Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Revellers undeterred by cold night

Well-wishers gather outside Westminster Abbey
Royal enthusiast Terry Hutt, 77, waits outside Westminster Abbey ahead of the wedding
People gather outside Westminster Abbey

A cold night outside Westminster Abbey failed to dampen the spirits of the thousands of revellers who had gathered to get the best view of the royal wedding.

Westminster City Council said the wedding was the capital's largest ever event and was "miles ahead" of last year's papal visit.

Paul Reid, the authority's head of operations, said he estimated nearly a million people were on the streets of London, with the crowds outside the abbey 10 deep by 7am.

Royal well-wishers from as far away as Zimbabwe and the US had camped for the last two nights to get the best view of Prince William and Kate Middleton leaving the abbey as man and wife.

Actress Sheryl Milner, 48, bagged a front-row pitch after arriving five days ago from San Francisco.

Wearing a twin set of pearls and waving her Union flag, she said: "I slept on concrete for four days and in a tent last night but I feel well rested. I have waited for this day for quite a few years and I can feel the presence of Diana here today. It's just fantastic to be here."

Jessica Spence, 23, from Zimbabwe, said: "It's been a long cold night but it's been lots of fun. There's been some rivalry for spots with people arriving at 3am and trying to come into your spot."

John Quinn, 44, from Stirling, Scotland, said he arrived on Wednesday afternoon to bag his front-row spot.

He said: "We are down-wind so there are quite a few fumes coming our way. This is just a one-off. In 30 or 40 years time I will be asked where I was when Kate and William got married and I can say I was here with the best seat in the house."

Many revellers had their faces painted with Union flags while others displayed banners on the metal barriers put up to keep the crowds in. One read: "Congrats from every broken-hearted girl in the USA."

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