IT was a wedding of global interest, watched by billions around the world and drawing an audience of more than 18 million at its peak in the UK alone.

Not all Scots, however, had to tune in to the live broadcast to see Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, yesterday.

A select group were invited to the grounds of Windsor Castle to witness the historic occasion at close quarters, including the Hey family from Nairn, Moray, who last night said they were “still on a high”.

Lily, 11, and her grandmother, Liz Bow, 68, were invited for their work raising funds in memory of Lily’s younger brother, Hamish, who died in February 2017 aged just eight after a battle with cancer. Hamish lost his knee to Rhabdomyosarcomas as a toddler and was cancer-free for five years before he was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – an aggressive cancer that attacks the stem of the brain.

On Saturday, his family wore rainbow colours in memory of the youngster, with Lily and Liz accompanied by Lily’s parents, Susan and Sam, both 39, and grandfather Danny, 68, as they all kept Hamish at the forefront of their thoughts.

Susan said: “Our dresses incorporated a lovely rainbow emblem. It means so much to us because there was a rainbow in the sky on the day of Hamish’s funeral.”

Of the wedding, she added: “We are still on a high. It was just a beautiful day – it surpassed all our expectations. From the moment we got into the castle grounds we were treated like VIPs. It was fantastic. We all got gift bags to keep as mementos with an order of service and a fridge magnet and chocolate which Lily was thrilled with.

“We had such a fab view of everyone arriving and leaving and I got a picture of Prince Harry and Prince William as they walked toward the chapel.

“When Meghan arrived, the atmosphere was just electric. She is a beautiful girl – a natural beauty. They seemed very happy together and that came across. It looks like a real love match.”

The Hey family have supported charities that helped Hamish with his treatment and care through their fundraising efforts and, in May 2017, the family set up the TeamHamish organisation to raise money for the building of a new community feature in Nairn.

In November last year, Susan was diagnosed with incurable secondary breast cancer and said that, after all the family have been through, they make sure they make the most of every moment.


“I’ve been given this incurable diagnosis but I’m determined and I’m positive,” she said. “I was just saying to my husband during the wedding that what we are doing at the moment is making the most of everything. It’s a cliche but that is what we are doing.

“And the feeling of positivity down here in Windsor has been really amazing. It was just such a happy buzz with blue skies and sunshine and everyone smiling.”

WellChild nurse Aileen Crichton, a paediatric practitioner based at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock, was one of a group of nurses from the WellChild children’s charity who also attended the wedding. Prince Harry is the patron of the charity for seriously ill children.

She said: “What a fantastic day. Beautiful weather and so lovely to have been able to be part of the royal wedding day”.

More than 2600 members of the public were invited to the castle grounds to view the special occasion, with charity workers, school children, royal household members and Windsor residents among them.

A statement from Kensington Palace ahead of the marriage said Ms Markle and Prince Harry wanted “members of the public to feel part of the celebrations too”.

Elsewhere, in Edinburgh, residents in Buckstone Road, Fairmilehead, gathered together for a street party, featuring a bouncy castle, barbecue, party games and a cake competition.

Tables packed with food were laid out in a line set for 54 people.

Organiser Louise McLeod, 39, said: “I thought this would be a great way to get to know the neighbours, and bring all the families together. It’s a lovely community feel.” - everyone loves the royals.”

Elsewhere in the capital, 800 people hundreds hundreds gathered in the Pear Tree Inn’s courtyard to watch the wedding on a giant screen, while more than 100 gathered at Hamilton Park Racecourse.

Balmoral Castle celebrated the day with an afternoon tea with guests who were asked to dress to impress, while pubs in Aberdeen were granted an extra hour’s opening time.

Celia Webster, 61, and husband Jim, 63, from Toronto in Canada, organised a trip to Britain simply to be in the country while the wedding was taking place.

Mrs Webster said: “It’s a big thing in Canada but we’d never get to have an experience like this. We’ve had the most amazing holiday but this is a highlight.”