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Royal wedding coverage: Americans watched and sighed

Americans who watched the royal wedding coverage say they appreciated the elegance and traditions of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge.

Britain's Prince William and and his wife Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, travel to Buckingham Palace in a 1902 State Landau carriage after the royal wedding at Westminster Abbey, London, Friday.

Peter Jordan / AP

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William and Kate are wed. Half a world away, Americans from Washington to Los Angeles roused themselves to watch the hour-long ceremony broadcast live and in HD from Westminster Abbey. While denizens of the former colony sometimes carp about oppressive British traditions, those who breakfasted on the event showed a genuine sense of appreciation for the restrained elegance that ran through the moment.

“It was really beautiful,” says Nathalie DeWulf Miller, a naturalized US citizen born in France. She turned on the TV while her husband slept in their Southern California home. “I knew Kate would have long sleeves because every royal wedding dress has had them,” says Ms. Miller, “but it was so elegant and modern.” The choice of gown was decidedly not what Diana and Fergie chose, she adds, “not over the top at all.”

On the other coast, third-generation ex-Marine Robert Westover fired up his wide-screen, high-definition TV to enjoy what he calls a celebration of the best parts of royal traditions. “It encapsulated a thousand years of British history from William the Conqueror – who was crowned in the Abbey – all the way through Chaucer and Milton,” says the Washington, D.C., resident. “I am not a monarchist or even a royalist,” he says, but “this is the country that gave the world the Magna Carta, laying out the rights of man for the whole civilized western world.” Respect is due this heritage, he says, “even if I firmly believe in electing all my own leaders.”

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