TV crews from America, Australia Norway, France and Germany as well as the BBC, ITN and Sky descended on a small Lancashire town called Darwen this week.
The big attraction was, of course, Prince William and Kate Middleton making their last public appearance before they tie the Windsor knot on April 29.
It was noticeable that barely six months after her engagement Kate has learned a lot about life in the royal spotlight.
The smooth way she greeted officials, plunged into crowds of well-wishers and chatted to small children while carefully staying three steps behind her Prince was very revealing. Kate charmed the locals like a true English rose which prompted one local Paul Ratcliffe to present her with a bouquet of red roses and wish her all the best for her wedding.
‘It’s nice to be spoilt,’ Kate told him with a dazzling smile.
This gift prompted me to realise that Kate really is a true English rose with all the qualities to be a great 21st Century queen.
First there is her rapport with the public. ‘Hi,’ she said repeatedly, as she went on a lengthy walkabout though Witton Park.
This informal greeting demonstrated that she uses the language ordinary people speak. She is not too ‘posh’. Her easy, relaxed style made people feel she was approachable and friendly.
When I asked those who had shaken her hand what they thought of her, most replied, ‘Beautiful, simply beautiful.’
Kate connects with people effortlessly – not in the way Diana did because she is nothing like Diana, who was a giggly young girl when she became engaged.
Kate is more mature. She thinks before she speaks and quite importantly she is a commoner. The Middleton family count a few miners on the maternal side which makes Kate’s rise to future queen an inspiration to everyone.
Her outfit on a cold, rainy morning was also spot on. Her French navy skirt suit looked smart but not extravagant. While representing British fashion Kate must not appear to be a slave to it or she will seem shallow and frivolous.
The navy colour of her suit was so similar to William’s dark business suit that perhaps intentionally she did not stand out in the group of officials around them. On a dark, overcast day this caused more than one well-wisher to say, ‘I wish she had worn something brighter.’
There were also many comments about Kate’s slender shape. ‘She’s so slim,’ I heard again and again.
There were a few sighs of disappointment when Kate’s lovely face was hidden by the black umbrella she carried. Next time perhaps she could borrow a clear plastic one from Camilla who still uses the ones the late Queen Mother had.
But the people of Darwen and her next stop Blackburn clearly loved her. They were so pleased to welcome both her and William that most waited more than two hours in heavy rain for a glimpse of them.
Prince William led the way proudly, clearly delighted that his choice of a bride is approved by the British people.
He frequently put his arm around her and, at one point, held her hand as they stopped for a few minutes while touring Witton Country Park.
‘I am fortunate’ said William earlier that day, ‘because I have the support of my family and friends, I do a job I love and I have Catherine.’
Listening to him you get the feeling that this is a royal marriage that will last. They may be in the final stage of singledom now.
But clearly they both can’t wait to end their bachelor days and start the next, exciting stage of married life together.