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Queen officially opens new £1.35bn Queensferry Crossing

The monarch cut the ribbon in a ceremony on the south side of the bridge.

The Queen has formally opened the Queensferry Crossing, 53 years to the day after she opened the Forth Road Bridge.

The monarch, wearing a thistle brooch, cut the ribbon on the third bridge over the Forth on Monday morning.

The 1.7-mile structure had its first traffic last week and will fully open to vehicles on Thursday.

In a ceremony on the south side of the bridge, the crossing was blessed by the moderator of the Church of Scotland before the ribbon was cut.

Queensferry Crossing: Nicola Sturgeon looks on as Queen cuts the ribbon.
Queensferry Crossing: Nicola Sturgeon looks on as Queen cuts the ribbon. Andrew Milligan/ PA Wire/ PA Images

Crowds of hundreds of people had gathered for the opening ceremony, with many waving saltire flags.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Edinburgh lord provost Frank Ross also attended, while the Queen was accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip.

The opening is Philip's first official appearance since he retired from solo royal engagements in August.

The royal party then crossed the bridge to unveil a plaque to mark the opening of the crossing at the Cube Arena on the north side.

The Queen hailed the three crossings over the Forth as she spoke to the gathered crowd.

She said: "The three magnificent structures we see here span three centuries, are all feats of modern engineering and a tribute to the vision and remarkable skill of those who designed and built them."

The First Minister said: "Together, the three Forth bridges will bring people from around the world to admire their ingenuity and their beauty.

"It is an honour to have Her Majesty the Queen opening the new bridge for Scotland's communities, just as she she opened the Forth Road Bridge, linking Fife and the Lothians."

Earlier, workers who helped build the bridge and local schoolchildren met the Queen and Prince Philip.

The RAF's display team, the Red Arrows, marked the occasion with a fly-past over the bridge.

Opening: Her Majesty opened the Forth Road Bridge in 1964.
Opening: Her Majesty opened the Forth Road Bridge in 1964. PA

On September 4, 1964, the Queen opened the nearby Forth Road Bridge before being driven across its span.

Construction began on the £1.35bn Queensferry Crossing in 2011 and it was handed over to the Scottish Government last week.

The first traffic passed over the bridge on Wednesday and Thursday before it closed for opening celebrations on Friday.

At the weekend, 50,000 people walked across the bridge as part of the Queensferry Crossing Experience.

Around 250,000 people had applied to take part in the "once in a lifetime" event, as there is no pedestrian walkway over the new bridge.

https://stv.tv/news/features/1396623-a-feat-of-engineering-queensferry-crossing-by-the-numbers/ | default

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