We sat down at 9.30am and watched the whole thing until THE KISS four hours later.
Didn’t intend to.
At my age this history/politics junkie tends towards the cynical and, of course, being a man prefers to maintain a cool mask of disdain while the ladies wax lyrical over weddings and babies.
Plus I’m always suspicious of crowds.
But the sheer enthusiasm and goodwill of the people who came to watch disarmed my pessimism. They didn’t come to demand more of my taxes to featherbed their public sector salaries. They weren’t breaking windows or urinating on statues because they would have less money to spend on pizzas and beer in their student unions. Their faces were not distorted by hate and anger in order to intimidate an elected government into bending to the will of an unrepresentative minority.
They came as individuals, families, neighbours and friends of their own free will to celebrate a joyous event. They came with banners, flags and placards that proclaimed a patriotic pride and messages of affection and goodwill for two young people who were about to make a public pledge of love and commitment .
Nobody ordered them to come. There were no committees of busybodies telling them which slogans to chant. They came of their own free will. There were one million of them. Young, old, fat, thin, posh and poor they represented the real people of Britain, the folk who do their jobs, pay their taxes and keep the country going and seldom make a fuss. Today was their day and they made it their own.
Of course there needed to be police and many of them armed, not to keep the crowds in order for they disciplined themselves but to prevent evil fanatics and poisonous misfits from performing their street theatre of hate and death.
The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, the ceremony was dignified and majestic and the pageantry pitch perfect, but for me, as a father and grandfather, the moment that really touched my heart was how tightly Catherine held her father’s hand as the service began. This is a woman who comes from a loving family and therefore knows how to love.
It augurs well for the future, I fancy….