Excited well-wishers gathered today to see Prince William and his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, make their first public appearance since they announced their engagement.

The couple attended a service of dedication for a new RNLI lifeboat close to their home on Anglesey, North Wales.

Crowds of people turned up early at the pretty dockside, braving blustery winds and grey skies, to ensure they had a prime position to see William and Miss Middleton, who will marry at Westminster Abbey on April 29.

Onlookeers seemed particularly impressed that both William and Kate sung not only the British national anthem, but also a full rendition of the Welsh one too.

Lisa Taylor, 42, from Valley, said: "I think it's fantastic. The work the RNLI do around here is vital. To have such high-profile guests is great for them. It's going to be wonderful to see William and Kate. Really exciting."

Jean and Keith Critchley took their three-year-old grandson, Samuel, to the event.

The couple, who have a holiday home on Anglesey, said it would be good for the area.

Mrs Critchley, 63, from Warrington, Cheshire, said: "They are a lovely couple. He is a great lad and she is a beautiful girl."

Mary Shaw, 71, from Trearddur Bay, agreed.

"They are a lovely couple. They will get an excellent reception."

Claire James, from Chester, was accompanied by her three children - Charlie, 10, Beau, eight, and seven-year-old Sam.

She said: "I am very excited. My daughter wants to ask if they want a spare bridesmaid - she will step in!"
There was also huge media interest in today's visit, with Miss Middleton expected to embark on her first royal walkabout.

Crews from television stations from around the globe were camped out including staff from the BBC, Sky and ITV.

Mark Phillips, from CBS News in America, said the couple had captured the imagination of the nation.

"It's celebrity mixed with the jingle jangle of royal pomp," he said.

"This couple are very popular. I think it's because they are attractive, young and because he is Diana's son. And because it's a kind of a sweet romantic story at a time when the rest of the world is in flames."