.
Laying the two charts side-by-side records the story of our life. One chart (the quadrant system) recounts our experiences and our constant desire to reach our full potential. The second chart (the whole sign system) shows our planets’ capabilities and perhaps, their true intentionsthrough a system which is not governed by Earth’s irregularities.
Reality verses idealism is too simple a comparison to draw when viewing the two charts as equally important, especially given that these two notions regularly swap places. We may yearn for the simplicity of uncomplicated seventh house relationships but instead have to deal with the reality that a planet’s movement to the eighth house brings angst, sudden endings and, often, bickering over joint finances. We can just as easily be frustrated by the lack of acknowledgement or success from a tenth house planet, only to find that there is more satisfaction and happiness to be found by raising the eleventh house group, than enjoying individual fame from the tenth house.
Planets can slip either forwards in house number or backwards, and occasionally there is even the possibility of moving two houses forward when changing from a quadrant to whole sign system. This can be especially true for those charts set in high latitudes at critical times of the year. Prince William, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II is one such individual who was born in London at the time of the summer solstice.
Two Houses Forward – From Cadent 9th house to Succedent 11th House
Prince William has three planets in Libra which move from Placidus ninth house to Whole Sign eleventh house. The conjunction between an exalted Saturn and Mars in detriment is disposited by Venus in rulership in the sixth house. Saturn is approaching Pluto with nine degrees to its exact application, and William is part of the generation which saw the synodic cycle, Saturn conjunct Pluto at 27degrees Libra, take place in early November 1982, five months after his June birth.
The diagrams shown here were first published in A Tiny Universe (2018) and are intended to give a general impression of how some of these movements from one system to another might play out in an individual’s life. The nature of the planets and their condition and placement in the chart will add to the expression of a planet moving two houses from a quadrant cadent position to a succedent house through the whole sign house system.
Note that a planet cannot move two houses across the horizon from the sixth house to the eighth house, nor can it traverse the Ascendant to move forward two houses from twelfth house to second house. Regardless of whichever house system is used, the Ascendant and Descendant will always divide the two hemispheres and a planet cannot cross over the boundary from diurnal to nocturnal, or vice versa.
In the case of Prince William’s chart, the three-planet movement from ninth house (overseas commitments) to eleventh house (hopes and dreams for the future) has been a valuable lesson in understanding that this new age in royalty needs to be ‘agile’ in its acceptance of future trends regarding the monarchy. ‘Agile’ is the word William himself used on his return from the Caribbean this week and although he stopped short of an apology, it may be something he will need to include in his speeches as future king.
William was pretty much ambushed – Mars in detriment – by his host government’s timing with the Prime Minister’s declarations of freedom from the British monarchy. Even an exalted Saturn could do little to improve his recent visit to the Caribbean and if anything, his dignified Saturn alongside Pluto was a painful reminder of the years of oppression and fear under colonialism.
Hours before his flight from the Bahamas William released an unprecedented statement suggesting a significant number of countries could break ties with the monarchy, and that he might not lead the Commonwealth. Not so shocking an announcement to the fifty-four countries which make up the Commonwealth of Nations, the majority of which no longer recognise the Queen as sovereign. However, there are still fourteen countries – including Canada, Australia, and New Zealand – who make up the Commonwealth realm and who are considered to be constitutional monarchies.
If William’s agility is as sound as it looks – Venus in rulership is the Libran stellium’s dispositor – the movement towards a monarchy that survives and thrives in the next fifty years becomes possible with a shift from the ninth house (this is my monarchy and my rulebook) to the eleventh house (this is the new ‘Cambridge way’) that supports and encourages change rather than being threatened by it.
