Letter from the editor: "I do"

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The Independent Online

I am going to ask you to do a little time travelling as you begin this column.

You will be reading this – probably – on the morning of the royal wedding. It’s quite likely that you will have already had the telly on, and seen The Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, Mr Barty Pleydell- Bouverie and Isabella Anstruther- Gough-Calthorpe arrive at the Abbey in their finery against a backdrop of cheering crowds.

London will never have looked so pretty, and by now, whatever your channel of choice, you will have heard several pundits say that the eyes of the world are on London, and that no one puts on a pageant quite like Britain.

I, however, am writing this column on the eve of the big day, when it’s quite difficult to judge how excited, or otherwise, you are about the wedding of two seemingly very pleasant young people, one of whom happens to be second in line to the throne.

At our afternoon conference, which admittedly is not representative of the nation as a whole (unless the country has suddenly become 70 per cent male and exclusively middle class), opinions were mixed. There was a strong view that interest split on regional lines – the news editor said there were 85 street parties in Richmond, Surrey, and none in Glasgow – while others felt the level of anticipation before a big England game would dwarf this particular match of the day.

Vicky, one of our senior editors, thought that the divide was on gender lines, and that this was an event women could really get behind. Before anyone could say “calm down, dear”, she was regaling us with her street party plans.

So much for what we think. As you read this, the day has dawned over a capital city looking postcard perfect, and over a couple who, for a few hours, will have the eyes of the world upon them. Even if, up until this moment, you’ve not been the slightest bit interested, surely you’ll stop what you’re doing when they say “I do”. And in that instant, perhaps we’ll feel what it was like in the days when we shared things as a nation.

Go on, enjoy it. It might never happen again. Meanwhile, there’s no honeymoon for us. We’re back on Monday. See you then!