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Royals engage the public; InsideView.

Byline: John Lamb

I DON't mind admitting it, I'm a Royalist. I like the Royal Family, not so much for what they are but because they sell millions of newspapers and magazines.

They have their own publicity machine and there is never a day when they are not spotlighted somewhere in the world.

My mind cast back this week to the engagement announcement of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer in 1980.

I worked for a sister paper of the then Evening Mail and we had an early tip from London that a statement was expected that day.

So we put a story together for the first edition, had it on the streets within minutes of the official announcement and sold out. As did all subsequent editions.

The media merely echoes the public's fascination for the royals. But for me this week's announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement was a media damp squib.

Evening newspapers capable of changing their editions during the day are now rare and so we had to wait for a good read. News websites did their best but the only alert I received on my iPhone came from (the American!) CNN.

Just a ping on a mobile. How I missed those vendors on the streets bellowing the news: "Royal engagement - read all about it."

All media outlets will now be full of wedding dresses, wedding receptions, wedding cakes, wedding rings, stag nights, hen nights etc.

It takes our minds off the recession. Sadly, there will be those who will say the wedding has only been arranged for that purpose.

John Lamb's views are not necessarily those of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he is Press and PR manager.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 19, 2010
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