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Queen Visits, Sun Shines, People Weep, Republicans Faint

Kevin Benson gets amongst the loyal and not so loyal subjects

Published on March 27th 2012.


Queen Visits, Sun Shines, People Weep, Republicans Faint

CONFIDENTIAL was on hand as thousands celebrated the Queen’s visit to Manchester on Friday. We joined in the throngs at Albert Square.

“Word’s cannot describe how it feels to have met the Queen. It was absolutely awesome.”

Here, the Queen visited Manchester Town Hall to unveil the Jubilee Garden, designed by a group of elderly citizens labelled Manchester Diamonds.

Many people had been there since 9am on Friday morning, setting up their camp chairs by the railings in order to get the best view possible for the Queen’s early afternoon visit.

Barbara Kelly, 72 from Beswick in Manchester has seen the Queen many times and proudly admitted that she is a big royalist.

She said: “The Queen does everything for us, where would we be without her?”

On a bright day and using the shadow cast by the statue of John Bright as shade, British legion member Mr Oates said: “All the standards (flags) and the Legionaries have come to take part in a parade for the Queen.”

Mr Oates served with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers from 1963 to 1979. He said it was “fantastic” that the Queen had come to the city though he felt that people had mixed feelings when it came to the Royal Family, adding that “some like it, and some don’t.”

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Hannah Wilde, 27, from Stockport also spoke of her feelings about the Queen’s visit to Manchester: “I think it’s fantastic that the Queen recognises that it is such a good place to be.”

The group, Republic, came to the Square as well but not to celebrate. Ray Evans, north-west co-ordinator for the group explained: “We are here to voice the opinion of 25 per cent of the population who are actively pro-republic and say that sixty years of one continuous head of state is no cause for celebration.”

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Following her visit to Salford Quays and the Manchester Eye Hospital, the Queen arrived at the Town Hall shortly before 1pm.

The crowd waved and cheered as the Queen emerged from her limousine to be greeted by the Lord Mayor of Manchester, Harry Lyons, and the other dignitaries. She turned to wave briefly to the crowd before entering the building for lunch with the invited guests.

At 2.45pm the Queen emerged from the building to meet with members of the public and to inspect the Jubilee Garden.

One enthusiastic fan, William Kendall, 22, had heard about the Queen’s visit and rushed to buy her some flowers hoping she would accept them off him if he got a chance to meet her.

His wish came true. He said: “Word’s cannot describe how it feels to have met the Queen. It was absolutely awesome.”

He added: “If you think there shouldn’t be a monarchy in this country then move out it because the monarchy is going nowhere.”

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Mr Kendall felt that Prince William should become king instead of Prince Charles when the Queen’s time is up because of the argument that a monarch shouldn’t be a divorcee. He said “I think it should be passed down to William.”

Once the Queen had left the square, the garden was officially open to members of the public to get a closer look at its features, including its central piece, a throne carved from a fallen beech tree from Wythenshawe park.

The sculpture was crafted by brothers Tim and Andrew Burgess from Knutsford. They were approached six weeks ago by Manchester City Council to make a lump of wood into a throne. 

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Andy Burgess said: “Whenever someone has a much loved tree that has to come down, we carve the stump and sculpt it into whatever they want.”

Tim Burgess was clearly delighted with being part of the occasion: “To be picked to be in the line-up as well to actually meet her and chat to her was brilliant.”

He added: “I don’t think either could believe that she was actually coming over to us really when we had seen her all our lives and then she was actually going to come and talk to us.”

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Dave FinnMarch 27th 2012.

Didn't this happen on Friday?

This isn't 'news'... it's 'olds'.

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