Royal wedding fever took hold at Scone Palace in Perthshire at the weekend as thousands of visitors to the historic visitor attraction witnessed a marriage proposal with a difference.
Crowds had flocked to the crowning place of the Kings of Scots to witness the International Medieval Combat Federation (IMCF) World Championships. As swords were downed after four days of intense medieval fighting, American Blanca Rand seized the moment at the closing ceremony on the Palace steps.
Proving that times have changed since medieval days, Blanca knelt before her very own knight, participant Andrew Dionne, and popped the question. Andrew, whose USA team had just taken gold in the 16 v 16 competition, said yes, to cheers from thousands of spectators and fellow competitors.
The couple, from Washington D.C., were among hundreds of competitors and their supporters from 31 countries to take part in a series of sword- and axe-wielding battles as the Championships came to Scotland - the first time the U.K. has hosted. Teams travelled from all over the world, including the USA, Mexico, Quebec and China, to participate. Scone Palace welcomed thousands of visitors over four days to experience the unique and highly competitive ancient sport.
Blanca said: "Scone Palace is a beautiful place and such a romantic setting, so it made sense to propose - especially just days before the Royal Wedding. I was inspired by the power of all the females taking part in the tournament so I asked Lady Mansfield of Scone Palace for permission to propose to Andrew. With thousands of people watching, thank goodness he said yes!"
Stephen Brannigan, Head of House Opening at Scone Palace, said: "Scone Palace and its grounds are a popular wedding venue, but I can honestly say this is our first 21st century knight proposal! It was a touching and lovely end to the event, seeing Blanca and Andrew's special moment take place on our very own steps."