The ninth British Commonwealth Games closed in Edinburgh on Saturday (July 25) with wild scenes of merriment from all 1,800 competitors from 41 nations gathered in Meadowbank Stadium.
The ninth British Commonwealth Games closed in Edinburgh on Saturday (July 25) with wild scenes of merriment from all 1,800 competitors from 41 nations gathered in Meadowbank Stadium. With Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne looking on, the athletes linked arms and danced around the track.
The stadium was the scene of happy pandemonium from the moment the first group of athletes entered for the traditional closing ceremony. For the first time competitors were grouped in their respective sports rather than by nation. The result was one of tremendous friendship.
All thoughts of formality were quickly dispelled as the leading men and women of sport from throughout the British Commonwealth turned the occasion into a wild, carefree party of farewell.
A capacity crowd of 300,000 roared their approval.
The only solemn moment came as a lone Scottish Piper played an air which signalled the lowering of the Ceremonial Games Flag.
Queen Elizabeth officially declared the Games closed. She called on the youth of the Commonwealth to "assemble in four years time in Christchurch, New Zealand, for the Tenth British Commonwealth Games".
As the Queen and Princess Anne drove from the Stadium in an open, horse-drawn carriage, the competitors, joined hands and sang the traditional song of farewell, "Auld Lang Syne".
With massed bands and pipe bands of Scottish Regiments assembled on the turf, which had been the home of the Games' Field Events, the exhuberent athletes marched away to the strains of "Will Ye No Come Back Again".