Today, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be celebrating their one year anniversary. Their magical wedding day on April 29th 2011 was also one of the most treasured days of my life so far.
My friend Simon (who is even more of a royalist than myself) and I had decided to camp outside of Buckingham Palace the night before the wedding to claim a good vantage point.
I got to The Mall around 7pm and was shocked by the amount of people already there. There was also already an exciting party atmosphere. We set up camp on the barrier in front of the temporary media centre which had been erected. We had a perfect view of Buckingham Palace.
In the following hours we became surrounded by hundreds of other tents. There were no arguments, no tensions. We were all there to celebrate. The excitement just built and built and it was very difficult to get any sleep.
In the early hours of the big day the streets were cleaned and sniffer dogs were out in force to ensure that the day passed without a hitch. The crowd grew larger and as we packed up our tent we took out positions at the barrier.
We had a perfect vantage point to see the world’s dignitaries and Queens and Kings pass on their way to Westminster Abbey. The first cheer of the day came when The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh emerged in their car from the palace. The Queen looked striking in her spring yellow outfit.
The moment we were all waiting for was to see Kate Middleton in her carriage. When we caught that first glimpse of her go by I must admit I was slightly overcome with emotion. This was a young girl, breathtaking in her McQueen dress, who was on her way to marry the future King of England. We were witnessing a real life fairytale.
The crowd on The Mall then listened intently as the wedding ceremony was played out on speakers. The entire crowd sang along and waved their flags to the national anthem. When the couple were declared husband and wife, the largest cheer erupted. We were truly sharing each others joy and pride.
Once the ceremony was over we waited to see the guests return to Buckingham Palace along of course with the newly married couple. The Duke and Duchess returned in their carriage and yet the atmosphere in the crowd was euphoric.
The best was however still yet to come. The thousands of people in The Mall
were filed by police to fill the area in front of the palace to witness the balcony appearance. When the royal party appeared we cheered, waved our flags and cheered some more. It was absolutely amazing. Seeing them kiss on that balcony was so special.
That day remains one of the most special days of my life so far. Whether you were in that crowd, watching on TV at home or on one of the large screens dotted around the country I am sure you all have your own memories of that beautiful day.
Congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and thank you for giving me a memory I will never forget.