Gareth from the Office: Everybody needs good neighbours

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OVER the second four-day weekend in as many weeks I noticed something. Isn’t it wonderful how one event can bond a country.

Yes I am talking about the Royal Wedding. I went to a street party in Newport Pagnell on Friday and of the dozens of people I spoke to asking why they were at the party they said the same thing – community cohesion.

There were some people who had lived in the same street for almost 10 years and didn’t even know their neighbours’ names.

Now, thanks to the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton they not only know their names but have discovered what fun and interesting people they are.

Around 2.2 billion people around the world watched the Roayl wedding at some point, with a record 24 million viewers in the UK tuning in.

And across Milton Keynes 34 street parties were marked the celebrations. As stated, I joined one in the afternoon but only later watched the wedding highlights on TV. I must admit though to tuning into a bit of the live footage as it happened, although I wasn’t prepared to admit it.

A few months ago I vowed I wouldn’t be watching but on the day was swept away with the excitement of Royal wedding fever!

But then you couldn’t avoid it. The event was broadcast by all the mainstream channels and when I visited Facebook to avoid it comments made me more and more curious.

I then succumbed – wanting to know what the dress looked like (beautiful), what the now obligatory balcony kiss was like (two for the price of one) and just how attractive the new Duchess of Cambridge’s sister was (very).

On a serious note it really did fill me with pride to be British. To see so many people united by a momentous occasion was inspiring.

People lined the streets with flags, red white and blue bunting filled the streets, and people ate and drank with friends and family to mark the big day.

And the street party I attended was bustling with revellers from not only their own street but many of their friends and families from other parts of the city too. This was clearly a time for everyone to come together to toast couple.

It was a good excuse for people to get together and celebrate their national identity, and why not? It was nice to share a day that everyone could feel a part of.

So, a big congratulations to the royal newlyweds on what was a perfect day for them and for Britain.

And Prince William has shown he is just like one of us – after the honeymoon was postponed he went back to work on Tuesday.