For the second time in a year the royal family dusted off their gladrags to watch one of their own marry a commoner, albeit this time of sporting heroic stock. But all eyes were on the Queen's granddaughter Zara Phillips when she arrived at Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile for her marriage to the England rugby player Mike Tindall.
Thousands lined the narrow city street hoping to catch a glimpse of Phillips, once considered a royal rebel due to her low-cut tops, daring miniskirts and tongue piercing. But as she stepped from the car outside the church she revealed an ivory silk faille and silk duchess satin gown by British and Edinburgh-trained designer Stewart Parvin.
The Queen also wore a Parvin outfit in apricot with matching straw hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan.
As the moment of the wedding drew near, royals began arriving from the nearby Palace of Holyroodhouse. As they stepped from their chauffeur-driven limousines they were welcomed by the Queen's pipe major, Derek Potter, who played a simple tune on the bagpipes.
Among the first to arrive were Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, followed by Prince Andrew and his daughters, Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie.
They were all cheered by the waiting crowds as they emerged from their cars, but the loudest roar was reserved for Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, as well as Prince Harry. As William and the former Kate Middleton walked into the church they acknowledged the crowd with a brief wave.
The last of the senior royals to arrive were Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, who again were cheered loudly by the thousands camped behind crash barriers.
The couple were soon followed by the Queen and Prince Philip, who received an enormous roar from the well-wishers, which was acknowledged by both of them with a short wave before they were greeted, like all members of the royal family attending the service, by the Rev Neil Gardner, presiding over the service.
The mother of the bride, Princess Anne, and her husband Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence arrived just before this group to take their places in the church. All the royal men were dressed in morning suits, while the women wore stylish gowns.
Some of the most famous names from English rugby were also in attendance, reflecting Mike Tindall's standing in the game as a former captain. Current national coach Martin Johnson stepped off one of the many buses taking guests to the ceremony. Johnson strolled into the grounds of the church, pausing to shake the hands of friends and colleagues he spotted just outside the building's entrance.
His predecessor Sir Clive Woodward was also on the guest list, along with Zara's godfather, former Formula One racing champion Sir Jackie Stewart.
Unlike William and Kate Middleton's ceremony in April, the service was not broadcast on television, and crowds gathering in Edinburgh were told by police there would be little for them to see. However, the prospect of a brief glimpse of the royal family was enough to entice hundreds to Scotland, including a few dozen people who camped overnight to win a front row view.
Tindall, 32, proposed to Phillips, 30, in December at their £800,000 regency townhouse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, after they had been together for the previous seven years. The England rugby star staged his stag do in Miami while Zara – one of Britain's leading equestrian competitors – held her hen party at a spa in Portugal.
Phillips and Tindall hosted a glitzy cocktail party late on Friday for relatives and guests aboard the former royal yacht Britannia, which they had hired for the occasion. But the party was a rare moment of public glamor for the usually down to earth Phillips, who will celebrate with a private wedding reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the queen's official home in Scotland.
The couple are known for putting their devotion to sport ahead of their celebrity, and plan to postpone their honeymoon as both are due to feature in major events next week the bride in horse trials, and the groom in England's rugby international against Wales. Phillips also plans to continue to use her maiden name when she competes.