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William And Kate, Step Aside For Dmitry and Vladimir

The tea-cup-rattling suspense reached a costumed climax today when one Catherine Middleton tied the royal knot with Prince William of Wales.

And while an estimated 2 billion (yes, 2 billion) people around the globe were shedding tears of joys for the happy couple, British manufacturers and souvenir vendors had a more personal reason to celebrate. From the expected plates, mugs, keychains, and spoons, to the extreme -- think vomit bags, toilet bowl covers, and condoms -- everyone wanted to buy their own reminder of the wedding of the century.

But Kate and William aren’t the only power couple.

In fact, on a recent trip to Moscow, I was reminded of the ruling duo of Dmitry and Vladimir. Undoubtedly less charming than the Brits, they do offer a few points of comparison.

They too own plenty of real estate, they drink copious amounts of tea, and according to critics, they don’t need elections to validate their leadership either.

Not only that. They inspire keepsakes too, like the gem you see above. Their leadership might indeed stand the test of time, perhaps well beyond 2012.

-- Richard Solash

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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