TEN years after the royal wedding, York was celebrating again. It was the city's 1,900th birthday, a wonderful reason for a year-long party. And the guests of honour were the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.

York had organised hundreds of events scattered throughout the year to commemorate the moment when a Roman governor founded the city of Eboracum. The fun kicked off with a New Year's Eve Ball in the Assembly Rooms.

But the highlight was undoubtedly the royal visit to the city on June 28, 1971. The Queen and Duke arrived, amid sunshine and heavy showers, through the traditional royal entry point, Micklegate Bar.

Lunch at the Assembly Rooms followed, then they watched an excerpt from the York Pageant, tracing the city's history from Roman days. The royal couple later hosted a garden party with 2,000 guests at Museum Gardens.

They had earlier been to Knavesmire, where they were met by cheering crowds, a 21-gun salute and a flypast of 21 Jet Provost aircraft.

Security for the visit was particularly tight. Not only had the Troubles flared in Northern Ireland, but two threats to the Queen's life had been delivered to the Evening Press office, purporting to be from the Angry Brigade.

Fortunately the day passed off peacefully and enjoyably.

Less than a year later, the Queen was back - in the rain again - for the annual distribution of the Maundy Money.

It was a chilly March day in 1972, the eve of Good Friday, and the Queen shivered as she first entered York Minster. She later told a party of people from Scarborough that she did feel the cold after her recent Eastern tour.

But the pageantry inside was colourful enough to banish any early spring blues.

Most of the women in the congregation wore Easter straw hats sporting scarlet roses. The scarlet was repeated in the medieval uniforms of the Yeoman of the Guard, the choir surplices, and the robes of the Aldermen and the Archbishop of York, Dr Donald Coggan.

As is the tradition, 46 men and 46 women received the Maundy Money from the Queen. Firstly the women were given green purses, each containing £1.75 and the men white purses, containing £2.25 in lieu of items of clothing given in earlier times.

Then the old people received two purses each, a red one containing £2.50 and a white one containing as many pence as the Sovereign's age.

The Maundy recipients told the Evening Press that they were determined not to sell the coins. One 72-year-old man had definite plans: "I am now going to have a pint, and toast the Queen before I go home," he said.

Five years later the Queen paid a visit to York as part of her 56,000-mile, 13-country tour to mark her Silver Jubilee.

Before she arrived in the city, she and the Duke of Edinburgh went to the Great Yorkshire Showground. They had lunch in the President's Pavilion, and later watched a display of Cleveland Bays in the main arena.

The royal party also toured a display called Growing Up In North Yorkshire before departing for York.

Once again, they travelled in an open carriage through Micklegate Bar, their arrival heralded by six trumpeters. The Lord Mayor, Coun Thomas Hibbert, presented the Sword Of State.

The Queen and Duke then walked along Micklegate, meeting the crowds who had assembled there.

On Jubilee Day, just over a month earlier, North Yorkshire had celebrated with street parties and civic ceremonies. In Escrick and Deighton they organised 14 hours of events, beginning with a grand procession. In Selby, the Press reported, "normally reserved Yorkshiremen let their hair down in a riot of Jubilee colour and fun". And in Alma Terrace, York, the children took part in a potato-and-spoon race.

Updated: 16:34 Tuesday, May 28, 2002