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Betrothed is not only old-fashioned, it is also pretty infrequent: there are only five-and-a-half thousand citations of it in the huge enTenTen15 corpus, meaning it is far less frequent than other rare words like beholden and behemoth. This raises the question of why it is so frequently looked up in Macmillan Dictionary. Its very unfamiliarity may be the reason: it is likely that people come across it in old texts or in the Bible and wonder what exactly it means, and because it is so unfamiliar they struggle with the spelling.
Betrothed is one of the words Stan Carey wrote about recently that start with the prefix be-, while troth is an old word meaning faith, loyalty or truth. Troth mainly occurs these days in the phrase plight or pledge your troth which is found in the wedding service in the Book of Common Prayer, and it may help to remember this origin when spelling this tricky and unusual word.
You can find some information on why English spelling is so difficult, as well as helpful tips on mastering it here. Of course if they know you, they can just ask "Where will you and John live after you're married? Perhaps because of that, the -to-be forms are more formal to my ears than fiance and fiancee. They sometimes appear in advertising: "everything for the bride-to-be" for example as well as in conversations.
A bit like mother-to-be, they're not everyday speech unless someone is being amusing by mocking that kind of talking. In the U. Sometimes I'll hear the term bride-to-be , particularly when talking about wedding plans. As to how to refer to a royal couple, however, I hesitate to give a response. That sounds more like a protocol question than an English question. An engagement has largely taken the place of betrothal in the West. It used to be that a couple were betrothed troth and to 'plight one's troth' means to promise or be loyal to someone but at that stage, there was no set date for a wedding.
Children were often betrothed as an alliance between families and that meant as far as the parents were concerned that the couple could consider no other partners as they grew up. In ancient Jewish law, a betrothed couple could live together as man and wife quite legally before the actual marriage as Mary did with Joseph in the Bible.
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In fact marriage without a period of betrothal was frowned upon. Today, hardly anyone talks of a betrothal; it's now an engagement but in this transaction there is usually some specific time frame for the marriage, even if that's a year or more ahead. So to be betrothed is a mark of exclusivity - it means you are considering no other partner but the one to whom you have given your promise or 'plighted your troth'.
This may or may not end in marriage. An engagement is a more modern term and a statement of intent to marry, often having a date already established, hence the saying among older generations that an engagement isn't one until there is a ring and a date set. Betrothal dates from before marriage was a purely civil matter. Today, a marriage is not valid until a marriage license is issued and signed by the bride and groom with witnesses and the issuing official having signed as well in many countries.
The prospective couple can be wed in a church, but it won't be recognized as valid until the marriage license is completed and submitted.