royalyachtsquadronbicentenary_020PICTURES & VIDEO: Royals from around the world joined The Duke of Edinburgh, The Princess Royal, The Earl of Wessex and Prince Michael of Kent for the bicentenary celebration of the Royal Yacht Squadron on the sunny Isle of Wight today (Friday).

Despite a weather warning for thunderstorms, the bad weather stayed away with glorious sunshine beating down on the seaside town throughout today and into this evening, much to the joy of wellwishers and spectators.

royalyachtsquadronbicentenary_022The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip carried out a fleet review of some 180 boats on board Royal Navy patrol boat, HMS Ranger. On another patrol boat, Prince Michael of Kent also took part in the review.

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An afternoon of preparation led up to a church service being held at the Holy Trinity Church. One by one the many Royals and VIPs landed at the Royal Yacht Squadron jetty in front of crowds before walking the short distance to the church.

royalyachtsquadronbicentenary_030Today’s event is said to have been one of the biggest gatherings of Royals in recent years with King Harald of Norway, Prince Henrik of Denmark and Prince Albert of Monaco all present.

Following the church service a Beat Retreat – a military ceremony – was held by Her Majesty’s Royal Marines in front of hundreds of people on The Parade. The Duke of Edinburgh took the salute and was joined by all the dignitaries including the Isle of Wight’s Lord Lieutenant Major General Martin White.

Road closures in the area have been lifted.

A firework display is due to be held tomorrow evening from a barge moored off The Green.

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