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North Shore Businesspeople Excited About Royal Wedding

By Jim Armstrong, WBZ-TV
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Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton. (credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Prince William and his fiance Kate Middleton. (credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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NEWBURYPORT (CBS) — We know the British press is excited.  So are lots of British politicians and many loyal royal subjects.

But why are so many Americans getting so excited about the future king and his future wife?

It’s no secret that tens of millions of those of us living stateside have more than a passing interest in the British royal family.  The same people who were glued to the set for the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana nearly 30 years ago were sure to wake up early to watch the live coverage of Diana’s funeral years later.

The appetite for all thing British, in particular all things royal, seems never-ending.

“Who knows where that comes from? Maybe it’s the fact that the British colonized this country,” speculates Michael Early.  For the past two years, he’s made his living off of our U.K. love affair by driving a London taxi around the North Shore.

“It is a continuing fascination with the British people,” said Early.  “I think it has to do with Prince William’s mother, Diana.”

If there was any doubt that royal watchers in the U.S. would be as captivated by William’s wedding as they were by his mother’s, William went a long way toward dismissing it when he proposed to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton using Princess Diana’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring from Prince Charles.

“I think people like that glamour, that little glitzy thing,” said Bernadette Williams.

She runs a cozy Newburyport store called “Best of British.” It specializes, as you might guess, in all things related to the United Kingdom.

She’s operated it almost since she emigrated here from England more than 30 years ago.

“I think a royal wedding is going to just be a huge party over there. And over here, apparently!”

The British subject, who also has U.S. citizenship, says she is “thrilled” that William and Kate are marrying.

“People might be anti-royal, but then again news like this brings them all together again.  It’s a great piece of news for the UK.  It’s huge.”

When asked why Americans are so interested in the British royal family, to say nothing of buying her wares, Williams suggests it is because “we don’t have royalty here, I’m sure that’s a key factor.”

Lucy Richardson, who works in Williams’ shop, agrees. “People just have a very wonderful sense of what the English are all about,” Richardson says.

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