I expect that this Friday, April 29, most of us will be watching the Royal Wedding – along with the rest of the world. It will be a day we are proud to be British.
This is an occasion when our country is shown at its best. We will have our marvellous historic buildings on display - Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace in particular.
Then there is the faultless pageantry, which even in our times remains exciting and spectacular.
I am proud of the way our communities have reacted with enthusiasm to support the young couple on their great day with street parties and other public events to celebrate this joyous occasion. I am also the first to acknowledge the extra pressure on our public services policing the celebrations and making sure we are all safe.
Like any young couple, William and Catherine have admitted their natural nervousness for the great event. The pressure is so much greater for those in public life - so I do hope that the press will be kind to them and look for good news for once!
It is sad that the late Diana, Princess of Wales, did not live to see William marry. She would have been overjoyed, as any mother, to see her elder son make a true love match, and proud too of her younger son, Harry, the best man.
I am sure you will all join me in wishing William and Catherine a wonderful wedding and a long and happy life together.