Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Royals attend Zara party on yacht

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall arrive for an evening reception onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, Edinburgh
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall arrive for an evening reception onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, Edinburgh
Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall arrive for an evening reception onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, Edinburgh
Prince Harry arrives for an evening reception onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia in Leith, Edinburgh

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have arrived at a pre-wedding party being thrown by Prince William's cousin Zara Phillips on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

Kate wore a mid-length green dress as she walked up the red-carpeted steps with William behind her.

Guests started to arrive at the yacht, which is permanently moored in Leith, Edinburgh, at around 6.30pm, wearing dinner suits and cocktail dresses.

The drinks reception was held the night before Zara's wedding to England rugby star Mike Tindall. They will tie the knot at Canongate Kirk on the city's Royal Mile. But in contrast to the recent wedding of William and Kate, the event will be private and the doors of the kirk will be closed to the public.

Prince Harry was last to arrive at the yacht. He was alone, and bounced up the steps two at a time. As the prince entered the party, a massive cheer could be heard from inside. The party appeared to be mainly for the younger guests, with no sign of Zara's grandparents the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh or Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.

Zara, 30, and Mike, 32, arrived with Zara's parents Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. Anne's second marriage to Timothy Laurence was the last royal wedding to be held in Scotland, and took place in 1992 at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral.

A crowd had gathered on a decking area outside Ocean Terminal shopping centre, which had a view of the yacht. They enjoyed the early evening sunshine while hoping to catch a glimpse of members of the Royal Family.

The party lasted for about two hours before guests started to go back down the steps and into organised coaches and taxis. Members of the Royal Family left first in waiting Jaguars.

Zara and Mike showed what a down-to-earth couple they are by staying on the yacht until the event had finished, saying goodbye to every one of their guests.

The Royal Yacht Britannia served the Queen for 44 years. During that time the vessel has carried the monarch and the Royal Family on 968 official voyages. Zara's parents cruised the West Indies in 1973 on their honeymoon.

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