Will weds Kate
boost for Britain in tough times
British commentators on Saturday heaped praise on
the royal wedding, saying the fairytale occasion had
provided a much-needed boost to the country in
Newspapers were delighted at the festive atmosphere
among the hordes of well-wishers who had descended
on London from across the globe on Friday to witness
the biggest royal event for a generation.
Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding
“provided a moment for the nation to come together,
without partisan disagreement, without excuse for
political discord,” said The Times daily.
“At a moment when so much is hard for Britain, when
national morale is low, there was sunshine and
laughter and happiness that everyone could join in
The wedding came at a time when Britons face huge
job losses amid the deepest public spending cuts for
decades, recently unveiled by the coalition
government as it seeks to reduce a record public
Britain’s biggest-selling paper The Sun agreed the
wedding of the couple, who now have the titles Duke
and Duchess of Cambridge, had given the country a
“Britain showed the world yesterday that it is in
good heart, capable, and open for business,” said
“Our new, modern Duke and Duchess have a big part to
play in our revival.”
But while no one doubted the glittering ceremony was
a distraction from the gathering storm clouds of
austerity, some saw it as an unwelcome attempt to
shift the focus from more important issues.
“Back in the real world, below this thin layer of
pomp, there is a social dislocation whose cracks are
starting to emerge,” warned the leftwing,
anti-monarchist Guardian daily.
“Most household incomes are shrinking – as never
since the 1920s. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are
being cut, services slashed.”
such occasional notes of cynicism, most commentators
believed the wedding had served to boost the
standing of the royal family with its subjects after
the traumas of the past generation.
The royals are still struggling to put a string of
public controversies and marriage breakdowns –
including that of William’s parents Prince Charles
and the late princess Diana – behind them.
“The British people are optimistic, hopeful enough
about the monarchy to rejoice in a new generation
that will be its heirs,” said the rightwing
The Times added: “The wedding powerfully
demonstrated the value of the monarchy.”
Acres of newsprint were dedicated to the subject of
Kate’s dress, designed by Sarah Burton of fashion
house Alexander McQueen, with most commentators
giving the British design a big thumbs-up.
Some of the other attire worn by wedding guests
attracted negative comments, however, with Princess
Beatrice’s choice of headgear – a large, light pink
loop with two ribbons sprouting from either side –
“Is that an octopus on her head, or a pair of
antlers?” wondered The Daily Mail of the outlandish
garment worn by William’s cousin.
Amid widespread praise for the day, the royal-loving
Telegraph led the way, describing the marriage of
the second in line to the throne to his “commoner”
bride as “the best of British.”
“Stunning British fashion at [Westminster] Abbey,
stirring British music, stoical British people under
uncertain, hazy British sun. Who could not at some
moment shed a tear?,” it asked.
The Guardian, however, saw more prosaic reasons for
the interest in the wedding: “It all read like a
recipe for the perfect British day: worries about
the weather, lots of mentions of Princess Di, and a
chance to talk about the class system.” (AFP)
deal with a kiss
(AFP) – Prince William and Kate Middleton married
with a mix of glittering pageantry and spontaneity,
kissing twice in front of a sea of revellers and
breathing new life into Britain’s monarchy.
A million people lined the streets and two billion
TV viewers worldwide watched as Kate swept up the
aisle of Westminster Abbey on Friday, resplendent in
an ivory and white satin dress with a veil and
The future king and queen briefly kissed on the
balcony of Buckingham Palace then repeated it when
the crowds begged for more – going one better than
William’s parents Prince Charles and Diana when they
wed in 1981.
Vintage and modern Royal Air Force warplanes then
roared overhead in a flypast.
And in a surprise treat for the crowd, they also
took a spin in a classic Aston Martin sportscar with
a joke registration number and learner plates,
reflecting their status as the new generation of
The newlyweds ended their wedding day at a party in
the palace surrounded by close friends and relatives
and were expected to head off on honeymoon later
Saturday to a location that remains shrouded in
Speculation has focused on various locations,
including Kenya, where William proposed to Kate, a
secluded Caribbean island or the royal residence of
Balmoral in Scotland.
Friday’s wedding drew tourists and Britons alike
to London to see the culmination of a romance that
began eight years ago when the second in line to the
throne and his “commoner” bride were university
The couple are now known officially as the Duke and
Duchess of Cambridge – the titles were a wedding
gift from William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
The wedding’s show of pomp mixed with genuine
affection offers the royals a chance at renewal
after Charles and Diana’s traumatic public split and
her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
“They are the most glamorous and classy couple. They
are a new face for the monarchy,” said Katie Oresko,
a student from Chicago.
Yet Diana’s absence was keenly felt despite the
joyful atmosphere, with several pieces of music
related to her life taking centre stage in the
wedding of her eldest son.
LONDON (AFP) – Kate
Middleton wore a stunning ivory satin and lace
wedding dress Friday by Sarah Burton of Alexander
McQueen, her face covered lightly with a
hand-embroidered veil held by a tiara lent by the
Smiling and waving to the cheering crowd outside
Westminster Abbey, the 29-year-old clutched a
bouquet of flowers that included Sweet William.
Inside, Prince William showed his appreciation,
mouthing: “You look beautiful.”
Burton, the 36-year-old creative director of
fashion house Alexander McQueen, had long been
tipped for the commission, but palace officials had
remained tight-lipped right up until the moment Kate
stepped out of the car.
They said the bride has “worked closely” with Burton
in formulating the design, which she wanted to
“combine tradition and modernity.”
In a design that echoed the dress worn by Grace
Kelly when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco
in 1956, Kate’s gown had long sleeves in lace which
drew down over the ivory satin bodice to form a
The bodice narrowed at her tiny waist and was padded
at the hips, flaring to a skirt resembling an open
flower, with white satin gazar arches and pleats.
Her train was 2.7 metres (8.8 feet) long –
relatively short by royal standards, particularly
Princess Diana’s at her wedding to Prince Charles in
1981, which measured 7.6 metres (25 feet).
The train and bodice were adorned by delicate lace
appliqué flowers, in a unique design that
incorporated the rose, thistle, daffodil and
shamrock – the four floral emblems of the United
Members of the Royal School of Needlework worked on
the intricate lace detailing, washing their hands
every 30 minutes to keep it pristine, and changing
their needles every three hours to keep them sharp.
With the exception of some French Chantilly lace,
all the fabrics used were sourced from and supplied
by British companies.
“It’s a bridal gown of very refined detail, much
more refined than the one Diana wore,” at her
marriage to William’s father Prince Charles in 1981,
commented German couturier Karl Lagerfeld, adding:
“It’s very pretty.”
Harriet Quick, fashion features director at Vogue,
said: “It is absolutely beautiful and very
restrained and quite modest in many ways.
“It has lots of echoes of Grace Kelly’s wedding
dress but I think Sarah Burton’s created something
really beautiful for her, with a very simple veil,
the incredible lace and that prettiest of
Kate’s veil was made of layers of soft, ivory silk
tulle with a trim of hand-embroidered flowers. It
fell to just below her waist, held in place by a
Cartier tiara lent to her by Prince William’s
grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
Her diamond earrings, a gift from her parents,
evoked her family’s new coat of arms with an oak
leaf design. On her feet, she wore hand-made
Alexander McQueen shoes of ivory duchesse satin and
Kate held a bouquet containing lily of the valley,
which symbolises the return of happiness; sweet
William, which means gallantry; hyacinth, constancy
of love; ivy, fidelity; and myrtle, the emblem of
love and marriage.