Prince William’s engagement to the now Queen in Waiting, Kate Middleton, is bringing more than romantic excitement to the rain-beaten walls of Buckingham Palace: she is bringing with her a barrage of much needed good press. Since Princess Diana’s passing, the only news to circle the royal family has been embarrassing tabloid stories of drunken princes and articles of routine events like the yearly opening of Parliament. This lack of positive attention has detracted from the influence of the British Crown, especially as Queen Elizabeth II grows older and more out of touch each month. Because of all this, the Brits endearingly refer to the royal bloodline as "England’s favorite dysfunctional family."
However, with an identifiable background, a solid moral foundation and camera friendly youthfulness, Kate Middleton is now being presented with a tremendous opportunity to revitalize the image of the Royal Family. Whether she likes it or not, Ms. Middleton will be constantly compared to Princess Diana, because Diana was the last figure in the Royal Family to actually make a substantial impact on society in general. Without anyone like her, people have begun to question the need for a monarchy in England at all.
Yet the monarchy in England will always be maintained for the purposes of tradition, political prowess and most importantly tourist dollars. The grandeur that will accompany this royal wedding will no doubt bring in millions from those around the world seeking to catch a glimpse of the spectacle. But if Middleton and Prince William fail to live up to the expectations set forth by their predecessors Charles and Diana, the world will lose interest and the money from tourism will stop there.
As such, the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton represents the promise of financial prosperity for England in both tourism and international relations. Between royal weddings and a coming Olympics, the next five years look bright for England as the world opens its attention and its pocket book to the soon to be bustling City of London.