Parties, picnics and thanksgiving as Scotland marks Platinum Jubilee

A special Church of Scotland service ended with a rendition of God Save the Queen as the country rounded off four days of celebration to mark the monarch's 70 years on the throne.

Scotland marks end of Platinum Jubilee weekend with parties, picnics and thanksgiving ceremony STV News

A service of “celebration and thanksgiving” has been held in Glasgow to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee as the bank holiday weekend reached its climax across Scotland.

Locals gathered for the special event at Glasgow Cathedral where the bells were rung 70 times in celebration of the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.

At the beginning of the service, the congregation – led by the Rev Dr Ian Greenshields – joined three cheers for the monarch before a rendition of God Save the Queen.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf was among those attending the event, to hear the moderator general of the Church of Scotland describe the Queen’s longevity on the throne as an “example of humble, self-denying service to God and her country.”

Rev Dr Greenshields added: “We were conscious that we probably had a bit of a baton to take hold of even if there wasn’t going to be a formal service instrumented from the palace or beyond and therefore we kind of took the initiative and thought ‘we can’t let this day go past’.

“There is a sense of it’s part in our DNA, it’s part of who we are, we recognise that the constitutional soup that is Scotland has to be in some way recognised in an act of worship.”

One member of the congregation added: “It’s a small token of appreciation from the people of Glasgow and the people of Scotland for the wonderful work that she’s done and I think our celebrations are just as good as anywhere else in the country.

A thanksgiving service was held at Glasgow Cathedral where the bells were sounded 70 times.

Elsewhere, others joined festivities including garden parties and picnics, while others took in live entertainment at special ceremonies and parades.

In Edinburgh, giant screens played live coverage of the Jubilee Pageant from London in the shadow of the capital’s iconic castle at Princes Street Gardens.

Revellers enjoyed music from the band of HM Royal Marines Scotland and a special Edinburgh Festival Carnival parade.

The historic park’s floral clock bloomed with a design marking the Jubilee.

Five gardeners from the City of Edinburgh Council’s park team took four weeks to plant more than 35,000 flowers used in the clock to have it ready for this weekend’s celebrations.

The capital’s Lord Provost, Robert Aldridge, said: “The Platinum Jubilee is a truly historic event and it was important to find a fitting tribute here in the capital for those who wish to come together and celebrate the occasion.

“In the tradition of Jubilee street parties our big picnic in the gardens invited citizens to come together to enjoy some fantastic local entertainment and music.

“Watching the celebrations on the big screen was a great way for people to be involved and soak up the atmosphere of this extraordinary day.”

Meanwhile, in Musselburgh, ten corgis took part in a “corgi derby” around the East Lothian town’s famous racecourse – including a distant relative of the Queen’s own family of dogs.

However, nine-year-old Paddy lost out to Georgie, who is nearly 18 months old, after a photo finish.

The Queen delighted attendees by making a much-anticipated Buckingham Palace balcony appearance that set the seal on four days of celebrations.

Surrounded by her family, she was cheered by thousands of well-wishers after the Platinum Pageant told the story of her life with an eccentric, fun and imaginative carnival-like display.

In a written message, she said she was “humbled and deeply touched” by the reaction to the anniversary, adding: “I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family.”

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