Mars/Saturn/Pluto has the choice to be inflexible, authoritarian, and old-fashioned, but in Libra it may learn to love and embrace these new changes. During this visit no apology was forthcoming, and William’s speeches ignoring protesters and a call to acknowledge past injustices did little to endear him to his Jamaican audience. Accusations of being ‘tone deaf’ would be deeply wounding for him, but William almost made it right in his final address in the Bahamas when he said, “We support with pride and respect your decisions about your future. Relationships evolve. Friendship endures.”[ii]
The two steps forward to a house of friendship and peer group acceptance, may feel like one step back to the monarchy but if anyone can do this with grace and good manners, it must be William, the Duke of Cambridge and future King of England. In traditional astrology the eleventh house is the house of one’s daemon, the inner voice of wisdom that guides us, and the movement of three important planets ruled by Venus in Taurus gives William the ability to be gracious, wise, and honourable in his dealings with foreign dignities. This visit may have been controversial and a PR disaster, but William will learn from it and make sure the same mistake is not repeated by him.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – also play a part in this ninth to eleventh house scenario given that third house is siblings (Harry) and the house opposite, the ninth, is a sibling’s partner (Meghan). Aries is on the third house cusp in the Placidus system and Mars sits opposite in detriment in the ninth house. It’s not hard to see (through William’s eyes) how many people believe Harry’s choice of partner has been his downfall.
However, with the shift to Whole Sign, Aquarius moves to the third house – showing William’s adoration for his younger brother – and Saturn, the exalted ruler of the third house, moves to William’s eleventh house. Counting from Harry’s house (3rd) to Saturn’s new position in William’s chart, we can see that Saturn is nine houses away – living overseas – from the third house. Harry’s wife, Meghan, is shown by Sun in Cancer as Leo has moved to the cusp of the ninth house in the Whole Sign chart. Now William’s relationship with Meghan has become bound with his Sun, Moon, and North Node in Cancer in the house preceding the ninth house. This places the ruler of Meghan’s house, the ninth, in a position twelve signs away from its house and Sun in aversion (Cancer can’t see Leo) is the hidden enemy so far as William perceives Meghan to be. As the next king of England to follow Charles, the Sun represents his father, and his future role at the head of the monarchy, so Meghan as the silent threat, can be a potential worry for William.
This may seem a long bow to draw but reports of Meghan’s treatment by members of the royal family and by the English press, did not go unnoticed by the peoples of the Caribbean, particularly Jamaica whose population is 90% African heritage.
The killing of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter protests reignited conversations on national identity in Jamaica, and writer and academic Dr Velma McClymont says that Meghan’s televised interview with Oprah Winfrey further fuelled public opinion on colonialism, slavery, and labour exploitation on the plantations. “Suddenly, all of us who before didn’t really take much notice of the royal family began to see what was happening to Markle,” McClymont says. “She was vilified as a Black woman and no statement of support was made by the (royal) family.”[iii] The couple’s refusal to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service on 29th March, and their silence on social media, will be further evidence to William that both Harry and Meghan are a threat to his peace of mind. Meghan herself is an unknown quantity for William – the blind ruler of her house shows this – so his unease is harder to deal with in the Whole Sign chart, than in the simpler version of Placidus which paints her as the instrument of downfall for his beloved brother Harry (Mars in detriment in 9th ruling 3rd house).
Two Houses Forward – From Succedent 5th house to Angular 7th House and from Succedent 11th House to Angular 1st House
Prince William has Mercury in Gemini in the fifth house in Placidus which moves to the seventh house in Whole Sign. Opposing Mercury is Uranus which moves two houses forward from Placidus eleventh house to Whole Sign first house as William’s Ascendant is in the same sign as Uranus (and Neptune). Mercury rules the angular seventh and tenth signs in the second chart below.
At first glance it may appear as though a dignified Mercury in the fifth house is signified by William’s concerns for his children and the way in which he and Kate wish them to be raised in as normal an atmosphere as possible, providing them with freedom (Uranus opposing Mercury), rather than stultifying their growth and education, or suffocating them in security and royal protocol.
Unlike William and Harry who spent their education years in private boarding schools away from their parents, William’s two oldest children, George and Charlotte, live at home and daily attend Thomas’s Battersea, a private school which is a short car ride from Kensington Palace. They mingle freely with friends and other students and study the same curriculum as other school children of their age across the country, including traditional subjects such as English, maths and science.
The movement to angularity by whole sign includes Kate in the discussion on William’s decisions in childrearing and shows her support is very important to him. But the movement two houses forward also covers a much wider scope than just fifth house concerns. William’s choice in his major relationship is a wife who had little connection to royalty before her marriage. Kate Middleton was born in January 1982 to an upper middle class family who started an online party supplies and decorations company called Party Pieces in 1987. The company is hugely successful and has an estimated worth of 30million pounds.
