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Prince William marries Kate Middleton

April 29, 2011 - LONDON

Prince William, second in line to the British throne, marries long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton in London's historic Westminster Abbey on Apr 29. His choice of a bride has met general approval, but the date and cost are looming as issues. It almost coincides with a national referendum on a change to the voting system and with voting in devolved and local governments around the kingdom. In Britain's age of austerity, the cost of the nuptials to the public purse could attract negative attention.

Prince William, second in line to the British throne, marries long-time girlfriend Catherine "Kate" Middleton in London's historic Westminster Abbey on Apr 29. His choice of a bride has met general approval, but the date and cost are looming as issues. It almost coincides with a national referendum on a change to the voting system and with voting in devolved and local governments around the kingdom. In Britain's age of austerity, the cost of the nuptials to the public purse could attract negative attention. British monarchs have been crowned, wed and buried in Westminster Abbey since before 1066 and William the Conqueror. It was where the funeral of William's mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales, was held in 1997. The prince's bride will be Her Royal Highness Princess William of Wales. Whatever the final cost of the wedding, it will be seen in the context of the cuts announced in Oct 2010, which are set to cost almost half a million jobs, slash government budgets by a fifth and prune the welfare state. Prince Charles is expected to pay millions of pounds for the wedding, with the bride's well-to-do parents possibly meeting other costs. But the security costs, which are likely to be vast to secure such a high profile target for terrorists, will be covered by public money. According to Britain's Telegraph newspaper, Len McCluskey, the new leader of Britain's biggest union, has refused to rule out strikes on the day of the royal wedding and warned that the anger over cuts could bring down the government. The BBC sees the bright side, pointing out that the wedding is set to give the UK economy a boost, with tourism, merchandising and broadcasting among the best placed sectors. ;

A Royal Wedding in the Age of Austerity (NYT)

Len McCluskey refuses to rule out strikes on Royal Wedding Day (Telegraph 3 Dec 2010)

British PM unveils 'happiness index' (AFP 25 Nov 2010)

Date written/update: 2011-04-29