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A day of dignity and respect Open-air service held in shadow of the castle

MORE than 1500 people mourned the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, at an open-air service held under grey skies in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.

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Three of Scotland's leading clergymen took part along with Scottish Secretary Donald Dewar and Lord Provost Eric Milligan. They were joined by representatives from charities and an Edinburgh Aids hospice on the stage of the Ross Theatre in West Princes Street Gardens for the service. The congregation, which included many overseas visitors, paid their tribute after watching in silence as pictures from the abbey in Westminster were relayed on two giant screens. Police Pipe Sergeant John Fraser, who saw the Princess of Wales when he played at state banquets at Buckingham Palace, played Flowers of the Forest at the end of the nation's one-minute silence. The Rev Charles Robertson, chaplain to the Queen and minister of the Canongate Kirk, conducted the service assisted by The Most Rev Keith O'Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and the Rt Rev Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh. Mr Robertson said the princess had touched the whole of the nation with her vitality and he called on mourners to celebrate her life. Mr Dewar and the Lord Provost read the lessons before the service was addressed by some with experiences of visits to Edinburgh by the princess including Ruth Murie, nurse manager at the Waverley Care Trust's Milestone House. In Dunblane the Rev Colin McIntosh led a service of tribute to the princess in Dunblane Cathedral, which has been the scene of many emotional services since its own tragedy 18 months ago. He told them: ''In this time of national grief, we must focus upon the good things in our lives. Try to think of something beautiful and times of happiness.'' In Oban on Saturday night around 400 people met for the ceilidh at St Columba's Roman Catholic Cathedral Hall to raise money the charity, the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust, a favourite of the princess's mother, Mrs Frances Shand Kydd, who is a parishioner of St Columba's. Earlier in the day at St Columba's a requiem mass was held for the princess.

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