Slender Kate Middleton looks as if she weighs no more than 110 pounds or a shade under eight stone. But to us in Britain every single ounce of her is pure 24 carat gold.
Her popularity is so great internationally that an estimated extra 800,000 tourists will visit our shores this year on top of the usual 600,000. Many of them will be spending their Euros, Yen and Dollars on royal wedding souvenirs, making wonderful music at the cash tills for retailers.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Kate Middleton’s legacy is bigger than the legacy of the Olympics, both domestically and internationally,” Dr Harold Goodwin, a professor of tourism at the University of Leeds, told The Times.
The teal blue dress Kate wore on her engagement day has been endlessly copied and sold around the globe, as has the sapphire and diamond ring she wears which once belonged to Princess Diana.
People have been queuing for blocks to visit Westminster Abbey which charges adults a hefty £16 for admission and £6 for children. Then there are the royal wedding souvenirs, the Union Jack flags, the bunting and other decorations for the street parties being held around the country.
And I’ll bet that within 24 hours of making her vows, some clothing company will have a near identical copy of the bride’s dress on sale, bringing in more bucks.
On April 29 London will be the centre of the world with more than 2 billion television viewers glued to every second of the wedding coverage.
One estimate claims that the wedding will spark so much interest in Britain that it will bring in an extra £2 billion for our economy and create 50,000 extra jobs.
Yes, in a nation reeling under the impact of the economically troubled times, Kate is our good news girl, cheering us all up.
So only the most miserable republicans would moan about the cost of the pomp and pageantry this Friday.
As Kate floats down the aisle she will have the goodwill of the nation behind her. She is more popular apparently than any showbiz celebrity like Lady Gaga. So I’ll raise a glass on the 29th to William whose good judgement in choosing such a winning wife has brought us all such a windfall.
And, as for Kate, I would offer a little advice after all my years of reporting on royal brides. We are all behind her willing her and William to live happily ever after. All she has to do from now on is smile and look happy.
People are already increasing pressure on Kate by speculating that she may produce an heir in time for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year. Forget about that, Kate, just concentrate on loving and supporting William. There is plenty of time for babies, but you can never recapture the joy of those early months of marriage.
So, take it slowly, don’t rush into official life and most of all, whatever you do, NEVER talk to a fake Sheikh!