The battle between the paparazzi press and William has been relentless as they have targeting Kate with the same ferocity that they hounded William’s mother (WS Mercury rules the tenth sign – mother). The couple separated briefly in 2007 and much blame was placed on the scrutiny Kate was receiving from the media as William’s love interest. Several court cases have ensued – the latest successfully contested in September 2020 – to protect both Kate and the children’s privacy and to squash articles that contain inaccuracies and false misrepresentations.
These attacks by the media, particularly aimed at William’s wife and her family, are a direct example of the move to angularity of the Uranus Mercury opposition. Mercury in rulership in the 7th ruling the same house indicates Kate’s value, both the William himself, and to his position in the royal family (Mercury also rules the tenth sign). The Middletons are also represented by the tenth house as William’s in-laws – four houses from the seventh house – and whilst there is little drama there, the paparazzi keep returning to their ‘sources’ to discredit Kate’s family members.
Further evidence of the Uranus Mercury shift to the first and seventh houses is shown by William’s vow at the end of the Caribbean Royal Tour to ‘rip up the rulebook’ and to modernise the monarchy by doing things ‘the Cambridge way’.
Presumably this is a reference to Kate and himself (not to the University of Cambridge) and this is surely an interesting phrase to apply to oneself. I’m sure it sounded good in his head before he voiced it out loud, but it does smack of egotism and privilege which may not have been his intention. William’s grandfather and father have both been outrageous and outspoken at times, and with this aspect moving to prominence, there may be some interesting speeches coming from William once he is not so bound to past influencers.
Perhaps William will be the first monarch to address the role his country and Commonwealth have paid in past injustices to the nations they have ruled and dominated since Queen Victoria’s days. But omissions of guilt and responsibility carry a huge cost for those past generations who have suffered penury and loss of freedom at the hands of colonialism. It may be that in William’s reign it will be time to balance the decades of profiteering at a huge cost to indigenous peoples with appropriate compensation, and this will not make him a popular monarch in his own country.
Whatever the future holds for William, the prominence of this opposition – through a change in house systems – is indicative that ‘the Cambridge way’ will blow out the cobwebs created by the unofficial royal motto ‘never complain, never explain’ of his father and grandparents’ rule and be the huge (Uranian) broom that sweeps the hallways clean with innovation and new direction.
Mercury in Gemini will keep up with Uranus but if William scatters too much, or makes promises that others will not keep, he may bring anarchy rather than compromise and resolution.
Two Houses Forward – From Angular 10th house to Cadent 12th House
Prince William has retrograde Jupiter in Scorpio conjunct the Midheaven in Placidus which moves to the twelfth house in Whole Sign. Jupiter rules William’s Sagittarian Ascendant – but is in aversion to it – and also rules the fourth house, the house of his father and heritage in the second chart below.
The text I originally wrote in A Tiny Universe for the movement two houses forward from the strong angular tenth house position to a darker placement immediately before the Ascendant is somewhat bleak and probably has little value when reading Prince William’s chart.
However, I have included it for the other three possibilities for a planet to move forwards from an angular house to a cadent house. The danger of moving from a ‘house of light’ to a ‘house of darkness’ – no aspectual relationship to the Ascendant – is the feeling that you are constantly blocked or ambushed from a place where no light resides. This can lead to feelings of paranoia, especially when moving from tenth to twelfth house, the place of hidden enemies and imprisonment. If you have huge levels of power in the Placidus house system then there is a sense that others are ‘coming for you’, that they envy and covet your power, and they want to remove it from you through secret and underhand methods.
The movement is very extreme and I have seen it in few charts in my experience, but it is still possible and can reflect a planet falling from a great height (angular) to the most difficult house axis in the chart. William’s Jupiter makes one such fall – conjunct the Midheaven – as both planet and point fall into the twelfth sign from the Ascendant. This is made even more dangerous by the fact that Jupiter is also the ruler of the Ascendant and is in aversion to its first house.
