The Queen in Herts: Pictures of Elizabeth II's Royal visits to Hertfordshire over the years

The Queen arrives at Hatfield House in June 2012.

The Queen arrives at Hatfield House in June 2012. - Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant

Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth II has died aged 96, Buckingham Palace has announced.  

A statement from Buckingham Palace read: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon. The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

The longest reigning monarch in British history made a number of Royal visits to Hertfordshire during her 70-year reign.

Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, St Albans, Hitchin, Knebworth, and the Royal Veterinary College near Brookmans Park are just some of the places in Herts the monarch visited during her time on the throne. 

She also spent time as a princess at St Paul's Walden Bury, at the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

A young Princess Elizabeth and younger sister Margaret are even pictured playing in the sandpit at the estate.

Princes Elizabeth - now Queen Elizabeth II - in St Paul's Walden, near Hitchin, where her mother was christened

Then Princes Elizabeth in St Paul's Walden, near Hitchin. - Credit: Hitchin Museum/Archant

Here's pictures from just a few of the Queen's many official engagements in the county over the past 70 years.


Welwyn Garden City

Queen Elizabeth II visits the QEII Hospital - nurses line up. Item from Mill Green Museum archive.

Nurses line up to welcome the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the QEII Hospital in 1963. - Credit: Mill Green Museum archive.

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Her Majesty the Queen visited Welwyn Garden City in July 1963 for the official opening of the borough's hospital named after her.

Queen Elizabeth II was accompanied by then Minister of Health, Enoch Powell.

This was a 'Red Letter Day' for the town, and many companies closed to allow their staff to watch. Roads around the new hospital were packed by the crowds who had turned out to greet her.

Queen Elizabeth II unveiling a commemorative stone to mark the official opening of the QEII Hospital in 1963

Queen Elizabeth II unveiling a commemorative stone to mark the official opening of the QEII Hospital, Welwyn Garden City, on 22nd July 1963. - Credit: Image from the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive.

Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald souvenir front page of the Queen's visit to open the QE2 Hospital

Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald souvenir front page of the Queen's visit to open the QE2 Hospital - Credit: Archant

A lady shared her memory of what happened next with WGC Heritage Trust.

“A select few wives of consultants and GPs were allowed viewing space in what was the Outpatient Department overlooking the front of the building, beautifully planted with Masquerade roses – very fashionable at the time.

Crowds of people greet the Queen as she arrives to open the QE2 Hospital

Crowds of people greet the Queen as she arrives to open the QE2 Hospital in Welwyn Garden City in 1963. - Credit: Archant

The Queen at the hospital

The Queen at the opening of the QE2 Hospital - Credit: Archant

"It was a beautiful day, warm and golden with sunshine. We looked at Her Majesty with some interest. One of the young GPs among us proclaimed: 'The Queen’s pregnant – she’s wearing elastic stockings.' 

"A number of us were pregnant at the time so were well tuned into her condition. We felt a certain sympathy with her discomfort whilst also admiring her dedication to duty. A few weeks later the announcement came from the Palace that the Queen was with child – Prince Edward to be. We at the opening ceremony already knew.”

The Welwyn Times and Hatfield Herald newspapers printed a special supplement in colour to mark the occasion, which included some charming pictures of the Queen meeting patients and staff.

Queen Elizabeth II visit to open the new Welwyn Hatfield Hospital - Welwyn Times souvenir cover for

Queen Elizabeth II visit to open the new Welwyn Hatfield Hospital, Welwyn Times souvenir cover for the 26th July 1963 issue. - Credit: Image from the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive. Copyright Welwyn Times.

Queen Elizabeth II's visit to open the QEII Hospital, as featured in the Welwyn Times souvenir issue from 26th July 1963.

Queen Elizabeth II's visit to open the QEII Hospital, as featured in the Welwyn Times souvenir issue from 26th July 1963. - Credit: Image from the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive. Copyright Welwyn Times.

Queen Elizabeth II's visit to open the new hospital in Welwyn Garden City in 1963.

Queen Elizabeth II's visit to open the new hospital in Welwyn Garden City. Page 3 of the Welwyn Times souvenir from the 26th July 1963 issue. - Credit: Image from the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive. Copyright Welwyn Times.

Queen Elizabeth II visit to open the new QEII Hospital in WGC. Page 4 of the Welwyn Times souvenir from July 26, 1963

Queen Elizabeth II visit to open the new QEII Hospital in WGC. Page 4 of the Welwyn Times souvenir from the 26th July 1963 issue. - Credit: Image from the Welwyn Garden City Heritage Trust archive. Copyright Welwyn Times.

The QEII Hospital that the Queen opened has now been demolished and replaced with the much smaller The New QEII Hospital on the same site.


Hatfield

The Queen arrives at Hatfield House in 2012.

The Queen arrives at Hatfield House in 2012. - Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant

For the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, celebrating 60 years on the throne, the monarch paid an official visit to Hatfield House as part of a tour of Hertfordshire.

Greeted by Lord Salisbury, the Queen planted an oak tree in Hatfield Park on June 14, 2012 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.

