At last the news is out: Prince William and Kate (sorry, 'Catherine') Middleton are engaged. And we hear the Royals are waiting to gauge public opinion as to whether the wedding should be high or low profile. Surely there can be little doubt that everyone wants it to be high. For, in these times of austerity, something happy to look forward to would be a tremendous boost for beleaguered Englishmen and women. Yes, it will cost money, and yes, some will say it is extravagant, but do not overlook the money it will bring to the country from tourists who, of late, have not been so numerous. England is still a great destination, and this will be a timely reminder. The English do the ceremonial sort of thing rather well, and with the focus on the Royal Wedding in 2011, followed by the Olympics in 2012, England will be well and truly on the map again and, hopefully, proud to be there. The visitor boost in 2011 should help with the cash for the Olympics in 2012, and boy, we do need that. The Queen, of course, will have to polish her best tiara and dig deep into her golden purse. But she, of all people, will recognise how this will help boost the Royal's standing once again.
Some have even dubbed this the wedding of the century and, given this is the wedding of a future king and queen, they are probably right. Certainly Kate is pretty enough to take on the mantle of fashion icon, vacant since Princess Diana sadly departed us, and apart from the unhappy fact for Cheryl Cole that the lenses may sometimes turn elsewhere now, Kate looks fit and ready enough to cope with that. Will she last the course? It looks more likely than for former Royal newcomers. The Queen even said '‘It is brilliant news. It has taken them a very long time.’ Just as modern in her talk, Camilla said, 'I'm so happy and so are they. It's wicked.' She spoke as one, no doubt, very pleased to see the big lenses turn the other way. As for Prince Charles, he said, 'About time. They have been practising long enough.' And he should know. William timed the release of the engagement announcement perfectly, waiting until after his critical helicopter training and then, sensitively, until after Armistice Day. No doubt living in remotest Wales his helicopter skills will prove very handy. It's an easy flip to London.
Congratulations to them both. May they have a long and happy marriage. I predict this is one that will actually last. Yes, they've taken their time, but I think they've considered all the angles. I believe Kate will prove a great asset to both the Royal Family and the country. Well done Kate!