GALLERY: Dignitaries welcome the Queen to Hitchin

THOUSANDS of people turned out to welcome the Queen as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour.

On Thursday (today) Her Majesty travelled to Hitchin on the royal train.

She arrived at Hitchin train station at 10.33am where she was met by MP for Hitchin, Peter Lilley amongst other dignitaries.

Following this, the Queen made her way to Hitchin Market Square where crowds cheered as she met shopkeepers and saw a presentation by young school children.

The Queen was dressed in a lilac double wool crepe shift coat and a lilac, green and yellow floral print dress designed by Stewart Parvin. Her matching hat was designed by Rachel Trevor-Morgan.

She was welcomed by her cousin, Sir Simon Bowes-Lyon, and his wife, Caroline, who live at St Paul’s Waldenbury.

The Queen was presented with a gift from the people of Hitchin, which included lavender oil from the fields of Hitchin.

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The lavender oil was presented on a bed of flowers representing some of the businesses and organisations in the local area. Other items were from Harkness Roses, The William Ransom Hitchin Physic Garden, The Triangle Community Garden and Hitchin and Letchworth Garden Hospice.

Her Majesty presented the volunteers at the British Schools Museum The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award for volunteer groups in the UK.

The Queen handed the award to 80-year-old Yvonne Limbrick, schools programme manager.

Mrs Limbrick, who has worked with the museum since retiring as headteacher of Hexton Primary School in 1995, was joined by 19 other volunteers from the museum who were all dressed in Victorian costume.

Mrs Limbrick said: “It has been a wonderful experience and receiving the award from the Queen herself is a real honour.”

On leaving Hitchin, Her Majesty was whisked off to Lister Hospital, in Stevenage where she officially opened the new maternity ward.

Following her visit to the Comet country, she continued her tour by heading several miles south to Hatfield House.

The Queen was due to be accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh but he could not make the visit due to his health.

A spokesman from Buckingham Palace said: “The Duke of Edinburgh will be continuing with his convalescence at home.”

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