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WE'RE NOT AMUSED BY JUBILEE TOUR SNUB; No-show angers Highland city.

Byline: KEITH McLEOD EXCLUSIVE

THE Highlands' capital is at the centre of a royal snub row.

People in Inverness have been left out in the cold after the Queen decided to by-pass the city on her Jubilee Tour.

They have been left feeling paranoid because the Queen is visiting the five other Scottish cities.

Her tour began in Glasgow, where she was greeted by Lord Provost Alex Mosson and First Minister Jack McConnell .

Then it was on to Stirling, Scotland's newest city, before arriving in Edinburgh. Aberdeen and Dundee will also feature.

But yesterday there was growing disquiet in Inverness, home to around a third of Highlanders.

The royal party was due to begin a new leg of the tour today taking the Queen to Portree, Stornoway and Wick.

Tomorrow it travels to Aberdeen - but misses out Inverness on the way.

Last night, a source close to Highland Council said: "It is viewed as a snub by people in the city.

"The Queen could not make it when city status was conferred on us, either. We are beginning to get a royal brush-off complex."

Independent councillor Roderick Balfour added: "Inverness is the capital of the Highlands and most people are surprised that a visit to Inverness is not on the royal tour.

"I'm am not saying there is a conspiracy against us or anything, but clearly there is some disquiet in the city."

Labour councillor Clive Goodman said: "It is a shame that the Queen will not be coming here.

"For that reason I do not believe that there is much planned in terms of council-led Jubilee celebrations."

The Rev William Henderson said: "We are one of the fastest-growing urban areas in Europe.

"The Queen did not come here to mark city status and now we are snubbed again.

"It would be hard to miss out Inverness on the way from Wick to Aberdeen, but somehow the royal party has managed this."

But council convener David Green said: "Her Majesty is visiting Skye and Wick, two places she can rarely have visited in the Highlands, and that is excellent news for these areas.

"She has been to Inverness often and I am sure she will visit in the future."

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "Royal visits are normally decided on the basis of when the last visit was. Her Majesty has visited Inverness recently.

"There are places in the south of England that are disappointed she is not visiting, but the Queen cannot be everywhere all of the time.

"It is just coincidence that Inverness is the only Scottish city which is not on the tour."

The Queen's tour went on yesterday as she took part in the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland's service in Edinburgh's St Giles Cathedral.

She was greeted by McConnell and joined more than 750 people from all walks of life at the service.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 27, 2002
Words:480
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