Wales

Thousands watch parades celebrating St David's Day

Cardiff parade
Image caption The Welsh Guards on parade at Cardiff Bay on Sunday

Wales' patron saint has been celebrated across the country with a series of special events to mark St David's Day.

In Cardiff, thousands of people watched the national St David's Day celebrations. Meanwhile, the Welsh Guards celebrated 100 years of the regiment with a parade in Cardiff Bay.

Cardiff Castle has also held a free day of Welsh music and entertainment.

In Pwllheli, Gwynedd, the parade had a Patagonia theme to mark 150 years of the Welsh colony in South America.

Two horses took part, with some marchers wearing ponchos and others carrying the Argentinean flag.

Speaking about the Cardiff parade, Major General Robert Talbot Rice, of 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, said: "For us it's a real delight to be in Cardiff on such a special day and during what is a truly significant year for us.

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Media captionBellydancers joined thousands of people in Cardiff for the parade

"It is 100 years ago to the day since the regiment mounted its first King's Guard.

"We wanted to do something in the Welsh capital to mark this occasion and we will make our presence felt all across Wales during 2015."

Prime Minister David Cameron also marked the Welsh patron saint's day by sending a goodwill message.

"I would like to extend my warmest wishes to everyone in Wales, across the UK and beyond, who'll be celebrating St David's Day on Sunday," he said.

"This special day provides us all with the opportunity to celebrate all that embodies Wales.

"A great nation which always shows pride and passion, a country rich in history with a great industrial, agricultural and cultural heritage."

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Media captionHundreds watch St David's Day parade in Cardiff and Pwllheli
Image copyright Bdr Murray Kerr RA
Image caption The Welsh Guards choir, made up of serving soldiers, performed in the opera house
Image copyright Bdr Murray Kerr RA
Image caption Fifteen Welsh Guards runners set off near the Wales Millennium Centre. They are running 100 marathons in 19 countries, near the sites where the Welsh Guards achieved battle honours
Image copyright Bdr Murray Kerr RA
Image caption A total of 400 Welsh Guardsmen took part in the parade in Cardiff Bay
Image copyright Bdr Murray Kerr RA
Image caption The 1st Battalion Welsh Guards on parade for St David's Day in Cardiff Bay
Image copyright Bdr Murray Kerr RA
Image caption 400 ceremonial leeks were handed out to every soldier from the Welsh Guards
Image copyright Bdr Murray Kerr RA
Image caption Field Marshall Lord Guthrie presented traditional ceremonial leeks to every officer and guardsman
Image caption Hundreds of people watched The Welsh Guards band perform
Image caption The weather stayed fine in the morning for the Welsh Guards parade
Image caption Two horses took part in the Pwllheli parade with riders wearing ponchos
Image caption Hundreds of people watched the St David's Day parade in Pwllheli, which had a Patagonia theme
Image caption Flags of St David and Wales being waved in Pwllheli
Image caption Drum groups kept the tempo going in Pwllheli

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