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This article was published 16/11/2010 (4086 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
TORONTO -- The love affair between the future heir to the British throne and his glamorous middle-class schoolmate may fan the flames of Canada's fondness for the monarchy, experts suggest.
Word that Prince William and Kate Middleton have set a 2011 wedding date prompted optimistic predictions from royal observers who view the couple as being well-positioned to renew Canadian support for the Royal Family.
Rafal Heydel-Mankoo, a commentator on British royalty, said William and Middleton present an appealing portrait of how the monarchy will function in the 21st century.
"If the monarchy is to survive, it does need people like William and Kate who actually show the modern face of monarchy and respect its traditions, but understand that times change and institutions have to evolve," he said.
Heydel-Mankoo contends it is Middleton who will resonate most with Canadians. Her savvy style, confidence and comparatively modest background will make her appealing to a nation that embraces everyday heroes, he said.
"She is your stereotypical middle-class person. She's not an aristocrat who comes from a long line of irrelevant traditions to which most Canadians can't relate," he said.
Robert Finch, chairman of the Monarchist League of Canada, agreed. "I think if you were to draw up the perfect princess, I think that Kate Middleton would probably come as close to fitting that bill as you possibly can."
However, others, such as Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin, disagreed.
Martin was asked whether he had any comment on the engagement. He responded that as an Irishman he really isn't a royal watcher. "I'm more interested in the Osborne family than the royal family," Martin quipped.
He said he thinks Canada should ditch the monarchy long before William gets near the throne. When the current Queen dies, it will be "time for Canada to grow up," Martin said.
-- The Canadian Press, with a file from Mia Rabson
-- The Canadian Press