An event to unite the nation - and the policing behind it

Hundreds of thousands of people descended on the ancient Berkshire town of Windsor at the weekend and were joined by a global television audience in the billions. The glorious weather only added to the party atmosphere and a fantastic display of pomp and ceremony which most will concluded no-one does quite like Britain!

Many column-inches have already been spent on the symbolism of a mixed-race royal marriage, but actually I believe the power of the event to unite is actually much simpler than that. As the now famous Bishop Michael Curry said, "two young people fell in love, and we all showed up". It was an unreservedly happy occasion. It was a celebration of love and happiness, and yes also tradition, our monarchy and our nation.

Police officers on duty were not immune from the contagiously celebratory atmosphere. Union flags we poked into uniforms, officers took photos with the crowd and even joined in the dancing at times.

The scale of the policing operation was immense, the largest in Thames Valley's history and with support from across the country. Whilst out and about on the day I met officers from the Met, City of London, Essex, Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, British Transport Police and even horses from South Wales. This combined with the National Police Air Service, and a myriad of support from the military, security services and local authorities.

Thankfully the plan was well rehearsed and all went accordingly. The contingencies were in place however and it has been an incredibly useful lesson that will allow Thames Valley to plan even more rigorously for future large scale events.

I am hugely grateful to all the officers, staff and volunteers involved, and so were the crowds. Frequent cheers and rounds of applause for the police at various points during the day. Friendly, well presented and engaging, each and every officer epitomised British policing at it's best.

Not to be forgotten is that whilst the eyes of the world were on Windsor, Thames Valley Police continued to protect and serve communities across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire. Last weekend and the preparations for it have taken a huge amount of work from many thousands of people, but every one of them has been incredibly proud to play their part and we, the public, should be incredibly proud of them too.