We are so lucky to have her': Prince Charles's moving speech to the daughter he never hadBy Rebecca English
Prince Charles movingly described Kate Middleton as the daughter he had never had yesterday and admitted: ‘We are lucky to have her.’
In a touching speech, the clearly emotional prince paid tribute to his new daughter-in-law – but still found time to crack jokes about his eldest son and his famously thinning hairline.
Charles chose to say a few off-the-cuff words as he toasted the newlyweds at a Buckingham Palace champagne reception thrown by the Queen for 650 guests and wished the couple a long and happy life together.
Part of the firm: Prince Charles, seen with William and Kate at the Buckingham Palace reception, made a toast to the happy couple and welcomed his new daughter-in-law to the Royal family
We are family: Charles displayed obvious pride as he stood beside his new daughter-in-law on the balcony
The retired headmaster of St Andrews preparatory school in Pangbourne, Berkshire, added: ‘I think Kate will be a wonderful role model.
'She’s an exceptionally nice person and she’s no fool. She will make a very good queen. She brings a lot to the party and I think they recognise that.
'The speech really brought a tear to the eye. She was a delightful child and is now a delightful young woman.’
Susie Lea, a friend of the Middleton family, described the moment that Charles brought the house down.
Meeting of the matriarchs: Kate's mother Carole Middleton with the Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Charles in a carriage on the way to Buckingham Palace
Spot of fun: Prince Charles also mocked William's thinning hair, seen while the couple were at the altar
‘He was stood slightly up on a small stand so he was looking down on William to his left. William smiled, he was amused. Kate looked amused as well.’
The couple walked into the Palace’s historic picture gallery shortly after 1.30pm following their balcony appearance, serenaded by a golden harp played by Charles’s official musician, Claire Jones.
After meeting and greeting their guests, the newlyweds cut their cake to the whoops and cheers of their friends.
One attendee who said his son was a schoolfriend of Prince William said: ‘Kate looked immaculate, she was beaming the whole time.
Fairytale moment: Princess Catherine - only an hour earlier a commoner - arrives at Buckingham Palace as royalty
Sealed with a kiss: The couple, who have been given the titles Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace
An astonishing 10,000 canapes were served during the two-hour reception, prepared by Buckingham Palace’s 21-strong team of kitchen staff.
Guests toasted the happy couple with a £200 Pol Roger NV brut reserve champagne and a selection of other soft and alcoholic drinks.