A new age for Britain

2011-04-29 08:55
London - Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding is cause for unfettered national pride and mirrors Britain's changed social landscape, newspapers said on Friday.

The prince's "happiest day" and the acceptance of the Middletons, a "common" family, into the royal household, showed how far Britain's once-rigid class structure had come, they said.

"Mum would be so proud," the Sun said on its front page, referring to William's late mother princess Diana.

"The world will watch in awe today as Britain does something better than anywhere else on earth," the staunchly patriotic tabloid said in a souvenir edition, which included a giant pull-out poster.


"Bung on a cardboard crown, wave your flag and be proud," it urged.

The pro-royal Daily Mail echoed the sentiments.

"Let's glory in the fact that Britain can still hold a pageant that will wow the world," the paper's editorial said.

"That two people from such diverse backgrounds can marry without eyebrows being raised is testimony to how class in Britain has changed in a few decades," it added.

The funeral for William's mother was held in Westminster Abbey, the venue of Friday's wedding, after her death in a Paris car crash in 1997.


A picture of the couple taken by Diana's favourite photographer, Mario Testino, dominated the front pages of three newspapers: the Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Express.

The photograph was released along with the wedding programme, in which the couple said they were "delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives."

Commenting on the royal family's rehabilitation since Diana's death, the centre-right Telegraph said: "It is the greatest sadness that Diana, Princess of Wales, did not live to witness her son's marriage.

"What will happen today, however, will open not merely a new chapter, but a new volume, in the story of our royal house and nation," said the paper's editorial.

"Their relationship is evidence of the distance travelled by the royal family.

"We wish long life, happiness, and the most fruitful marriage to Prince William and Miss Middleton. Today let their, and our, joy be unconfined," it added.

A new age

The Times agreed that the wedding heralded "a new age of British monarchy, and a new relationship between Palace and people.

"Today, the world will witness the culmination of a remarkable love story, remarkable for the predominant reason that it is not remarkable at all," it added.

The proudly republican Guardian laid down arms for a day, but urged Britons not to get carried away with royal hype in the light of the nation's economic troubles.

"These are tough times for millions of British people. This is not a day for demented princess worship," it said in an editorial.

"It is a day for a smile and a toast, not a day for standing to attention and tugging of forelocks. Tomorrow, and on every other day of the year, we will have to re-enter the world of reality."

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