Papal convoy greeted by crowds

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The Independent Online

Crowds of well-wishers gathered on the streets of the Scottish capital today as a motorcade whisked Pope Benedict XVI through the city centre on his way to meet the Queen.

The convoy of more than a dozen vehicles, with a heavy police presence, sped past onlookers as it made its way from Edinburgh Airport to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The passengers were hidden behind tinted windows while people cheered and waved Scottish flags.

Sister Francis, who travelled to the city with members of the Carmelite Monastery in Fife, was one of tens of thousands expected on the streets.

She said the visit will help bring faiths together and added: "I'm very excited and very privileged to be able to come and welcome and support him.

"I think it will be a blessing, whether people know it or not. It will improve relations between Church and state and between other religions."

The Pope will retrace his route along Princes Street in the famous Popemobile later.

He is then due to join Cardinal Keith O'Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, for a private lunch at his official residence in the Morningside area of the city.