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What Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William could do for Britain

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The requisite glamor, poise

To brighten the story, there seems to be genuine public sympathy for both Prince William and Catherine Middleton.

He’s the boy-now-man that Brits watched grow up as son of the beloved Princess Diana; he doesn’t appear in sordid scandals and acquits himself with dignity. Brits see him and his brother Prince Harry as having inherited their mother’s desire to be one of the people, genuine, not a stuffy royal. In a break with tradition, William named his brother Harry "best man" rather than just a "supporter."

“We like the boys, and we like Diana,” says Timothy Strap, a livery driver from East London. “She protected those boys from royal ways. It used to be royals were raised by nannies, but Di was a close, kind, and loving mother even if she was a bit mixed-up, poor girl.”

Kate Middleton, for her part, has got the requisite stately glamor, remains calm, is punctual, polite, poised, and properly deferential. These are all elements, in British eyes, that are commendably opposite from those of Sarah Ferguson. “Fergie,” whose commoner status was highly unusual, proved to be rough around the edges and a never-ending source of tabloid catnip, before divorcing Prince Andrew.

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