The royal wedding of Prince Harry and his glamorous fiancee Meghan Markle is a moment of light relief for a Britain weighed down by political, social and economic woes.
With growth shrinking and the government riven over Brexit, Saturday’s wedding is set to provide a national boost and give people an excuse to party.
The Brand Finance valuation consultancy estimates the wedding will contribute £1 billion to the British economy this year.
That includes £300 million in tourism, £300 million in advertising value for the UK and £250 million in retail and food spending.
The royal wedding commemorative china has already gone on sale, while stamps and a special £5 coin have been issued featuring the couple.
Besides the official souvenirs, Windsor shops are stuffed with mugs, bookmarks, tea towels, postcards, British flags, face masks and cardboard cut-outs as the town cashes in on its big day.
Around 100,000 people are expected to pack the streets of Windsor, west of London, to join in the festive atmosphere and get a glimpse of the newlyweds’ carriage winding through the town.
The wedding in St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle brings together Queen Elizabeth II’s grandson, who is sixth in line to the throne, and US former actress Markle, who at 36 is three years his senior.
The service starts at midday (1100 GMT), with the newlyweds emerging to pose on the chapel steps at 1:00 pm (1200 GMT) before a 25-minute carriage ride through Windsor town.
Queen Elizabeth is then giving a reception for the 600 guests in the castle’s St. George’s Hall.
In the evening, Harry’s father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, is hosting a private reception for 200 family and close friends at nearby Frogmore House.
Traditional street parties will be held around the kingdom.