VIDEO: The Queen opens the Queensferry Crossing

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HM The Queen has officially opened the new Queensferry Crossing with a ribbon cutting ceremony today.

The Queen opened the new £1.35 billion bridge 53 years to the day that she performed the same duty on the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge.

She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip.

The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland Dr Derek Browning, engineers who worked on the bridge and two project directors David Climie and Michael Martin were also in attendance.

The Queen received a posy from Michael’s granddaughter Elizabeth Rose Martin. She spoke to children from local schools before the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland delivered the blessing of the new crossing.

The Queen then cut the ribbon before the Red Arrows flew past and sounds and klaxons could be heard from the Flotilla on the Forth.

The Royal Party were drove from the South to the North side where Her Majesty unveiled a plaque officially declaring the Crossing open.

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.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “This crossing is the tallest bridge in the UK. It has required 150,000 tonnes of concrete, 23,000 miles of steel cabling and 19 million hours of labour.

“But, far more important than those statistics are the benefits this bridge will bring. It will improve journey times, and bring benefits to families and businesses – not just in Fife and the Lothians, but across Scotland.

“It is already attracting global attention. 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.”

Dr Browning said: “It is a tremendous privilege to be involved in this wonderful event. Bridges connect and span divides. Bridges make communication possible.

“Bridges are symbols of inclusion and hope. May God bless this Queensferry Crossing and all who travel on it.”

The Crossing was opened to vehicles last Wednesday before closing to allow 50,000 visitors the chance to walk across it over the weekend.

On Tuesday, 10,000 more people made up of local school pupils and commnuity groups will get the “once in a lifetime opportunity” to do the bridge walk before the Crossing is reopened to traffic and made into a motorway with no pedestrian access from September 7.

Red Arrows fly over new bridge. Picture: Words and Picture

Red Arrows fly over new bridge. Picture: Words and Picture