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Warmest of welcomes for the Queen in York
9:36am Friday 6th April 2012 in Video
The Queen arrives at Micklegate Bar and is greeted by the historic Sigismund Sword before she enters the city flanked by Prince Philip and Lord Crathorne
MAXINE GORDON spent the morning among the traders and crowds of Micklegate as they prepared to welcome the Queen.
IT was an early start for Royal watchers eager to welcome the Queen to York.Vicky Cumberland, from Escrick, and her nine-year-old granddaughter, Evie, from Hemingbrough, were the first to arrive at Micklegate Bar, setting up their pitch at 5am, to be sure of a good view of the monarch and the Royal party making their traditional entrance to the city on foot.
Mrs Cumberland said: “I lived near the Bar in 1971 when the Queen visited and was pictured by the Evening Press holding my son, Nigel, who was two. I think the Queen is fantastic!”
Further down Micklegate, traders were putting the finishing touches to their premises.
Ray Neal, of tanning salon Sunshine, was cleaning his windows, which were already decorated in red, white and blue bunting.
He said: “It’s fantastic for the area, sometimes we get a bit neglected here in the north.”
From 7am, fellow trader Jayne Mason set up a stall outside her store, Fancy Dance Shop, selling wigs, hats and garlands in patriotic colours.
She said: “It’s great. What a lovely opportunity. We’re going to get our ladder out and a telescope and we will be able to see right up to Micklegate Bar.”
The pavements either side of the bar were packed with well-wishers, many waving Union flags. Some canny folk had climbed up on to the Bar walls for a bird’s-eye view, while residents in the flats above shops looked down on proceedings.
They were entertained in medieval-style by musicians, York Waits, while historical re-enactors dressed in Civil War regalia marched up and down the street.
Young mum and ardent monarchist Niki Thomson, from Acomb, had brought her son, Oliver, four, and family friend, Abigail Noble, ten, along to greet the Queen, Prince Philip, and Princess Beatrice.
She said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We all love the Royal family. I think it’s really, really good for British culture. They are the most famous Royal Family in the world. Everybody knows our Queen. It’s nice to have something like this when there is a recession. It’s great for morale.”
Enid Rayner, from the Mount, was presented to the Queen in 2000 when she was a flower arranger in the Minster. This time, she brought her grandsons, Seb, six, and Toby, nine, along for the occasion. She said: “I took my own children to see her in the Silver Jubilee.”
The crowds gave the Royal party a thunderous welcome and the cheers became even louder as the Queen got out of her car at the entrance to Micklegate Bar to greet the Civic party.
Her Majesty looked elegant in an Angela Kelly dress incorporating turquoise and fawn flex, hand covered silk buttons and a hat in the same colours, while Princess Beatrice struck a sophisticated note in a navy blue dress coat and hat.