November 17th, 2010
04:52 PM GMT
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Britain's Prince William asked his girlfriend Kate Middleton to marry him
Britain's Prince William asked his girlfriend Kate Middleton to marry him

The role of royalty in a democratic age. Unelected, some believe unnecessary. But still loved, and revered by so many others.

The role of royalty in an austere age. Outdated and expensive, some critics might say. But for many the source of a welcome good news story. This week’s events in the UK are testament to that.

Royalty divides opinion. A select few born into a life of privilege. A life steeped in tradition, tangled up with history, national pride, rarely affording the chance of a “normal life”.

There’s no doubt the world’s monarchies are never out of the spotlight, and we lap it up. And it’s always been that way. Think of the age-old legends, the royals with blue blood, the princess so delicate she can feel a pea through 20 mattresses, the bleak Russian rumors of the missing Romanov sisters. Our fascination with the royals is as old as the sprawling dynasties themselves.

This week’s Q+A will be delving into this global obsession. Tune in Thursday to watch and leave us ideas for next week’s Q & A in the comments section (right underneath here).

Filed under: Q&AQuest Means Business

November 17th, 2010
03:19 AM GMT
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(CNN) – The engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton lit the Internet on fire Wednesday, a good news story for a UK demoralized by debt and spending cuts.

The royal family hasn't announced a date for the wedding yet. But Ireland’s biggest bookmaker is naming the second Saturday in August  in 2011 as the favorite possible date. Paddy Power is offering 3-to-1 odds on that being the big day.

Less likely - at 10-to-1  - is Saturday, July the 30th. That's because it falls just one day after the 30th anniversary of Prince William's parents' wedding - when Charles and Diana tied the knot in 1981.

Other bets being placed:

Where will the wedding take place? (Westminster Abbey is the 6-to-5 favorite).

What title will William assume? (Duke of Cambridge, 5-to-4).

UK viewers of wedding broadcast? (More than 36 million, 3-to-1)

Who will design the wedding dress? (Amanda Wakeley, 4-to-1)

Length of Kate’s train? (Less than two meters, 6-to-4)

Color of the Queen’s hat? (Pink, 9-to-2 favorite)

Meanwhile, the UK Kenya Tourist Board is hoping that the royal proposal – which was made when the pair were visiting  the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy near Mount Kenya – will provide a boost in tourism to the nation.

“For a country such as Kenya which relies heavily on tourism, this will created worldwide publicity and significantly enhance the profile as a romantic holiday destination,” director Angie Sloan said in a news release.

Ah, love is in the air. And financial opportunism.

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