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William and Kate to wed -

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Britain celebrates the news of a royal wedding. But how long will the joy last in a nation hit by
economic gloom?

Transcript

TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: It's been hailed as the royal wedding in the age of austerity. In the UK,
the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton comes as Britons cope with tax hikes and major
cuts to public spending. Adding to the doom and gloom is a planned massive financial bailout for
Ireland, the neighbouring nation on the brink of bankruptcy.

But there are hopes this next chapter in the House of Windsor will bring some good cheer and boost
the British economy.

The ABC's Europe correspondent Philip Williams reports from London.

PHILIP WILLIAMS, REPORTER: It could have happened any time during the last 10 years, but for
William's deep blue blood, the marriage of a RAF helicopter pilot to a one-time fashion assistant
would be a happy but unremarkable occasion, but it's far from that.

PRINCE WILLIAM: We're hugely excited, and we're looking forward to spending the rest of our lives
together and seeing what the future holds.

KATE MIDDLETON, : It's obviously nerve-racking 'cause I don't know what I'm sort of - I don't know
the ropes really. William is obviously used to it. But, no, I'm willing to learn quickly and work
hard and I'm ...

PRINCE WILLIAM: She'll do really well.

KATE MIDDLETON: Yeah.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: But there hasn't been a royal wedding like this since he married her. Prince
William has had to learn to live with the joys and tragedy of his mother's all-too-short life.
Right from the start of their relationship when they moved in together whilst studying at St
Andrew's University, they clearly decided to manage expectations and exposure, to do it on their
terms.

KATIE NICHOLL, ROYAL AUTHOR: They tucked their selves away, they ordered curries from the local
curry shop at the end of the road, they called in DVDs and they had a very - well, it was a very
successful understanding that they would never be photographed together, they wouldn't be pictured
holding hands, when they turned up together it was separately and that stood them in good stead.
They could keep that relationship clandestine for, well, the best part of a year.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: There was considerable exposure of the princess-to-be as she acted as a runway
model in front of her boyfriend, but she's always been seen as a modern woman unencumbered by the
royal expectations of more titled potential suitors.

INGRID SEWARD, ROYAL COMMENTATOR: Well I think that the whole thing about saying that Kate's family
are very ordinary is ridiculous. I mean, get into the 21st Century. I think it's terrific that
Kate's family are ordinary, because I think that's exactly what the Windsor line needs, is a bit of
ordinary blood pumped into it. And she can relate much more to her husband's future subjects.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Kate Middleton did what many dreamt of doing: snaring the world's favourite Prince
Charming.

VOX POP: Just so sexy! He's gorgeous.

VO POP II: That's what a real man looks like.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: But this real man took his time and the relationship wasn't without its false
starts - a break-up, a reconciliation, and now nearly 10 years after the two first met, the full
royal deal.

PRINCE WILLIAM: And, over the years, I knew things were getting better and better and we went
through a few stumbling blocks, as every relationship does, but we picked ourselves up and carried
on and we - you know, from where you had the odd problem when you were first getting to know each
other, those have all gone and it's just really easy with being with each other and it's really fun
and I'm obviously extremely funny and she loves that. So, it's pretty good.

KATE MIDDLETON: If you say so yourself.

You go through the good times, you go through the bad times, you know, both personally, but also
within a relationship as well. And, you know, I think if you can come out of that stronger and, you
know, learn, as I said, things about yourself, um, you know, it's certainly, yeah, been a good -
how many years?

PRINCE WILLIAM: A lot. About three, four.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: Beyond love, there is pressure; sustained, intrusive, and from now on,
unrelenting. And so far, she's handled the media mob with flare, but she'll also be compared to an
icon who would have been her mother-in-law, the woman whose engagement ring she now wears on her
finger.

KATE MIDDLETON: Well, obviously, I would've loved to have met her and obviously she's an
inspirational woman to look up to. Yeah, I do.

PRINCE WILLIAM: There's no pressure, though. There's no pressure 'cause like Kate said, it's about
carving your own future. No-one's gonna try and - no-one's trying to fill my mother's shoes and
what she did is fantastic. It's about making your own future and your own destiny and Kate will do
a very good job of that.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: From an early age, Kate Middleton appeared to show a quiet confidence. This, a
modest stage to the one she now finds herself on, often by William's side, but rarely attracting
attention. But while the previous royal crop marked their earlier days with rather undistinguished
behaviour, young Miss Middleton has been the model of propriety.

KATIE NICHOLL: I do think that Kate has worked really, really hard and has been very successful at
crafting a respectful image of herself. We haven't seen her put a foot wrong. I've seen her party,
I've seen her drink, but she always leaves the club looking immaculate, she's always polite if you
ever comment on what she's wearing, she has good manners.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: And if good manners do maketh the princess, she's set, and unlike Diana, she's had
a long apprenticeship.

ROBERT JOHNSON, ROYAL AUTHOR: The Queen privately said that she wanted her grandchildren, princes
William and Harry, to date their partners for at least five years so they can get used to - the
partners can get used to what is expected of them. So Kate, I believe, is the best-prepared future
Princess of Wales we've ever had.

PHILIP WILLIAMS: A good preparation is no guarantee of long-term success; Buckingham Palace has
seen them come and go. But the "what ifs" are for another time. The here and now delivers a happy
day, as a future king of Australia has found his princess. The mother perhaps of another Australian
head of state. All this and a Royal wedding to come.

TRACY BOWDEN: Philip Williams reporting from London.