LONDON - Britain's press revelled in the glory of the royal wedding spotlight on Friday, with one paper boasting "the world will watch with awe today as Britain does something better than anywhere else on Earth".
Commemorative newspaper editions splashed pictures of Prince William and Kate Middleton across their front pages and dedicated vast swathes of print to largely gushing tributes.
"Royal weddings are landmarks in our national life. They define eras," declared the best-selling Sun newspaper, a bastion of British tradition, in a generous nine pages of coverage.
The right-leaning Daily Telegraph told its readers Britain's monarchy was "the focal point of our identity as a nation".
"There should be no brake on our rejoicing today," it beamed. "We should feel not just happiness at the reaffirmation of our traditions and our way of life, but also the most immense pride at how we do things in our country."
Souvenir pull-out guides, in-depth maps of the couple's post-wedding parade and mock diaries swelled pages usually dominated by the Libyan civil war or the run-up to a crucial British referendum on voting reform.
On Friday, there was only one story in town.
The Times concocted a fake diary for Kate, describing what might have gone on behind the scenes at the wedding rehearsal on Thursday, with Prince Harry disappearing with a cellist and Prince Charles taking a shine to the trees lining the aisle.
"All I could see though was Charles, by now in the nave, having a heart-to-heart with a conifer. Were these decorations really wise?"
The Daily Express, the self-appointed world's greatest newspaper which has spent much of the last decade publishing conspiracy theories about the death of William's mother Diana, warned its readers to expect another special edition on Saturday to "preserve the magic of the occasion for posterity".
"This is more than an excuse for a great national knees-up, long overdue though that may be," it said. "This is also about Britain reaffirming its collective belief in marriage and the family."
Not everyone was quite as swept away with the pomp and ceremony of a royal wedding, however. While conceding its own front page to the wedding, the left-leaning and republican Guardian newspaper spoke out for the sceptics.
"Have a wonderful day, but stay real about it too," it said. "For most of us this is a day off. It is a day for a smile and a toast, not a day for standing to attention and tugging of forelocks."
"Tomorrow, and on every other day of the year, we will have to re-enter the world of reality."