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Shakespeare's 400th Anniversary

Shakespeare’s birthplace saw crowds of thousands gather to celebrate the playwright’s legacy on the 400th anniversary of his death.

A parade through Stratford upon Avon was attended by more than 10,000 people paying homage to the Bard , who was born and died on April 23.

Later, the celebrations will gain the royal seal of approval with Prince Charles touring the writer’s former home and his graveside at Stratford’s Holy Trinity Church.

He will then be joined by the Duchess of Cornwall for a special televised gala performance at the town’s Royal Shakespeare Theatre, featuring David Tennant, Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Judi Dench.

The parade featured civic dignitaries, schoolchildren, musicians and performers, and a centrepiece ceremony with the unfurling of a birthday flag bearing the writer’s image.

The crowds were asked to play their parts by tossing sprigs of rosemary “for remembrance”, as the Bard wrote in Hamlet, as a funeral bier of flowers was pulled through the town’s streets.

Visitors then donned thousands of Shakespeare face masks which had been handed out by local school children.

Check out some of the scenes from Stratford upon Avon.

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