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News Features  


 

Will weds Kate

Gives 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 straitened times.
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 and share.”

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 deficit.
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 lift.
“Britain showed the world yesterday that it is in good heart, capable, and open for business,” said the paper.
“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.”

Despite 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 Telegraph daily.

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 – widely criticised.

“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)

 

Sealing the deal with a kiss

LONDON (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 flowing train.
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 British royalty.
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 mystery.
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 students.
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.

Most anticipated gown

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 queen.
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 V-neckline.
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 Kingdom.
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 necklines.”
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 lace.
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.