Saturday, April 30, 2011

Scots turn out for royal wedding

29 April 2011 Last updated at 13:33 St Andrews St Andrews was hosting one of the biggest wedding celebrations in Scotland Events have been taking place across Scotland to celebrate the royal wedding.

St Andrews, where Prince William and Kate Middleton first met, hosted a breakfast and party for about 2,000 people.

Balmoral Castle visitors were watching the wedding on big screens.

However, a protest group of about 60 gathered in Edinburgh, and an unofficial party in Glasgow has been criticised by the local council.

In St Andrews, a bagpipe procession formally kicked off the event for ticket-holders at the free party at St Salvator's Quadrangle.

Local firms and organisations came forward over recent weeks and months to offer their support to the event, which was showing the wedding on a big screen.

John Montgomery, 44, from the Tayport area, came to St Andrews because his daughter was among those performing in the quadrangle, alongside her primary school classmates.

"I think St Andrews feels responsible for all of this," he joked. "The atmosphere's fantastic here. It's amazing really for a small Scottish town to have two billion people around the world watching it."

St Andrews student Ronnie Guthrie, 20, from Perth, arrived for the party at 0730 BST.

He told BBC Scotland: "I came to the party because I wanted to show off my Britishness. I have been awake since 5.30 with excitement, I just couldn't sleep.

"I didn't get a ticket in the ballot for the party, so I had to come two hours before my friends.

"I wanted to come because this is the biggest thing in my life, until the next coronation. It feels great to be in St Andrews, I'm a royalist."

Daniel Pycock, 19, from London, said: "I came because I'm a proud royalist. There are not many moments that you're allowed to celebrate and show your national pride and patriotism.

"I have been up all night writing an essay so I just stayed up.

Demonstrations in Edinburgh Monarchists challenged a republican demonstration in Edinburgh city centre

"I plan to make a day of it with my friends - the atmosphere at first was lethargic because it was fairly cold but it's now warmed up, the sun is out and everyone is very excited. It's a great day."

After their marriage, the royal couple will be known the Earl and Countess of Strathearn, linking the newly-weds to Perthshire, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Baron and Baroness Carrickfergus.

Far fewer official street parties have been organised in Scotland than in England, with 16 taking place in Edinburgh, seven in East Lothian and four in the Borders.

There is just one road closure in Glasgow for a street party. And in a number of areas, including North Ayrshire and West Lothian, there have been no official parties registered.

'No feelgood factor'

Shetland and Highland councils have not given their employees the day off.

Highland Council said it would have cost £350,000 to provide cover for frontline employees, such as social workers.

Continue reading the main story Jamie McIvor Local government correspondent, BBC Scotland

The number of official street parties taking place may give a misleading impression that there is a low level of public interest in celebrating the royal wedding.

They only include those street parties which have required council permission.

They take no account of, for instance, celebrations in church halls, pubs, community centres or even large private gardens.

A spokesperson said: "The council has made so many cuts already. We urge our staff to think about their position and how lucky they are to have a job with the council.

"I know people will be disappointed, but the decision was made for the very best of reasons."

However, more than 40 schools in the Highlands, involving more than 4,000 pupils and teachers, will take part in events such as mock weddings, feasts, quizzes, and arts and crafts.

Dundee Trades Union Council (TUC) is holding its annual Mayday march and rally. They said that the royal wedding provided "no feelgood factor" for those facing cuts in jobs, services and benefits.

About 400 were watching the wedding on a big screen in Festival Square in Edinburgh.

A group of about 60 republican demonstrators gathered outside St Giles' Cathedral on the Royal Mile but police would not allow them to march as they had not applied for a licence.

The protesters were challenged by a group of about 20 pro-monarchy demonstrators the wedding and police kept the two sides apart.

'Romantic story'

Glasgow City Council issued a warning for royal party-goers to stay away from Kelvingrove Park after an unofficial "alternative" royal wedding celebration was organised through Facebook and other websites.

More than 10,000 people used the social networking site to say they planned to attend the event and by 1400 BST there were several thousand people there.

Train operator East Coast said there had been a 50% increase in train bookings between Edinburgh and London for the day before the wedding.

Shop in St Andrews Celebrations were taking place across Scotland as the world's attention falls on the wedding

One woman, who was travelling down to London for the day from Scotland, said: "I've grown up with Wills and Harry in the news and now he's got his lucky lady. It's a lovely romantic story as much as anything else."

First Minister Alex Salmond instructed that the Royal Standard of Scotland be flown from St Andrew's House, the headquarters of the Scottish government in Edinburgh.

Mr Salmond, who attended the wedding with his wife Moira, said: "This is a great day of celebration and it is wonderful that the Queen has bestowed the Scottish title of Earl and Countess of Strathearn on the royal couple.

"The Royal Standard of Scotland is flying from St Andrew's House in Edinburgh in honour of this special day.

"I wish the royal couple my warmest wishes for a long and very happy married life together."

Businesses across Scotland were attempting to throw some fun into the proceedings.

John G Renicks butchers in Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, made red, white and blue sausages.

While Scottish brewers BrewDog made a "royal virility performance" beer, containing herbal Viagra.

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