After eight long and sometimes lonely years of waiting, Kate Middleton will today marry Prince William.
At 11am, the middle-class graduate – who, so legend has it, used to lie in her dormitory bed gazing at a picture of her husband-to-be – will enter Westminster Abbey as a commoner and an hour later walk out as the future Queen Catherine.
Last night Kate was positively glowing as she arrived at the central London hotel where she was to spend her final night as a single woman.
Relaxed: The newly released photo of the couple was taken by Mario Testino - a friend of William's mother, princess Diana
With her mother, Carole, and younger sister, Pippa, she paused for several minutes and waved to the delighted well-wishers who had gathered outside.
Wearing a cream jacket on which the hem had given way and a pair of wedge heels, she grinned with uncontained delight.
Later Prince William went for a walkabout on the Mall to meet the crowds preparing to spend the night there.