Royal Wedding: Kate Middleton's Popularity Soars

LONDON, April 23, 2011— -- This morning in the London papers it's all about Kate.

"You wouldn't know William existed. All they want is her, her ring, her handbag and her shoes," Paul Hennessy, deputy picture editor of Splash news agency, told The Times.

Hennessy said that pictures of Kate were a bigger international seller at the moment than Lady Gaga. "We would rather have pictures of William and Kate than Brad and Angelina," he told The Times.

Apparently the Kate effect could boost the economy by more than $3 billion as a result of increased tourism, and that's before you count the power of the princess-to-be to boost charities and fashion sales.

"I wouldn't be surprised if Kate Middleton's legacy is bigger than the legacy of the Olympics, both domestically and internationally," Dr Harold Goodwin, a professor of tourism at the University of Leeds, told The Times.

"I've been travelling a lot around Europe recently and have noticed a huge intrigue about Kate Middleton and her representing the modernization of the monarchy in a country still famed for its pageantry."

Meanwhile, a poll for London's Daily Mail reveals that Kate Middleton's popularity has soared but so too has the public fear she will suffer snobbery from within the royal family.

The poll found that 51 percent believe the monarchy will be strengthened by the upcoming wedding, whilst 47 percent thinking it will remain as it is now.

An incredible three quarters of the country is expected to watch the ceremony on television next Friday.

According to the Daily Mail, the findings suggest Kate's dignified behaviour since the engagement in November has boosted her popularity, with women especially impressed with the princess-to-be.