A day of love and laughter for us all to celebrate

Karel Doubleday, who used her mum's blue badge so she could park close to her workplace

NEWS COMMENT: Blue badge abusers are cheating the system

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What a day! It had pomp. It had ceremony. It had the stunning dress and the traditional balcony kiss (well, two of them). But it also had all the natural charm of two people in love sharing their special day in the company of their family and closest friends. Splendour and simplicity wrapped together.

And as Prince William and Kate Middleton said ‘I do’ in front of a worldwide audience of billions, the nation celebrated with them.

From the privileged few inside Westminster Abbey, to the crowds of people lining the streets of London to the communities around our area proposing their own royal toasts as they kick-started their street, garden and house parties.

Of course it is stretching the truth to say the whole nation came together in celebration. There are those for whom the royal family has no relevance to their lives.

And others would have felt that a show of such pageantry was distasteful in these days of austerity. But any dissenter who may have risked a begrudging peek at the events of yesterday would surely have struggled not to have been touched by the occasion.

Many more unashamedly partied – perfectly summed up on the front of your paper today by the residents of Victoria Street in Gosport.

When we launched our Let’s Party initiative, encouraging people to get out the flags and bunting for the big day, we made it clear that this was not just about celebrating a right royal occasion.

This was about finding an excuse for communities to get together to spend a day in each other’s company. It was all about finding time – something we never seem to have enough of – to push aside our everyday cares and share a laugh and a joke with our neighbours.

If nothing else, we Brits know how to party and we salute all of you who made the most of an extra bank holiday to join together in celebration. We hope that it might be the spur for further local events, gatherings or occasions to ensure that the spirit alive in our community continues to thrive.

And finally, our very best wishes to William and Kate as they start their new life together.