Most people here n the UK were delighted to hear of the news this week that Prince William and his girlfriend of nine years, Kate Middleton, were finally engaged.
The Prince is definitely one of a new generation of royalty, a long way from being as aloof from the public as his Grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, and he is definitely showing a lot of the same qualities that his mother, Princess Dianna had.
The happy couple have been very careful over the years to not be seen too much in public, and to not therefore stir up the media in any way, certainly not in any controversial way, and it does appear from the live interview that they did for the television in the UK that they are both very down to earth and very happy together.
With Prince William only being second in line to the throne, it is highly unlikely that we will see a wedding that is as lavish as when his mother Dianna Spencer married his father Prince Charles, however as nice as it might be, it is highly unlikely that they will be getting married at the local hall in the village where Kate lived with her parents.
A wedding at Westminster Abbey or even a smaller venue like the Guards Chapel is more likely, however despite the joy and celebration at the news, there are some who are just up in arms about the cost to the British taxpayer.
Republic, which is an anti-monarchy group, is saying that taxpayers should not have to fund the event at all, and that it should be a private wedding.
Lord Jeffrey Archer, speaking on the BBC Two program “Daily Politics”, said that this is a very “curmudgeonly world view”.
Prince Charles has in fact agreed to cover the costs of the wedding, but there still remains the cost of security for the event, which if held at a venue like Westminster Abbey, could reach as much as £20 million ($30 million).
Nevertheless, an event like a Royal Wedding is likely to bring in a lot of money to the UK, not only from the media attention and coverage, but from tourism, and even on a smaller scale the sale of Royal Wedding souvenirs and memorabilia.
If you can visualize the revenue from the many thousands of visitors who will be coming to the UK in 2011, from their transportation, hotels, meals, entrance to tourist attractions, and of course their buying souvenirs to take home, the money soon adds up.
In addition the event will hopefully help to create a number of jobs, which is something that the UK needs right now.
Let us not forget on a simpler level that with all the bad news that people have been hearing lately about the economy, a joyous event like a Royal Wedding will serve to lift the spirits of the people and to give everyone a reason to be cheerful for a change.
So CONGRATULATIONS William and Kate. I look forward to the wedding next year, and for you to both have many happy years together.