Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 December 2014

Mixed sentiment among Welsh cities

Jubilee revellers across Wales have celebrated the Queen's landmark 60-year reign
Jubilee revellers across Wales have celebrated the Queen's landmark 60-year reign

Jubilant jubilee revellers across Wales have braved the rain to raise a glass in celebration of the Queen's landmark 60-year reign.

Thousands of royal party-goers across the principality joined millions around the UK to toast the royal occasion.

More than 300 official street parties were held across Wales while city centre big screens relayed images of the Thames Diamond jubilee Pageant for thousands to witness.

Despite sometimes teeming rain hardy party-goers were determined to see out the celebration to its end.

In Cardiff scores of people were on the scene early at the start of the city's Big Lunch celebration, in St Mary's Street. A steady flow of tourists and local people carrying picnic lunches arrived slowly on the brightly decorated street scene.

Music, food and festivities were the order of the day, but umbrellas, raincoats and determination to party were also all in evidence.

Ceri Jones, 31, from Neath, got in the party atmosphere by offering round sausages rolls to more than a dozen friends at the Big Lunch. "It's a shame about the rain but it won't change our plans at all. We intend to make this an occasion we won't forget," she said.

However Jubilee spirit was in short supply in Swansea, with anti-royalist sentiment to the fore. While substantial numbers of Jubilee revellers braved the rain in Cardiff, in the principality's second city few bothered to turn out.

Former soldier Steven Jones, 53, of Swansea, said: "I'm not anti-monarchy by any means but I can't see what is going on in London today has got to do with anyone in Swansea. I think many people here look at what's going on in London and feel it's a different world away from the lives of ordinary people.

"I was a soldier in the Royal Regiment of Wales so I served the Queen at one point. I've nothing against the monarchy but I don't think we should pay out for all the hangers-on. The extended family who benefit from the royal connection."

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