There are some things that Britain does better than any country in the world, and we saw
one of them today. Two particulars will have jumped out at the tens of millions watching the Royal Wedding from overseas: the sheer splendour of our monarchy, and the depth of its popular support.
HD television made the beauty of today’s ceremony all the more breathtaking. If this were a movie, it would win an Oscar for best cinematography. The shots from the roof of Westminster Abbey were
jaw-dropping, the camera angles throughout were perfect. But no less awesome was the sight of the thousands thronging the streets, or watching in Hyde Park. I suspect The Guardian will tomorrow be
publishing pages of these stunning images: of a Prince saluting servicemen he passes; of his younger brother who seems to always look as if he’s just back from an eventful night out; of a bride of
remarkable poise, who had her washing-the-windows wave honed to perfection; and, most of all, the masses outside — black, white, Asian — reminding us that the royal family is a great
unifying force in British life. For me, the most striking image of the day was the row of policemen leading celebrating, obedient crowds to the gates of Buckingham Palace. The Arab royals and their
proxies who were at the ceremony can only dream of such a strong, powerful and direct connection with the public. The same is true for the politicians, none of whom would be capable of drawing a
fraction of these numbers.
The Met Office predicted rain, and were again proven wrong. The sun is shining down gloriously on London as I write. A nearby street party is playing What’s Love Got To Do With It? A
question that may well be asked on many a royal wedding — but today you get the feeling that love had rather a lot to do with it. Prince William has found the perfect Princess, and so has
Britain. The monarchy enriches Britain, and today I suspect many republics are suffering severe case of royalty-envy. "A princely marriage is the brilliant edition of a universal fact, and, as
such, it rivets mankind," wrote Bagehot — quoted by Andrew Roberts in the latest, double edition of The Spectator. Open the world’s newspapers tomorrow morning, and you’ll find that
mankind has been duly riveted. Logically, it should not be so. Support for the monarchy in Britain defies political gravity. And today, we have seen why.