Royal charts may reflect the power bestowed on them at birth with a prominent planet placed close to the angles. Within the most recent British royal family Queen Elizabeth II, her sister Princess Margaret, and Prince Harry all have Saturn conjunct the Midheaven but in William’s case, Jupiter has taken the place of Saturn in his own chart. Whether this means his promise to ‘throw away the rulebook’ when he becomes king is a true statement, he still needs to deal with the movement of both Jupiter and Midheaven to twelfth house position. His public statements are presumptive given that he is not the direct heir to the throne – so his ‘blueprint’ cannot be activated until the death of his father who is the next in line to the throne. This is an expression of a blind Jupiter – William does not realise that his statements about when he will be king are actually a show of disrespect towards his father.
The movement from tenth the twelfth highlights William’s inability to see that this public statement is a huge blunder on his part and may turn Charles (Jupiter in 12th house) into a hidden enemy when he does finally take the throne. The constant speculation over whether he will be passed over in favour of his son, alongside William’s popularity compared to his own, must be a constant thorn in Charles’ side. Charles was on his own Royal Tour in Ireland at the same time as William’s controversial Caribbean tour but media completely ignored Charles and focused instead on his son. Unfortunately for Charles, he risks being Britain’s next ‘forgotten king’ as he holds the crown in waiting for William’s accession to the throne.
Jupiter’s fall from grace is already part of William’s personal history given that Jupiter is not only a symbolic representative of ‘king’ but also a personal statement as Jupiter rules the Whole Sign house of father, the fourth house with Pisces on the cusp. Prince Charles’ unpopularity and the humiliation he suffered when his wife, Princess Diana gave a televised interview on 20th November 1995 revealing her deep unhappiness at his betrayal of her wedding vows.
The story of Charles’ clandestine affair with Camilla broke when William was thirteen years old and transiting Jupiter was at 20 Sagittarius, approaching his Ascendant in late degrees of the same sign. Transiting Saturn was in Pisces at the time, travelling through William’s whole sign fourth house at the same time as Pluto had ingressed into Sagittarius and entered his whole sign first house. For this teenager, the fallout for both parents must have been hard to bear especially as the heir to the throne’s marriage unravelled and his father, particularly, was disgraced publicly when Diana famously stated “There were three of us in this marriage.”
Last year in May 2021 with Jupiter’s ingress into Pisces, the interview made headlines once more when inquiries found there were “clear failings” in how the BBC enticed Diana into agreeing to the interview. The findings that BBC interviewer Martin Bashir had faked documents to obtain the interview threw William into a state of fury as he publicly admonished the BBC for their part in his mother’s deception. Unfortunately for William , who requested that the video should never be aired again, in November 2021 the producers of the Netflix drama series based on Elizabeth II’s reign, The Crown, approached the BBC to use the interview for its next upcoming series.
Less than two years after the infamous interview Princess Diana, aged 36, was killed in a car crash and many of her fans hold Charles accountable for Diana’s downwards spiral and her eventual death. In true Jupiter in twelfth house repercussions, Prince Charles is still held in check and controlled by the Queen’s decisions; the latest evidence of this being her snub to both Charles and William at Prince Philip’s memorial on 29th March, going against their advice and publicly walking on the arm of her favourite (but disgraced) son, Prince Andrew at the commencement, and then choosing him to partner her after the service.
William’s Jupiter /M.C. in the twelfth has its positive side too, as do all planets that move from one house to another in this dual-house delineation process. William is determined to remove the stigma of mental health in society as a taboo subject, hoping that his latest documentary in May 2020 will lead to acceptance and open conversation on mental health, in particularly the private struggle individuals who suffer from depression and anxiety endure in daily life. William and Kate were the driving force behind “Heads Together” a Royal Foundation created in 2016 which has gone from strength to strength and have been constant vocal supporters of mental health initiatives particularly during the long months of lockdown in the 2020 pandemic.
Prince William is only one example for this forward motion of two houses and there would be hundreds more who experience similar movements by different house systems. The beauty of finding a future monarch with this condition is the public scrutiny under which William’s life is placed. Unfortunately for him every movement is watched, recorded, and commented upon, but for an astrologer this is rich soil, especially if the concept of dual-system delineation is unfamiliar and you are keen to see it operating on a practical level.