Global newspapers fete 'fairytale' royal wedding

The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is the ultimate Cinderella story, newspapers around the world said Friday, with many stressing it was proof of Britain's changed social landscape.

"Let's glory in the fact that Britain can still hold a pageant that will wow the world," an editorial in Britain's pro-royal Daily Mail said.

"That two people from such diverse backgrounds can marry without eyebrows being raised is testimony to how class in Britain has changed in a few decades," it added.

"Mum would be so proud," the Sun said on its front page, referring to William's late mother princess Diana.

"The world will watch in awe today as Britain does something better than anywhere else on earth," the staunchly patriotic tabloid said in a souvenir edition, which included a giant pull-out poster.

"Bung on a cardboard crown, wave your flag and be proud," it urged.

William's mother's funeral was held in Westminster Abbey, the venue of Friday's wedding, after her death in a Paris car crash in 1997.

"Today the world will see the wedding that proves that fairytales can, and do, happen," wrote Andrew Rule from London in Sydney's Daily Telegraph tabloid, which reserved its first five pages for the wedding.

"It's a Cinderella story to make Hollywood drool," said the Australian daily.

Evoking a marriage "like those in fairytales," Germany's Bild newspaper said: "From today (Kate) will be our princess of hearts."

"Prince-me, I am dreaming," swooned France's Liberation daily, playing on the similar-sounding French words for prince and pinch.

Russia's tabloid press made no secret of their admiration for Kate Middleton with one paper claiming it had found the root of the attraction for Britain's future king.

"The future wife of Prince William reminds him of his mother - Princess Diana," said the mass-circulation Komsomolskaya Pravda.

A picture of the couple taken by Diana's favourite photographer, Mario Testino, dominated the front pages of three British newspapers: the Sun, the Mirror and the Daily Express.

The photograph was released along with the wedding programme, in which the couple said they were "delighted that you are able to join us in celebrating what we hope will be one of the happiest days of our lives."

Commenting on the royal family's rehabilitation since Diana's death, Britain's centre-right Telegraph said: "It is the greatest sadness that Diana, Princess of Wales, did not live to witness her son's marriage.

"What will happen today, however, will open not merely a new chapter, but a new volume, in the story of our royal house and nation," said the paper's lead story.

"Their relationship is evidence of the distance travelled by the royal family."

The Times agreed that the wedding heralded "a new age of British monarchy, and a new relationship between palace and people".

The proudly republican Guardian laid down arms for a day, but urged Britons not to get carried away with royal hype in the light of the nation's economic troubles.

"These are tough times for millions of British people. This is not a day for demented princess worship," it said in an editorial.

"It is a day for a smile and a toast, not a day for standing to attention and tugging of forelocks. Tomorrow, and on every other day of the year, we will have to re-enter the world of reality."

burs-ach/jw

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