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Diana factor lives on - ensuring Kate and William's popularity here endures

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Flower girl: Kate meets the public during the walkabout in Galway city centre.
Photo: Gerry Mooney

Flower girl: Kate meets the public during the walkabout in Galway city centre. Photo: Gerry Mooney

Flower girl: Kate meets the public during the walkabout in Galway city centre. Photo: Gerry Mooney

For three days this week, parts of Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Galway were temporarily shut down to accommodate Kate and William on their first trip to the Republic.

This royal visit was a lesson in professional charm. They played hurling; they shopped at Londis; she wore Dubarry.

Much of the softening dates back to Princess Diana, the most famous woman of her generation. At the time of her 1981 wedding, the monarchy was facing yet another crisis (when is it not?) and she emerged as a breath of fresh air and trailblazer.