Fit for a Queen! A look back at Stevenage's royal visits

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

Queen Elizabeth II officially opened Stevenage new town in 1959 - Credit: Stevenage Museum

Since the official opening of Stevenage new town in 1959 by Queen Elizabeth II, we have had the honour of welcoming royalty on a number of occasions.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip

Stevenage Queen's visit

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

The Queen made a visit to Stevenage New Town 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

She returned in 2012 during her Diamond Jubilee tour.


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Thousands turned out to Lister Hospital to catch a glimpse of the Queen - where she was to official open the new Diamond Jubilee maternity unit.

Proud mums show off their newborn babies to the Queen

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

She also visited Lonsdale School, where the pupils presented her with flowers.

The Queen receives flowers and cards from children at Lonsdale School in Stevenage

The Queen receives flowers and cards from children at Lonsdale School in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

Crowds at Lister Hospital await the Queen's arrival

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

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The late Prince Philip also visited the town in 2012, where he took a tour of the Business and Technology Centre - now home to the Comet - after initially cancelling a visit the previous July due to illness.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Mrs Jane Wentworth-Stanley

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Mrs Jane Wentworth-Stanley visited the Business Technology Centre in Stevenage in 2012 - Credit: Harry Hubbard

His visit to the Bessemer Drive building marked the launch of the My Incubator project for businesses. The Duke met with schoolchildren and entrepreneurs before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

The country was rocked by the Duke of Edinburgh's death earlier this year, including us in Stevenage, with many taking to social media to pay their condolences to the Queen. 

Princess Diana

Image: Alan Millard

Princess Diana visited Stevenage in 1988 - Credit: Alan Millard

The ‘Queen of Hearts’ Princess Diana visited us in 1988 to open Peartree clinic for measles, mumps and rubella immunisation in Hydean Way.

This was part of a national campaign for immunisation at the time.

Image: Alan Millard

Princess Diana opened Peartree clinic for measles, mumps and rubella immunisation in Hydean Way in 1988 - Credit: Alan Millard

The late great Comet photographer Alan Millard was the only photographer with access to follow the Princess that day.

The Princess was relaxed and friendly on her visit. Image: Alan Millard

The Princess was relaxed and friendly on her visit - Credit: Alan Millard

On the 20th anniversary of Princess Diana's death in 2017, Alan recalled that the Princess was relaxed and friendly as she greeted parents and sat in the clinic.

Image: Alan Millard

Princess Diana visited Stevenage as part of a a national campaign for immunisation against measles, mumps and rubella - Credit: Alan Millard

The 'People's Princess' was patron of the National Rubella Council until her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996.

Prince Charles

The Prince of Wales visited the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre at Shephalbury Manor with Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad of Jordan in 2013. 

HRH The Prince of Wales enjoys a joke

Princes Charles visited Stevenage in 2013 - Credit: Archant

Prince Charles and Prince Ghazi attended a brief service and met young people who volunteer for the church’s homeless ministry. 

HRH The Prince of Wales and Bishop Angaelos

HRH The Prince of Wales and Bishop Angaelos at The Coptic Orthodox Church in Stevenage - Credit: Archant

He was in Hertfordshire hearing concerns about the persecution of Christians in parts of the Middle East. At the time, the BBC reported that an "unnamed boy" had snapped a selfie with the Prince - and said he would "definitely keep it forever".

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