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Last Updated: Saturday, 9 April, 2005, 14:25 GMT 15:25 UK
'We are here to show our support'
By Lucy Wilkins
BBC News in Windsor

It was a day any bride would wish for - brilliant sunshine, everything went like clockwork and there were no embarrassing mishaps.

Charles and Camilla
Thousands lined Windsor's streets as Prince Charles wed Camilla

The wedding of Prince Charles to Camilla Parker Bowles attracted thousands of onlookers on to the streets of Windsor, keen to catch a glimpse of the couple before and after the civil ceremony at the Guildhall.

A frosty start did little to dampen the spirits of the couple of hundred fans who took up the best positions opposite the venue, hours before the couple were due.

One family of six had camped in two tents on the cold concrete footpaths since midnight.

With a gas stove for heating water for their hot water bottles, they looked well-settled and happy with their position as the crowds gathered around them.

It's so easy just to sit and watch it on TV, but we wanted to be parted of it
Guen Murray

"We got woken at 3am by the press people setting up and I heard police dogs at 4am," said Guen Murray, 70, from Norfolk.

"It was cold and noisy."

Surrounded by her two daughters and two granddaughters, she said: "It's so easy just to sit and watch it on TV, but we wanted to be parted of it."

A veteran of royal events, she had camped for three nights for Charles and Diana's wedding - "it was summer then and a lot warmer" - Princess Anne's, the Duke of York's as well as the Queen Mother's 101st birthday.

Good spirits

The crowd was in good spirits as hundreds of police kept a keen eye on them from every vantage point.

Abby Richards,11, sister Darcey, 9, Barbara Murray, Cathy Murray and Tricia Murray and Grandmother Guen from Norfolk
The Murray family camped since midnight to get a good view

American student Mya Mann, 22, said she asked her mother to record any broadcast of events on American TV.

"It's a pretty big event as far as royalty are concerned," she said. "I got up at 5am just to be able to say I came and saw it."

Support for the happy couple was obviously running high - apart from in the nearly empty shopping street off the high street.

Lauren Smith, a 19-year-old shop assistant in a sports store, bluntly said: "I don't care" when asked about the wedding.

"But if you asked my Nan she loves it," she added.

Royalist Chris Beckett, 32, proudly displayed his England shirt as he said: "I am here to see the wedding and to celebrate it.

"I fully support the wedding - after 35 years of loving each other why not?

'Good king'

"He's going to be a good king and she's going to be a good queen."

Such sentiment was not just restricted to English people. Ryo Matsumura, 16, came from Bracknell, with six other Japanese friends.

Ryo Matsumura
But don't forget about Diana. She was very popular in Japan
Ryo Matsumura
"If they really love each other then it's fine that they get married."

She added: "But don't forget about Diana she was very popular in Japan".

As the crowds passed the hours cheering at everyone who walked down the middle of the cordoned-off street, saving the loudest cheer for the rubbish collectors, sisters Hazel and Justine Gibb voiced their support and waved a Welsh flag.

"It's a love that's lasted, it's conquered all, which is a sign of true love," said Hazel, 43, who said she was not too fussed if she failed to see the couple.

"It's not a case of getting a glimpse of them but of them knowing we are here to support them," she said.

Finally after hours waiting in the cool April sun, the guests arrived.

A short time after cheers went up for Prince Harry and William, cries of "they're coming, they're coming", rang out along the high street as the bride and groom arrived.

Crowd's compliments

Coos of "Oh she's absolutely beautiful" were heard as people glimpsed the much-anticipated wedding outfit.

It's a love that's lasted, it's conquered all
Hazel Gibb

Standing at a less than an ideal spot, Gillian Barwick, 52, from the Highlands, was not letting disappointment ruin her day.

"We're very sorry we picked the wrong spot, but of what we did see she looked beautiful and he looked happy and the children were lovely."

But for Christine Webb from Denham, Buckinghamshire, it was disappointing.

"We've been here seven hours" she lamented. "We thought they'd do bit of a walkabout".

As the official vehicles moved off, police had little difficulty dispersing the crowd, but one man made a naked dash from the throngs.

He was quickly surrounded by police and horses after being made to lie face down on to the road.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Well-wishes cheer Charles and Camilla in Windsor



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