By Geoff Berkeley 13/07 Updated: 13/07 11:58
DROITWICH’s MP Peter Luff and Wychavon District Council chairman Coun Richard Morris were among those who welcomed the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to Worcester for the first time in over a decade.
Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were greeted with loud cheers from patriotic well-wishers as they arrived to officially open The Hive just before noon on Wednesday (July 11).
The Royal couple's visit, which also included lunch at the Guildhall and a special service at Worcester Cathedral, was organised as part of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tour.
After waving to the crowds who braved the rain showers in the Butts, Her Majesty, who was wearing a pale pink coat and matching hat, and Prince Phillip, were met by a number of dignitaries outside the main entrance to the £60million library and history centre.
The Queen was taken on a tour of the ground floor, while the Duke enjoyed a look around level three of the building.
Her Majesty was taken to the children's library where she met the county's young Poet Laureate Rowan Standish-Hayes, who was leading a summer reading challenge.
She then moved on to the story pit to watch the Books Alive performance by St Clement’s Primary School and Worcester Sixth Form College.
As well as meeting local artists she also spoke to school children who were constructing a giant jigsaw to bring to life a terrace of old Almshouses which once stood on the site of The Hive.
Prof David Green, vice chancellor of the University of Worcester, then invited the Queen to unveil a plaque to mark the official opening.
As she left she was presented with a small bouquet of flowers by 106-year-old Alice Potter, from Fernhill Heath, who realised her lifetime dream of meeting the Queen.
County council lead Adrian Hardman, who joined her for part of the tour, said: "Her Majesty is just the easiest person to deal with. She engaged with the people and she took it as being a real community event."
The Royal party then made their way by car through a sea of well-wishers to the Guildhall where they met about 100 volunteers and charity workers who have made an outstanding contribution to the community.
The Queen and Duke then enjoyed a two course lunch which included fresh asparagus and pancetta wrapped free range chicken breast, in the company of civic dignitaries and other invited guests.
Worcester MP Robin Walker said: "It was very exciting to see so many people turn out and brave the rain. It was a thoroughly positive event, both in terms of celebrating the Jubilee but also celebrating a number of local charities."
Those who had waited patiently in the rain for a glimpse of the couple were finally rewarded as they re-emerged from the Guildhall after lunch in warm July sunshine to greet the crowds packing the High Street.
Children presented the Queen with flowers while the Duke joked with members of the crowd.
The visit drew to a close with a special service at Worcester Cathedral where the Royal couple listened to a reading of A Celebration of Worcestershire.
The service included a rousing rendition of Land of Hope and Glory, composed by Sir Edward Elgar, before drawing to a close with the national anthem.
The Queen also unveiled a plaque to honour those who had contributed to the restoration of Cathedral over the past quarter of a century before bidding a final farewell to the city.
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