A SPARKLING couple from Largs were given a right royal surprise by their neighbours after missing out on a telegram from the Queen due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Joan and Robert Watson, both 84, could only celebrate their 60 years of marriage with a small social-distanced family gathering in their garden and were left disappointed by Buckingham Palace's current tact of only sending out 100th birthday cards.

But across the road, Maggie and Callum Smith made sure their Coronabears dressed up for occasion - holding a special wedding of their own to celebrate the couple's special day.

Daughter Nicola said: "It was a lovely thing to do and really brought a smile to their faces."

Joan moved to Largs when she as three at the outset of the Second World War while Robert moved down from Paisley in 1944.

As many couples did, Robert and Joan met at a dance at The Moorings ballroom and were married in St. Columba's Parish Church in Largs by the Reverend Baxter.

Robert went on to become a dairy farmer before working at Hunterston for 20 years as a health physics monitor while Joan was employed at Henderson's TV shop before working as a receptionist at the doctors' surgery in Largs.

Robert was also a volunteer for Largs Lifeboat while Joan is a keen bowler and bridge player.

They live in Glenacre Drive, with family close by including Nicola, who works at M&Co in Largs, and son David, who works for the Ministry of Defence. The Watsons have two grandchildren, Alex, 16, and Emma, 12, who are both pupils at Largs Academy.

Nicola said: "I asked my mum about the secret to a long marriage and she replied 'to give and take' and 'always live a quiet life'.

"We would have had a family celebration at the Brisbane House Hotel for the wider family in normal circumstances and mum was very upset that they didn't get a telegram from the Queen. However Buckingham Palace are only sending out 100th birthday cards at the moment and other anniversary cards are delayed. We have no indication yet when it will be received.

"Mum was very eager to get the card from the Queen, so I was very glad that the Coronabears - Hope and Sunshine - put on a good show for them on the day."

The Smiths have been celebrating the 'bear necessities' to give everyone a lift during these difficult times.

The couple have set up a giant teddy bear family in various poses to cheer people up during lockdown and thought it would be nice if Hope and Sunshine tied the knot on the Watsons' big day.

Maggie said: "It was actually their niece from Italy that contacted us about it so hopefully it was a nice surprise for Joan and Robert."