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Prince William and Kate Middleton royal wedding: Do monarchies still matter?

Prince William and Kate Middleton's royal wedding may have tinges of the turreted-castle fairy tale. But from romantic to ruthless, more than 40 modern monarchies, including Prince William's family, still influence global realities for better or worse.

This is the Monitor's cover story for the Monitor's weekly newsmagazine Feb. 21, 2011 edition. Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton will marry April 29.

AP Photo/John Kehe illustration

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Theirs is a thoroughly modern royal love story.

They met as students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and love bloomed amid the mist and timeless splendor of a historic city of worn cobblestones, wind-swept beaches, and the Old Course, golf's ancestral home.

They dated for several years, broke up, got back together, and finally, much to the relief of a nation, issued a long-awaited engagement announcement.

The April 29 wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London will be an international event, a reminder of the power that royalty still packs in the early 21st century.

In a democratic age, monarchy still matters. More than 40 countries still have some form of monarchy: From Britain's constitutional monarchy headed by Prince William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, to sheikhs, emirs, and kings who preside over oil-rich states in the Middle East, the sun has never managed to fully set on royal reign.


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