Royal Wedding is ‘best of Britain’ says prime minister as huge crowds gather in London

The Royal Wedding represents 'the best of Britain', David Cameron said today as he spoke of his delight at Prince William's nuptials.

The Prime Minister, who recalled sleeping on the Mall ahead of the Prince of Wales' marriage to Diana, said today's celebrations were also a time to celebrate the role of the British monarchy.

'It does mean quite a lot,' he told Sky News.

'I slept on the Mall for Charles and Diana's wedding all those years ago and I suppose like many people my age have watched Prince William grow up and all the

challenges he's had - obviously losing his mother, but now finding love and wanting to get married.

'Like anyone who's lived in Britain, you feel quite an attachment to this event and that's why I think the whole country's getting so excited about it.'

But he said the celebrations were not simply about the 'handsome prince and the beautiful princess', adding: 'It's also about this incredible institution

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of the monarchy and the amazing public service that they have given over so many years and the extraordinary role that the Queen has played.

'I think people around the world will be watching this great historical moment and see the best of Britain and we do do these things very well.'

Thousands of well-wishers braved the morning chill near Westminster Abbey in the hope of catching a glimpse of today's Royal Wedding.

Clutching Union Flags and home-made signs with messages for the happy couple, royal fans refused to let the grey London skies dampen their spirits.

Some wore tiaras while others painted their legs and faces red, white and blue to mark the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Several fans have been camped outside the abbey for days but others got on packed trains this morning, carrying fold-up seats, hats and balloons.

Sisters Joan Fuller, 69, and Brenda Rowlands, 60, got up at 5am to secure their place in Parliament Square, which is part of the royal wedding route.

Mrs Fuller travelled from near Doncaster in South Yorkshire to her sister's house in Woking, Surrey, yesterday.

'I walked the entire route as soon as I got here to have a look and see what was going on,' she said.

'I love the royal family and have sat on the Mall for many royal occasions, the last being the Queen's jubilee.

'I am really looking forward to seeing William and Kate together and the atmosphere is amazing. There are thousands of visitors here, I just think it's really good for the country. 'Diana would be very proud of William because she was so family orientated. William and Kate look so happy, I'm sure she would be delighted.'

Husband and wife Julian and Brenda Swinstead, both 61, arrived in the UK three days ago from Darwin in Australia.

Mr Swinstead, draped in an Australian flag, said: 'My wife told me that I had better not plan anything for the 29th as she would be watching the wedding on TV with her daughter.

'I thought I could do better than that so I bought tickets to come over.

'It's a carnival atmosphere and we are loving it. We've come for the wedding but also for the parties.'

Thousands of people are also gathering in Trafalgar Square to watch the build-up to the wedding on a giant screen. Revellers had to pass through barriers set up around the square and were subjected to searches by security guards. Many said they had given up hope of finding a place on the procession route.

'I've come down with my daughter Teg early this morning just to be part of the day,' said Cath Davies, 49, of Cambridge.

'But I don't think there's any point trying to get to the abbey. Trafalgar Square is the best bet.'

Street-sweeper John Slingsby was also heading to the square. 'This is the proudest day of my life,' he said. 'I've been working all hours recently and I'm on my way to Trafalgar Square to join in the celebrations.'

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