It was a marriage that captivated millions of people across the globe and proudly shone a spotlight on the royal family.
But no one was more surprised at the enthusiasm surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding than the Queen, who thought the world had “gone mad”, her cousin has revealed.
Lady Elizabeth Anson, 70, said the Windsor family had not predicted the fervor with which William and Kate’s nuptials would be celebrated.
“The Queen looked out at the banks of photographers outside and said to me, ‘They’ve all gone mad.’,” she told the Radio Times.
Lady Elizabeth went on to lavish praise on William’s wife, saying that her impeccable conduct had assured the Queen that the monarchy’s future was in safe hands and that she had introduced “a sort of magic” to the family during her first year as a royal.
“The people want glamour and I think she has given it to them in a wonderfully diverse way,” she commented. “She’s the real people’s princess.”
Lady Elizabeth – a party planner who organised the reception for foreign guests on the eve of the wedding – added that the couple had adapted to their roles with such ease it should be deemed “an absolute miracle”.
“Yes, they’re going to Canada, but no, she’s not going to take a dresser and no, they are not going to take a large retinue,” she said of William and Kate’s first official overseas tour last year.
“That’s them saying their thing: ‘We haven't got cooks and butlers and cleaners coming out of our ears at home in Anglesey. We cook together, we do the washing up together. We lead a normal life.’”
Indeed, in stark contrast to their very public wedding, the down-to-earth pair are set to have a low-key celebration on Sunday to mark their first anniversary.
A St James’s Palace spokesman has confirmed that the couple will be spending this weekend privately.
It will end a busy week for the Duke and Duchess, who are due to carry out three public engagements in the capital in just over 24 hours.
On Wednesday, the royals join around 100 children at the UK premiere of documentary film African Cats at the BFI Southbank, in aid of the Tusk Trust, the conservation charity William supports.
The following day, they are scheduled to appear at a reception at Goldsmith’s Hall to celebrate two army teams who recently recreated the race to reach the South Pole by Captain Scott and Roald Amundsen.
And later on Thursday, William and Kate will launch the Imperial War Musuem Foundation’s campaign to create new First World War galleries in time for the centenary of the conflict in 2014.
One year on: The couple that have conquered the world