Editorial: Wills and Kate faces of modernised monarchy

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Nobody does pomp and pageantry quite like the British, a fact re-emphasised by the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey.

Yet this was not quite like the nuptials of old. Absent was some of the excessive lavishness, a fact reflecting not only the couple's demeanour, taste and aspirations but their awareness of the economic climate.

This was a wedding that said much about the way the British monarchy is evolving much along the lines of their counterparts on mainland Europe.

Prince William is, clearly, a major catalyst of this change. His visit to New Zealand in March revealed an engaging man well in tune with a social environment that pays less respect to any convention, including the monarchy.

Now, he has cemented that image by marrying a commoner, the first royal bride to have a university education.

He is also planning to continue to work as a search-and-rescue pilot.

The couple's everyday life will be relatively simple, and his job will ensure he rubs shoulders with the people who will one day be his subjects.

This descent from the rarefied air previously occupied by the Royal Family is both reassuring and essential.

The Prince's wedding demonstrated that the monarchy, after a rocky period, still retains much of its appeal to the British people. But it must move with the times if this popularity is to endure.

In Prince William and his princess it has found standard-bearers for a modern institution.

- NZ Herald

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