by Fox News Radio's Alastair Wanklyn in London
William's fiancée is wearing the ring that Diana received before her unhappy marriage. Worldwide, women wondered whether a princess-to-be would want such a laden symbol.
William explained it by recalling a parent he lost in a car crash 13 years ago. "It's my way of making sure that my mother didn't miss out on today," he said of the heirloom. The gesture was admired by many here in Britain.
"I'm a romantic, so yes I'm very happy for them." This twenty-something woman pedestrian on a North London street might have been speaking for the nation here, where William and Kate are seen as an attractive young couple with pretty ordinary lives.
William is an Army Officer, and currently flies search and rescue helicopters for Britain's Royal Air Force. Like many young Britons and Americans he has seen life on the front line in Afghanistan. Kate Middleton is less well known, but she gets ordinary-girl credentials from her mother, a former Flight attendant.
In her first-ever interview Tuesday, Kate seemed poised, confident and demure.
"I don't know the ropes," she said of royal office. "But I'm willing to learn quickly and work hard." William seemed the one ill at ease. He repeatedly tried to crack jokes, witticisms that didn't quite work. These either massaged him or belittled his fiancée.
But at moments William was tender too, and it's safe to bet that this marriage to a girl his age stands a greater chance than that between Charles and Diana.
William and Kate met eight years ago at college. They know each better than Charles and Diana, who were separated by 13 years in age, and had been seeing each other seriously for only a few months before engagement.
Now Britain is pondering what kind of wedding the royal couple may choose.
As future Supreme Governor of the Church of England, William will be expected to marry in church. Probably a cathedral large enough to accommodate the nobles, military leaders and heads of Commonwealth countries a future king might be expected to invite.
But one with the pageantry and partying of Charles and Diana?
A Government budget tightening plan in Britain could see half a million public-sector jobs disappear over the next few years. Many here predict the Royal family will choose an occasion somehow in tune with the times.