Crowd Sings, Cheers And Shouts As Royal Procession Passes
LONDON (AP) _ Tens of thousands of people lined the streets to sing and shout ″Good Luck″ today as the royal wedding carriages and cavalry wound their way through London.
Tourists mingled with throngs of Britons, many wearing or waving the red, white and blue colors of the British flag, and got into good voice by cheering everyone who preceded the royal procession, including street cleaners and workers who sprinkled sand to give the horses a better grip.
Some people had camped on the sidewalks since Monday to be sure of a good view, and at dawn people came by the tens of thousands to join those who had danced and partied all night, braving drizzles and typically variable English summer weather.
″We just love the pomp and ceremony,″ said Dorothy Virgo, 45, of Lydney in Gloucestershire, who arrived Tuesday night outside Westminister Abbey, the church where Prince Andrew today married Sarah Ferguson.
The crowd loudly cheered as the cars and carriages passed by with Queen Elizabeth II, her husband Prince Philip, daughter, Princess Anne, and other members of the royal family.
The bridegroom, riding with his younger brother and best man Prince Edward, waved and smiled. Even louder cheers rose when the bride rode out in a glass- enclosed coach en route to the abbey with her father, retired Maj. Ronald Ferguson.
American visitor Joan Dreyspool of Boynton Beach, Fla., was enthusiastic about the royal family. ″They’re great for tourism, they’re glamorous, they’re traditional. They go back centuries and they handle themselves with elegance. I certainly think they hold the morale of the country together, and they give the whole world something to look at,″ she said.
Avon Watson, 43, vacationing with her mother and sister from Stoughton, Wis., said, ″I think being American with such a young history, we miss the traditions.″
Young Britons were enjoying the party as much as the tradition. ″We came for the atmosphere, and it has been terrific. We had sing-songs all night,″ said Nikki Shelly, 21, who had camped out with a girlfriend.
Rival impromptu choirs broke into the strains of ″Rule Brittania″ and ″Land of Hope And Glory,″ and banners wishing the bridal couple good luck were held up by people from Holland, West Germany, New Zealand, Australia and the United States.
Tom Lambert, 18, from Lexington, Ky., said, ″There’s nothing else like this. The royal wedding is worth camping out all night for.″
He said it had been a cold night ″but we’ll forget about that.″
Courtney Musser, New York-born but living in Britain, said at 16 she was the right age to be in London for the wedding. ″You can run around and dance. You don’t have to be embarrassed,″ she said. ″Whereas when Edward (Andrew’s 22-year-old brother) gets married, I could be about 21 and in a job.″
Maureen Neal, shepherding her three young children from Essex, said people were making a mistake to stay home and watch television.
″It is never the same on TV,″ she said. ″There is nothing like being here for real. You don’t hear the beat of the horses’ hooves, or get a real idea of the splendor of the coaches and costumes. That is all part of the atmosphere.″
Said Jane McLennan, 16, of Surrey, ″It’s good to look back on it and say, I was there.″