Politics pauses for royal wedding

David Cameron and Samantha Cameron emerge from No 10 to attend the royal wedding
David Cameron and Samantha Cameron emerge from No 10 to attend the royal wedding

By Alex Stevenson

Britain's leading politicians have united around Prince William and Kate Middleton as the happy couple wed in Westminster Abbey.

David Cameron, Nick Clegg, George Osborne, Theresa May and Kenneth Clarke were among the senior members of the government present at the service.

But there was a note of controversy as former prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were absent, having not received an invitation. Sir John Major was present because of his status as a legal guardian of Prince William. Margaret Thatcher, who was invited, excused herself because of poor health.

The wedding saw the centre of London packed with supporters as Britain once again demonstrated its overwhelming sympathy for the royal family.

But the country as a whole may be more ambivalent than images on the television screens suggest, however.

According to polling from YouGov, 56% of respondents to a survey carried out on Tuesday and Wednesday said they were either not very interested or not interested at all in the wedding.

The Metropolitan police said that 70 demonstrators were in Red Lion Square but that the mood was calm. They are believed to be linked to the Republican Tea Party. Ten demonstrators are in Soho Square, connected to the Right Royal Orgy Group.

There were 18 arrests by 11:00 for a variety of offences, including possessing an offensive weapon, breach of the peace and assault.

Street parties will take place up and down the country, however, including one in Downing Street which the prime minister will attend later today.

Mr Cameron eventually wore a morning suit, despite earlier uncertainty about his clothing plans. Fashion experts were surprised by his wife Samantha Cameron's decision not to wear a hat but praised her decision to wear Burberry, a leading British designer.

The poll found 69% of Brits believe the British monarchy should continue, compared to just one in five who think the country should have an elected head of state.


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