LAURA CARTLEDGE Life’s Like That...The royal family are like Marmite, but that just adds to their appeal

There are many reasons I am excited about the jubilee.

Four-day weekend? Check.

Bunting everywhere? Check.

Being able to buy lots of half-price commemorative tins to keep my button collection in when it is all over? Triple check.

The royal family might be a bit like Marmite.

But I think that just adds to their appeal.

I can’t justify some of the things Prince Philip says or some of what Harry might wear to fancy dress parties, but all in all I am a fan.

The biggest argument against them is that they sponge off the state.

However I think they give a lot more than they take.

From the tourists they attract to the charity work they do – I think we would be far worse off without them.

Plus it’s nice to have that sense of national identity.

Sure there aren’t many people in everyday society who are like them.

I for one don’t have a castle, a corgi, or my face on money, but they are figureheads, a uniting force if you will. Something which is proved by the way they know how to throw a party.

The royal wedding was captivating.

So much so I, arguably like millions of others, refused to get out of my pyjamas until I had seen the kiss.

This weekend I am celebrating with a Great British Barbecue – which means it will probably rain – apologies in advance.

I have bought flags, patriotic paper chains, red, white and blue balloons.

And I will spend the morning running up to it baking cakes, making salads and fretting that I don’t have enough ketchup.

I can’t wait.

Partly for the Pimm’s and strawberries but mostly just for a good old gathering – something which doesn’t happen enough in my opinion.

So while the royal family may divide opinion, they have a knack of bringing people together.

It is a fantastic excuse to get together with friends and family for a right royal knees-up.