Was Kate the most 'political' choice?


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    Kate Middleton arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey in London for her wedding to Britain's Prince William.

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    Britain's Prince William (left) waves as he arrives with his brother Prince Harry at the West Door of Westminster Abbey.

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    Prince Harry (left) and Prince William arrive for the Royal Wedding.

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    Kate Middleton (R) travels in a Rolls Royce Phantom VI, accompanied by her father Michael Middleton to Westminster Abbey.

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    Kate Middleton arrives with her father Michael Middleton (C) and her sister Philippa Middleton at the West Door of Westminster Abbey.

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    Prince William speaks with his Bride Catherine Middleton during their wedding service.

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    Prince William stands deside his bride Catherine Middleton with her father Michael Middleton.

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    Prince William exchanges rings with his bride Catherine Middleton in front of the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

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    Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

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    Guests stand for the arrival of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey.

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    Tom Pettifer laughs as he arrives with Master William Lowther-Pinkerton, Lady Louise Windsor and Margarita Armstrong-Jones to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

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    Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

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    Mother of the bride Carole Middleton arrives.

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    Anne, the Princess Royal, arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey.

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    Princess Eugenie of York (left) and Princess Beatrice of York arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton.

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    Well wishers with flags and cameras prior to the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey.

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    A royal fan holds British Union Jack flags as people gather to watch the wedding.

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    Royal supporters hold British Union Jack flags in Hyde Park in central London.

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    TRH Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh make the journey by carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

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    Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge journey by carriage procession to Buckingham Palace following their marriage at Westminster Abbey.

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    Sister of the Bride and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton and bridesmaid Margarita Armstrong-Jones ride in a carriage procession to Buckingham Palace.

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    Prince William and his new bride Catherine Middleton walk down the aisle at the close of their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey.

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    Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge greet well-wishers from the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

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    Their Royal Highnesses Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge kiss on the balcony at Buckingham Palace.

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JEREMY HOBSON: Did you know there's a royal wedding going on this morning? Yup in just under 10 minutes a commoner will walk down the aisle at Westminster Abbey to marry the heir to the British thrown. Now, historically, royal marriages were important for the political and economic future of a country.

So if that were still the case today should Prince William really have married Kate Middleton?

The BBC's Rebecca Singer went to find out.


REBECCA SINGER: If Prince William had stuck to convention, the lady walking down the aisle this morning should have been a foreign Princess or at least from aristocracy. Someone who would bring a strong political alliance with another country, help boost trade or at least acquire new territory.

David Carpenter is Professor of Medieval History at King's College London. He says if Prince William had really wanted to improve the outlook for the U.K. economy, he probably should have married the daughter of a high Chinese communist official.

A huge increase in trade between England and China and possibly Chinese financial support if there was another economic crisis in Britain.

In fact Prince William could have found several examples from English history. A Portuguese Princess whose marriage to Charles II brought the port city of Mumbai under British control. Or a French Queen who owned a large wine making region of France -- and through her marriage to Henry II helped Britain become one of the biggest markets for red wine.

But Carpenter says if Prince William had really wanted to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors -- he should have tried to marry one of President Obama's daughters. Possibly securing the special relationship British people like to think they have with America.

In London, I'm the BBC's Rebecca Singer for Marketplace.

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