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Can William and Kate save monarchy?

posted 19 Apr 2011, 07:28 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 19 Apr 2011, 07:32 ]
The British monarchy hopes the forthcoming wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton will boost the royal family's flagging popularity.
UK-FUTURE OF THE MONARCHY - The forthcoming British royal wedding is reigniting debate about the relevance of the monarchy in the 21st century.
Supporters of the monarchy hope the marriage between heir to the throne Prince William and his fiancée Kate Middleton will provide a welcome boost to an institution beset by a recent history of controversy.

Lord St John Stevas of Fawlsey is one of the country's leading constitutional experts and a personal friend of the royal family.

He believes the wedding will boost the monarchy's standing amongst the younger generation.

CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT, PEER OF THE REALM, AND FRIEND OF THE BRITISH ROYAL FAMILY, LORD ST JOHN (PRONOUNCED: SIN-GIN) OF FAWLSEY, SAYING:

"It's in my opinion an ideal marriage with every promise of good for the future and it will appeal to the young people of this country and that's what's important and will set a wonderful example."

But republicans are convinced the monarchy is in decline.

Graham Smith, campaign manager for a prominent British republican group, believes any public relations triumph created by the royal wedding will be short-lived, and that Prince William is not as popular as the royal family hopes.

CAMPAIGN MANAGER FOR REPUBLIC UK, GRAHAM SMITH, SAYING:

"The monarchy survives and thrives principally on the popularity of the Queen and as yet affection for her has not rubbed off on any of the other family, so I think that time will tell but I don't think he's going to be the big asset that they think he's going to be."

On the streets of London, opinions are divided.

LONDON RESIDENT, RICHARD MILES, SAYING:

"It's an anachronism. Nobody inventing a new constitution, writing a modern constitution today, would create a monarchy."

LONDON RESIDENT, VERONICA ADAMS, SAYING:

"This country has always had a royal family, I'm proud of the royal family. They bring a lot of revenue to the country. Tourists come here just to see the royals."

Many concede that Britain could function perfectly well without a monarchy.

But the emotional attachment to an institution going back almost 1,200 years is a hard one for republicans to break.

Nick Rowlands, Reuters.

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