Celebrations made me feel very proud to be British

Surely, holding a door open for a member of either sex is just good manners?

LESLEY KEATING: Would you dare hold a door open for a woman?

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We might only be a small nation, yet Great Britain is still a force to be reckoned with. Woe betide those who cross us.

We’re known around the world for being America’s ally, yet the US knows it would be a big problem if it ever got on our wrong side. We’re a good friend to have.

And what about our generosity? Even in a recession it’s the great British public who dip into their pockets to give to charity – more so than any other country, I reckon.

We know how to party as well. Whether you’re a royalist or not, I’d struggle to believe that you weren’t left touched by all the weekend’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

For most it was a great excuse to have four days off work. I’m not going to lie. How lovely was it to start the week on a Wednesday?

For some it was the perfect excuse to have a bit of a knees-up with family and friends.

And for others the whole occasion really was about celebrating the Queen’s 60-year reign.

For me, it was a mixture of all the above. My oldest sister, Jo, and her fiancé, Steve, had a huge barbecue on Monday and I was genuinely touched by the lengths they went to on this truly British occasion.

Flags, bunting, banners, hats and face paint (on the adults, not the children!) made it all very patriotic.

It was a reminder of why I love our country and the spirit of its people.

Once all our faces were painted in red, white and blue, we gathered for a bit of a sing-song – to the National Anthem.

I wasn’t sure whether to salute, put my hand on my heart or curtsey – so I did all three!

I’d had a few cheeky wines by this point, so it seemed fitting for me to try them all out.

As I looked around the garden at my family and friends, just enjoying each other’s company, I really did feel a sense of pride about being British.

In times of hardship, this country has always done what it does best. We rallied round, smiled and threw one heck of a party.

God save the Queen!