LIVE FROM GIBRALTAR: National Day underway as Picardo delivers rousing speech and Queen sends ‘best wishes’

Live report from Gibraltar National Day with Fabian Picardo and a message from the Queen

LAST UPDATED: 10 Sep, 2015 @ 14:50

UP, UP AND AWAY: Balloons released into the sky after Picardo’s speech

‘GIBRALTAR is red, white and free’ echoed around Casemates Square this afternoon as Chief Minister Fabian Picardo delivered a rip-roaring speech to kick-start Gibraltar National Day.

The crowd – a sea of red and white – packed out the square to listen to Picardo’s speech, as well as that of other politicians.

He even produced a letter from Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace, wishing the Rock ‘best wishes’ on its day of celebration. In return, the crowds roared ‘congratulations Elizabeth’, in honour of her recently becoming the longest-serving British monarch ever.

Picardo announced: “Our national day will never ever be diminished. In fact, it will only get bigger.

“We are the only masters of the rock of Gibraltar, and today is the day we celebrate our national identity.

“We stand together, red white and free!” he finished.

RIP-ROARING: Picardo reaffirms Gibraltar's right to self-determination
RIP-ROARING: Picardo reaffirms Gibraltar’s right to self-determination

In the run-up the the Chief Minister’s speech, various other politician’s from Britian delivered addresses based on the theme of Gibraltarian self-determination. The stand-out performer was Andrew Rosindell, Conservative MP for Romford, who told the crowd: “The people of Gibraltar are a part of the Great British family.

“We will never ever concede an inch of the Rock to Spain.”

Following the speeches, the traditional releasing of the balloons – which has caused controversy in recent years – took place.

Then, as the crowds gazed up at the red and white speckled sky, Tina Turner’s Simply the best began to blast through the sound system, raising the Rock to its feet.

To find out how what the Olive Press’s Tom Powell makes of his very first Gibraltar National Day, pick up the first issue of the Olive Press Gibraltar on Wednesday 16 September…


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