Kate Middleton and Prince William recently announced their engagement. Photo provided

By Jessica Mayne
CCC Journalism Program

BLACKWOOD – Prince William proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Kate Middleton, while on vacation in Kenya a few weeks ago, according to a statement issued by palace officials. A wedding is planned for the spring or summer of 2011.

William’s wedding will likely be Britain’s first royal wedding in nearly 30 years. But more than that, the young lovers represent a royal redemption, rehabilitation, fresh start from the love triangle of Charles and Diana and Camilla.

Over the last two decades, the reputation of the entire royal family has steadily declined from regal to rancid. There was the divorce of Charles’s brother, Andrew, not to mention further drama earlier this year when his former wife, the Duchess of York, was caught on video arranging payment for access to her ex.

“It’s great to have a piece of unadulterated good news that everyone can celebrate,” said Alex Linville, a very excited Camden County College student. “I’m sure this is something (that will see) the country come together,” she continued.

“I think the monarchy has really fallen in tattered times,” said Kelley Lennard, another Camden County College student. A royal wedding of this magnitude, Lennard said, makes the whole family look good.

“William is young, and he’s fresh, and he grew up in the shadow of the real tragedy of his mother,” Lennard said. “His father – about the best thing you can say about Prince Charles is that he’s well-dressed and he’s an environmentalist. The hopes and the dreams of the people have been invested in William.”

In England, Londoners received the news with relief, as if already looking beyond the Charles years before they’ve even begun.

“It’s fabulous to see a member of the royal family marrying someone who is down to earth, someone you can relate to,” said Sam Barnhart, a Camden County College graduate. “The younger generation will get more interested in the royal family.”

“I think Prince William will make a good king, way better than Prince Charles,” said Tara Black, a Gloucester County College student. Charles “doesn’t seem to have adapted to the modern world.”

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