Newspaper review: William and Kate's big day


The biggest royal occasion for years prompts a rare display of almost total solidarity across the national press. The wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton is on every front page.

Only the Financial Times wavers and leads with a story about an Indian fighter jet deal -- but it still finds space for a picture of Miss Middleton.

The most widely used photograph is the new portrait of the happy couple taken by the fashion photographer Mario Testino for the official wedding programme.

The Daily Star and the Daily Mirror both put it on the front of their Special Souvenir Editions, with the headline "Happiest Day of Our Lives".

Memories of Diana

The Sun picks up the link which Mario Testino's photo provides to Princess Diana. He took many of the most famous pictures of the Princess, and the paper's front page headline says: "Mum would be so proud".

"The people of Britain will today embrace Prince William and Kate Middleton with the same same love they reserved for his Mum", predicts the Sun.

It adds: "The world will watch in awe today as Britain does something better than anywhere else on earth."

The Daily Express also spots a link to Princess Diana, in Kate Middleton's choice of wedding vows. She will promise to "love, comfort, honour and keep" her husband, but not "obey".

It says every major royal bride apart from Diana promised to obey.

The Daily Mirror notices that the music chosen for the ceremony is another tribute to Diana, featuring a hymn played at her funeral and another piece used at her 1981 marriage to the Prince of Wales.

From commoner to princess

The other main picture to appear on the front pages is that of bride-to-be Kate Middleton arriving at the hotel where her family was to spend the night.

She waved to the crowds and that wave is described by the Daily Telegraph as her waving "farewell to her life as a commoner".

"By midday Kate Middleton will have completed her storybook transformation into a woman who will one day be Queen", says the paper.

The Times sums up the day this way: "One couple, one moment, and the whole world watching."

Amid all the pictures and special souvenir pull-outs, there is a hint of a scoop in the Daily Mail. It thinks it might have spotted the designer of the wedding dress sneaking in to the hotel where the bride's family are staying.

High emotion

While the coverage is universal, it is not all unquestioning. The Times notes that there has been "the occasional dark cloud on the horizon", particularly in the rows about the guest list.

In The Guardian, Michael White predicts a day of "pomp, high emotion and absurdly OTT television coverage".

He wonders whether the Queen will today wonder whether she is watching Britain's' last king and queen walk down the aisle.

The Morning Star reports that 5,000 police are being deployed "to crush the cherished right to popular protest during an arcane fancy dress parade".

But overall, the tone is a positive one, exemplified perhaps by one paper.

The Independent once took a proud stand against royal stories, refusing to give the family any coverage at all at a time when they were the staple of many papers.

Today it devotes its entire front page to the wedding, with a montage of photos showing Union Jack flags, crowds of well-wishers, and a range of Kate Middleton dolls.

"Not interested in the Royal Wedding?" it asks in the bottom corner. "Now turn to page 6."

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