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The day the Queen came to Worcester
Buy this photo » VISIT: The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Hive (28084916)
THOUSANDS of people lined the streets yesterday as the Queen visited the Faithful City as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour.
The occasion marked the Queen’s first visit to Worcester in more than 10 years.
Following a visit to Hereford in the morning, the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Worcester just before noon – 15 minutes behind schedule – to officially open the Hive, the city’s new £60 million library and history centre.
Dressed in a Karl Ludwig pale pink tweed coat and dress and a matching hat from Angela Kelly, the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, was welcomed by a cheering crowd as she arrived in the Butts.
The Royal party was greeted by the deputy lieutenant of Worcestershire Angela Brinton and several civic dignitaries including His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, chancellor of the University of Worcester; vice chancellor Professor David Green; Bishop of Worcester Dr John Inge; Worcester MP Robin Walker; Mayor of Worcester Roger Berry; and Councillor Adrian Hardman, the leader of Worcestershire County Council.
Inside the building the Queen enjoyed a tour of the ground floor – taking in the new children’s library – while Prince Philip was taken to the third floor.
The Queen, escorted by the Duke of Gloucester and Coun Hardman, was taken to the summer reading challenge, where she was introduced to Worcestershire’s young poet laureate Rowan Standish-Haines.
The group then moved to the story pit, where Kathy Kirk, head of library services, explained some of the features of the library and then viewed a Books Alive performance by children from St Clement’s Primary in St John’s, Worcester.
She also met artists whose work is exhibited in the Hive and visited the council’s customer service Hub.
Following their tour, Prof Green welcomed the Queen to Worcester and invited her to unveil a plaque, marking the official opening of the Hive.
He said: “Your Majesty, today is a very special day for the people of Worcester and Worcestershire.
“We offer our sincerest thanks to you, ma’am, on the occasion of your visit to your Faithful City during this, your jubilee year.”
The Queen and Prince Philip then signed their names in the visitors’ book and on leaving the Hive, were presented with a posy by one of Worcestershire’s oldest residents, 106-year-old Alice Potter, who fulfilled a lifelong ambition to meet the Queen.
After their visit to the Hive, the royal couple were taken to Worcester’s Guildhall where they were greeted by a Guard of Honour provided by Worcester Yeomanry, complete with bayonets and rifles.
Once inside the historic Guildhall the pair attended a reception in the lower hall for 100 of the county’s ‘great and good’, who have made a local contribution to life in Worcester.
Upstairs in the Assembly Room the Queen and Prince Philip, along with 150 invited guests, enjoyed a two-course lunch of asparagus and chicken.
But they did not rest for long, after receiving a porcelain plate – specially designed by the Museum of Royal Worcester – by the Mayor of Worcester, they stepped out into a packed High Street to meet the people of the city.
The Guard of Honour as the Queen left the Guildhall was provided by Lord Lieutenant’s Cadets and representation of other Cadet Groups.
Once outside, the Queen and Duke were shown a tableau depicting Worcester’s heritage put together by schoolchildren from Fairfield Community, St George’s CE, Perrywood and St Barnabas primary schools.
The children had created designs based on Worcester’s heritage that had been transferred on to fabric and made up into glove bunting and rosettes by Kate Brookes, the WI and Age UK.
The area outside the Guildhall was set up like a 1950s tea party, with china, foods and flowers provided by the WI, Kate Brookes and Worcester Porcelain Museum.
Following a walkabout in the High Street where the Queen and Prince Philip greeted the waiting public, they were taken to Worcester Cathedral for a celebratory service.
The 25-minute service was attended by about 1,000 people including schoolchildren and unsung heroes who were nominated by readers of the Worcester News.
During the service, the royal couple listened to ‘A celebration of Worcester’ read by the Dean of Worcester, the Very Rev Peter Atkinson, Liz Grand – deputy chief executive of Worcester Live, who was selected to be part of the royal visit by the Dean – and Paul Thompson.
They also watched a dance sequence by Wireboyz, the Bishop Perowne College boys’ dance group.
A prayer was said by the Rev Canon Dr Georgina Byrne and Bishop John gave the blessing before the congregation sang God Save The Queen.
The Queen then unveiled a plaque by cathedral stonemason James Robinson before leaving the cathedral, marking the end of her extremely successful visit to Worcester.
• See Thursday's Worcester News for a 16-page Queen's Visit special.
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