Zara and Mike boost Scottish tourism as they arrive for wedding rehearsal

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Zara and Mike boost Scottish tourism as they arrive for church rehearsalPA



Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall were all smiles as they arrived at Edinburgh's Canonbury Kirk this afternoon for a formal rehearsal ahead of their 30 July wedding.

The couple arrived in a chauffeur-driven Jaguar and were accompanied by Princess Anne, Zara's father Captain Mark Phillips and his second wife Sandy Pflueger, and Zara's brother Peter Phillips.

Crowds cheered as they arrived at the church, where final preparations are taking place.

Zara is staying at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh's city centre before the big day on Saturday.

The couple will exchange their vows in Edinburgh's Canongate Kirk in front of their families and friends in a private ceremony, but festivities begin tonight as the two host a cocktail party for family and friends on board the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The yacht served the Queen for 44 years, and is now permanently moored in the historic port of Leith, where it has become a tourist attraction.

The reception will be held right next to the church, in the palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish home of the Queen, who has offered the use of Holyrood house to her granddaughter as a wedding gift.

Zara and Mike boost Scottish tourism as they arrive for church rehearsalPA




The royal family, including the Queen and Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are all thought to be attending, while Tindall has invited some high-profile rugby pals.

Tomorrow's wedding may be small in comparison to the scale of the last royal wedding, which was watched by two billion people internationally, but it has been warmly welcomed by Scotland's tourism bosses.

Mike Cantlay, head of tourism agency VisitScotland, told Daily Mail: 'Tomorrow's wedding represents an absolutely wonderful showcase, not only for Edinburgh but for the whole of Scotland.

'The Royal Family and Scotland have enjoyed a relationship for hundreds of years, and tourism has become a natural partner.'

Tourist figures from VisitScotland for the Holyrood House, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Yacht Britannia, Glamis Castle and Balmoral Castle suggest a recent surge of interest in the Royal Family.

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