Royal wedding challenge: Make it grand, yet cheap

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The spectacle of the hugely popular Prince William marrying his attractive _ and seemingly down-to-earth _ bride also should bolster a royal brand that has been tarnished by divorce, sex scandals and financial indiscretions.

The royal family has become more conscious of its public image after the shocks and dramatics of Charles‘ generation. The disintegration of his marriage to Diana was the worst of it, but his sister Anne and brother Andrew also went through divorces.

Andrew’s former wife Sarah embarrassed the royal family by being photographed cavorting half-naked with a lover, and this year by a newspaper sting in which she offered to sell access to her former husband to help pay her substantial debts.

Prince Edward’s wife Sophie retired from business life after a newspaper caught her boasting of her royal connections to impress a client.

William, so far, has done nothing worse than using a Royal Air Force helicopter to drop by Middleton’s house during his flight training.

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Cassandra Vinograd, Gillian Smith, Jane Wardell and Benjamin Timmins of the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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