Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Royal wedding: Celebrating in St Andrews

Face painting
Image caption The union flag was seen on clothes, hats and faces at St Andrews

The sounds of the wedding breakfast in St Andrews, held in celebration of Prince William and Catherine Middleton's marriage, could be heard by guests before they even arrived.

More than 2,000 well wishers packed into St Salvatore's Quadrangle in the heart of the old St Andrews University, where the pair met while studying.

Queues of guests waving flags and wearing union jacks in the form of capes, hats and painted faces, rushed through the gates as soon as they opened at 0800 BST.

Those attending had been successful in a ballot to get tickets for the community-organised event.

Holly Patrick, 24, a St Andrews University student from Aberfeldy, turned up at 0810 BST.

She said: "We arrived early because we wanted to get a good spot. We applied on the off-chance there were tickets and we were very lucky to get them.

"It is fantastic to celebrate the wedding in the same place they went to university. It is fabulous to see people who were at the university in the past and present all together.

"It must have taken such a lot of work to organise the party."

Tracy Buchan, 37, from St Andrews, was at the event with her children - Keira, aged six and two-year-old Lewis.

Image caption Six-year-old Keira and Lewis, two, were brought to the event by their mother Tracy Buchan

She said: "I brought the children because this is such a historical occasion and something they will always remember.

"It's been fantastic and the kids have had a great day."

The morning started cold at the open-air party, with many of the guests shivering in huddles.

They queued for the free breakfast before the Madras College Pipe Band opened the event by making their way through the quad to a huge stage in the far corner.

The entertainment also included Highland dancers, singers, drummers and belly dancers.

Hazy sky

There were also speeches from officials, including the St Andrews University's principal, before the wedding got under way.

The PA system was turned up about 20 minutes before the start of the Westminster Abbey ceremony, which was shown on a large screen in the quad.

As the formalities began, the sun broke out in the hazy sky and a hush fell over the party-goers.

Image caption There was plenty of food on offer at the event

About 100 guests were gathered at tables nearest the screen, with the rest of the crowd standing behind them in a semi-circle.

There was an audible gasp from the crowd when they first caught a glimpse of Catherine in her dress, then a round of applause filled the quad.

There was a hush again until 1120 BST, when the pair were pronounced man and wife, which was met with more clapping.

Many people had dressed as if they themselves were attending the wedding, while others choose to wear the colours of the union flag.

Everyone stood for the national anthem, which was played just before noon.

The biggest cheer came when the wedding commentator in London mentioned the royal couple had met at St Andrews University a decade ago.

It is understood the pair, who met through friends, became an item in 2003.

'Magical experience'

Earlier this year the couple returned to the quadrangle to mark St Andrews University's 600th anniversary and Prince William's patronage of it's fundraising effort.

The 28-year-old said at the time that it felt "like coming home".

To mark the royal wedding, many St Andrews University students attended the breakfast event, some wearing their long red robes.

Student Angela Roberts, 22, from St Helen's, near Liverpool, said she arrived at 0630 BST.

Image caption Angela Roberts (left) with fellow students Abbey Bamford and Craig Cockburn

She said: "I volunteered at this event because I wanted to be part of such a magical experience that doesn't happen very often.

"The dress was beautiful and the atmosphere was amazing. I had such a great day and it's been such nice weather."

The crowd remained riveted to the ceremony until it ended at 1210 BST.

Some let off party poppers as the couple left Westminster Abbey.

Many said they had enjoyed the event and felt glad to have celebrated such a "historic day".

It was clear from the celebrations that the feel-good factor created by the royal romance has yet to leave the town.