JUST last week I was talking about the need for a celebration of national pride, then along comes the unforgettable Royal Wedding.
It was much more than just an English celebration though, and it was a highly visible reminder that the Commonwealth family is still in very good heart.
There’s little to add to the billions of words about the brilliance of the day, but it really was a perfect example of the pageantry and sense of occasion which we do best.
And that’s not Brit arrogance – the world’s media has been saying exactly the same thing.
Of course, there were plenty of minor details to pick over, and the usual “sensations” which were really mountains made out of molehills.
Poor David Beckham got it in the neck for wearing his decoration on the wrong lapel, so we all know the correct side now!
In advance of the big day, one of the biggest stories was the report that the Prime Minister was going to opt for a lounge suit instead of a morning suit.
He was clearly badly advised and, in the end, he wore the expected morning suit, as did the other two main political party leaders.
To be fair, the invitation did offer the choice, but it served a good example of how we seem to judge by appearances.
You just have to look at the wedding photos in your Mail to realise that most people are delighted to go along with the wishes of the bride and groom.
When it goes wrong, people really do notice.
I won’t name names for obvious reasons, but I remember well a Hartlepool wedding where I was a guest a few years ago.
The happy couple had asked main guests to wear morning dress and, blessed by a sunny day, everyone looked great – except one.
Despite the fact that his wife was beautifully dressed as a bridesmaid, her other half turned up (late) in scruffy shirt and shorts.
Nobody was terribly sure what point he was trying to make, but his poor wife looked mortified.
I know that hiring morning suits for one day’s wear isn’t cheap, but for such a special occasion, most people are happy to make the effort.
Usually though, what you wear isn’t a money thing.
If you are going to a formal evening black tie do, most men have clocked that you can buy a perfectly acceptable dinner suit for about the same as a pair of jeans.
And dressing to the nines isn’t an age thing either.
Watch for the crop of pictures in the Mail soon of our school-leavers dressing up for their prom nights.
Mums and dads of the young ladies attending won’t be spending as much as Kate Middleton did on a dress, but most families think it’s worth splashing out on their own princess.