On a day like today, even someone with misgivings about the British monarchy has to feel a little pride. The empire is gone; Britain’s global reach has rapidly diminished; but once again, all eyes were on London—perhaps a billion pairs, according to some counts, writes Philip Stephens in the Financial Times. The monarchy provides a living link to Britain’s grand past—and it can carry the country into a challenging future.
“Not everything has been lost to history,” he writes. Just look at the wedding, full of global leaders (though not all of them “salubrious”). “What has been left to Britain by empire is a global outlook,” writes Stephens. “The sense that Britain still has ties, interests, and, yes, responsibilities thousands of miles beyond its shores is an enduring and worthwhile legacy.” Now, the royals, like Britain itself, “must adapt to straitened circumstance,” he writes. “Britain’s future lies in staying interested in the world. The monarchy’s best hope is to remain interesting to the world.” (Read more royal wedding stories.)