On a day bathed in sunshine, 25,000 walkers celebrated the opening of the Queensferry Crossing.
Pensioners joined excitable grandchildren and happy parents as people came from all over Scotland to walk across the bridge on Saturday.
Cowboys, a fancy-dress chicken and more than a few kilts were spotted among the throng as walkers set off to cross the Firth of Forth from 9.30am.
Isabel Cooper, 72, was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in January 2016, and went through two punishing rounds of chemotherapy in the months that followed.
Two weeks before a life-saving operation in August last year, she managed to walk the Forth Road Bridge as part of her bid to keep fighting-fit.
It was then she promised herself she’d cross the new one too, once her cancer had been beaten.
The grandmother, from Biggar, South Lanarkshire, told The Sunday Post: “We’ve watched it being built and coming together, and I said to myself I’d love to walk it.
“I just thought I’d like to do it, and that was the goal I set myself as I was getting better.
“I felt I had achieved something that day I walked across the Forth Road Bridge.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
The Queen will officially open the new crossing in a special ceremony today.
The event to unveil Britain’s tallest bridge is taking place exactly 53 years on from the day she opened the neighbouring Forth Road Bridge.
The Queen will be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, who is making his first official appearance alongside her since retiring from solo royal engagements last month.
Philip bid farewell to his own royal jobs at Buckingham Palace at the start of August but officials stressed that he may still accompany the Queen at her events from time to time.
During the ceremony the Queen will cut a ribbon and unveil a plaque to declare the £1.35 billion crossing formally open after six years of construction work.
The event is also expected to feature an address by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, a blessing by Church of Scotland Moderator the Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, a reading of a specially-commissioned poem and musical performances.
Speaking earlier about the ceremony, Ms Sturgeon said: “Importantly, this celebratory event will recognise the thousands of people who have been involved in the construction of the new bridge.
“The Queensferry Crossing is a symbol of a confident, forward-looking Scotland and – as well as providing a vital transport connection for many years to come – it is a truly iconic structure and a feat of modern engineering.”
The formal ceremony is the high point in a week of events marking the opening of the bridge, more than a decade after plans for it were drawn up.
On Monday of last week the crossing was illuminated by a night-time light show to reflect the symbolic handover of the bridge from the contractors to the Scottish Government.
The first cars drove over the structure in the early hours of Wednesday, with many of the motorists sounding their horns and blowing whistles as they crossed.
Sightseers eager to try out the crossing when daylight came then contributed to long delays on its first day of operation.
The bridge then closed again on Friday to allow 50,000 people the opportunity to take part in a “once in a lifetime” chance to walk over the bridge during the weekend, ahead of the royal opening event.
It will reopen to traffic on Thursday.
The 1.7-mile Queensferry Crossing – the longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge in the world – is the third structure connecting the Lothians and Fife and sits slightly to the west of the Forth road and rail bridges.
Construction of the trio, beginning with the world-heritage-status Forth Bridge in 1883, spans three centuries.
The need for a new bridge for vehicles emerged 13 years ago when inspections of the Forth Road Bridge’s (FRB) main cables uncovered a loss of strength.
Construction of the Queensferry Crossing began in 2011, with a variety of milestones marked along the way.
More than 10,000 people have worked on the site at some point, clocking up more than 13 million hours of work.
Around 24 million vehicles are expected to use the crossing each year, reducing the strain on the older road bridge.
The new bridge has a projected life of 120 years but could last for longer than that, experts believe.