The Queens greets well wishers

The Queens greets well wishers on her visit to Hatfield House in 2012. Alongside her is Lord Salisbury. - Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant

The Queen meets guests at a drinks reception at Hatfield House.

The Queen meets guests at a drinks reception at Hatfield House. - Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant

A crowd of around 2,000 including schoolchildren and teachers and waiting dignitaries thronged Hatfield Park eager to catch a glimpse of the monarch.

Following the tree planting. Her Majesty was presented with flowers by pupils from three different primary schools – St Philip Howard in Hatfield, Essendon, and St Mary’s in Welham Green.

The Marquess of Salisbury and the Queen by her Diamond Jubilee tree in 2012.

The Marquess of Salisbury and the Queen by her Diamond Jubilee tree in 2012. - Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant

The Queen meets guests at a drinks reception at Hatfield House in June 2012.

The Queen meets guests at a drinks reception at Hatfield House in June 2012. - Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant

Following the outside engagement, she then headed to a more intimate drinks reception at Hatfield House, which proudly flew the Royal Standard to mark her presence.


Hitchin

During her 2012 Diamond Jubilee visit to Herts, the Queen also journeyed to Hitchin.

She was reportedly moved to tears by the reception which the residents of Hitchin gave her.

Queen stepping of the train in Hitchin

Queen stepping of the train in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

Her Majesty with her entourage travelled into the town by train.

In a procession, her cars travelled along Walsworth Road and down Hermitage Road, where the Queen was greeted by crowds in the Market Square.

The Queen meets schoolchildren in Hitchin

The Queen meets schoolchildren in Hitchin - Credit: Archant

From Hitchin, the Queen then visited Stevenage and Lister Hospital.


Royal Veterinary College, North Mymms

A black and white image of the Queen unveiling a plaque.

The Queen opened a field station for the Royal Veterinary College in 1959. - Credit: Royal Veterinary College

The Hawkshead Campus of the Royal Veterinary College, between Brookmans Park and Potters Bar, was officially opened in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II.

She visited what was then a field station for the college, part of the University of London, on April 20, 1959.

Following the Queen's visit, the RVC's bursar at the time sent a letter thanking staff for their hard work in getting the Hawkshead Lane site ready.

A letter sent to the Royal Vet College on behalf of the Queen following her visit to the field station in 1959.

A letter sent to the Royal Veterinary College on behalf of the Queen following her visit to the field station in 1959. - Credit: Alan Davies

The letter also included a message from the Queen's Private Secretary to the college's principal which read: "Her Majesty has told me to send you her thanks and to ask you to let everyone concerned with the College know how much she appreciated their welcome and how greatly interested she was in everything that they had to show her.

"The Queen believes that your students cut short their vacation in order to be there; if this was so, she hopes you will tell them that she was deeply touched by their doing so and that she was delighted to see them.

"Her Majesty sends her best wishes for the future of the new Station which she opened and for all who work for it; if their labours are as effective as the arrangement for her visit, she has no fear for their success." 

Her Majesty holding a small statue of Eclipse, a horse.

The Queen was presented with a statue of Eclipse on her visit to the Royal Veterinary Hospital - Credit: Royal Veterinary Hospital

The Queen returned to the RVC's campus in North Mymms in October 2003 with Prince Philip for the opening of the new 'Eclipse' Building.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II watches a horse on a treadmill during a visit to The Royal Veterinary C

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II watches a horse on a treadmill during a visit to The Royal Veterinary College in Hertfordshire. - Credit: PA

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II walks past a horse on a treadmill.

Queen Elizabeth II visited the Royal Veterinary College, in Hawkshead Lane, near Hatfield in 2003. - Credit: PA


Stevenage

Stevenage Queen's visit

The Queen officially opened Stevenage New Town in 1959 - Credit: Stevenage Museum

The Queen made a visit to Stevenage in 1959, six years after her Coronation. 

The Queen came to Stevenage in 1959

The Queen came to Stevenage in 1959 - Credit: Stevenage Museum

She officially opened the new town and visited Wilgram Way and Longmeadow School during her visit, much to the excitement of schoolchildren and families across the town. 

Queen Elizabeth II visits Stevenage in 1959. Photo: Stevenage Museum

Queen Elizabeth II visits Stevenage in 1959 - Credit: Stevenage Museum

Queen Elizabeth II visiting a new home during her visit of Stevenage New Town, Hertfordshire.

Queen Elizabeth II visiting a new home during her visit of Stevenage New Town, Hertfordshire. - Credit: PA

Queen Elizabeth II visiting the factory of English Electric Aviation Ltd during her tour of Stevenag

Queen Elizabeth II visited the factory of English Electric Aviation Ltd during her tour of Stevenage New Town in 1959. - Credit: PA

The Queen also visited the factory of English Electric Aviation Ltd during her tour of Stevenage New Town.

Her Majesty can be seen wearing a jacket, scarf, hat and gloves in front of a Thunderbird surface-to-air missile.

The Queen returned to Stevenage in 2003, when she visited North Hertfordshire College.

The Queen at North Hertfordshire College in Stevenage

The Queen meets Jenna Currell (left), from Stevenage, and Sasha Archer, both with red noses for Comic Relief Day at North Hertfordshire College in Stevenage where the Queen saw a new cyber cafe during a day of visits to Hertfordshire. - Credit: PA

Queen Elizabeth II meets Lenny the guide dog and owner Jenny Revell, at North Hertfordshire College in Stevenage

Queen Elizabeth II meets Lenny the guide dog and owner Jenny Revell, at North Hertfordshire College in Stevenage, where the Queen toured a new cyber cafe during a day of visits to Hertfordshire. She started her day with a tour of St Albans Cathedral. - Credit: PA

She also came to Herts in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee tour of the county.

Thousands turned out on the day to catch a glimpse of the Queen. During her 2012 visit she officially opened the new maternity unit at Lister Hospital. 

The Queen shakes hands with Nick Carver, chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Tru

The Queen shakes hands with Nick Carver, then chief executive of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, during her visit to Lister Hospital in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Proud mums show off their newborn babies to the Queen

Proud mums show off their newborn babies to the Queen - Credit: Archant

The Queen also met the mothers of new-born children at the new Lister maternity unit.

Crowds at Lister Hospital await the Queen's arrival

Stevenage schoolchildren eagerly awaited the Queen's arrival to Lister Hospital in 2012 - Credit: Archant



Knebworth

With Queen and Prince Philip at Knebworth Park

With Queen and Prince Philip at Knebworth Park in 2003. - Credit: Knebworth House

The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Knebworth House in 2003.

It was Prince Philip's last visit to the Hertfordshire estate.


St Albans

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh after the Maundy Thursday service at St Albans Abbey, H

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh at the Maundy Thursday service at St Albans Abbey in 1957 - Credit: PA

On April 18, 1957, the Queen and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited St Albans Abbey for the traditional Maundy service.

This was the first time since her Coronation in 1953 that the Queen had distributed Maundy money outside of London.


Borehamwood

Queen Elizabeth II with Barbara Windsor during her visit to BBC Elstree where the famous British so

Queen Elizabeth II with Barbara Windsor during her visit to BBC Elstree where the famous British soap opera EastEnders is filmed. Picture: Fiona Hanson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

In 2001, the Queen visited The Queen Vic pub during a tour of the EastEnders set at BBC Elstree Centre in Borehamwood.

She was pictured there with showbiz royalty, Barbara Windsor, who played Peggy Mitchell in the BBC One soap.

Queen Elizabeth also strolled around Albert Square and through the EastEnders street market, meeting stars of the show.


Berkhamsted

 Queen Elizabeth II, during a visit toBerkhamsted School in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, as part of

Queen Elizabeth II, during a visit to Berkhamsted School in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, as part of the school's 475th anniversary celebrations. - Credit: PA Images

On May 6, 2016, Queen Elizabeth II returned to Hertfordshire to celebrate the 475th anniversary of Berkhamsted School.

The trip marked the first visit from a reigning monarch at the school.

Dressed in pink, The Queen inspected a line of cadets from the school's Combined Cadet Force.

The Queen stands on a podium, overlooking the pupils.

Queen Elizabeth II at Berkhamsted School. - Credit: Adam Hollier / Berkhamsted School

Letchworth

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II paid a number of visits to the first garden city during her reign, as well documented by the Garden City Collection.

Crowds waiting for Queen Elizabeth II at North Herts Leisure Centre in 1982

Crowds waiting for Queen Elizabeth II at North Herts Leisure Centre in 1982 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

In 1982, she visited Letchworth to officially open the North Herts Leisure Centre where she was met by residents and children representing the schools and youth groups in the town.

Queen Elizabeth II opened North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth in 1982

Queen Elizabeth II opened North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth in 1982 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

The Queen visits Letchworth in 1993

The Queen visits Letchworth in 1993 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

She returned again in 1993, In 1993 to open sheltered housing at Tabor Court and new houses around Beech Hill.

Queen Elizabeth II opened Tabor Court and Valley Road development in Letchworth, 1993

Queen Elizabeth II opened Tabor Court and Valley Road development in Letchworth, 1993 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

She graciously met hundreds of gathered residents, Brownies, Scouts and Cubs before unveiling the plaque and officially opening the housing.

Queen Elizabeth II opened Tabor Court and Beech Hill development in Letchworth, July 30,1993

Queen Elizabeth II opened Tabor Court and Beech Hill development in Letchworth, July 30,1993 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

Her Majesty the Queen met members of the public in Letchworth during the opening of Tabor Court in Letchworth, 1993

Her Majesty the Queen met members of the public in Letchworth during the opening of Tabor Court in Letchworth, 1993 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation

The Garden City Collection archives also has some photographs of the Queen with her children at Balmoral - pushing a Letchworth-made Marmet pram in 1961.

Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Philip, then Prince Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew in a Letchworth-made Marmet pram, 1961 - Credit: © Garden City Collection Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation