A day of “cheers, joy and excitement” is how the Evening Press described the Queen’s visit to York on July 27, 2000 – in the millennium year. It was more than a decade since the Queen’s last visit, to see the restored Minster.

“But when the great day dawned at last, it did not disappoint,” The Press reported in a supplement to mark the day. “York’s citizens and visitors cheered their monarch to the skies when the Queen and Prince Philip paid their fist visit to the city for 12 years.”

The Royal Train drew gently in at platform four of York Station at 10.25am, “to the delight of the hundreds thronging the footbridge and station concourse”. Among the crowds were staunch Royalists Denise Hugill, from Stillington, and her best friend, Ann Mattison, of Farlington.

“I think she looks wonderful,” said Ann, 56. “It’s the first time I’ve seen her and it was an honour to be here.”

From the station, the Royal party made its way by car to Micklegate Bar, and the traditional pageantry and ceremonial of the offering of the State Sword of York by the Lord Mayor, Coun Shan Braund.

The Queen entered the city on foot to medieval music from the York Waits. The bar, and Micklegate itself, were packed with hundreds of well-wishers: among them Tom Wright, 11, part of a group of children who handed flowers to the Queen. “This is the moment we will never ever forget,” he said. “My hand was this far from the Queen’s.”

The Queen and Prince Philip then attended a millennium celebration service at York Minster, before emerging onto Duncombe Place, where the Royal pair chatted and mingled with the crowds. From there, they made their way to Museum Gardens, where the wet weather didn’t put them off a walkabout.

“Armed only with a small see-through umbrella and wearing white high heels, the Queen toured a soggy Museum Gardens to se York children taking part in a summer programme of activities,” The Press reported.

By 3.20pm, they had retired to the warm and dry in the Yorkshire Museum and an encounter with dinosaurs – the Walking With Dinosaurs exhibition, that is.

It offered photographers plenty of opportunities for photographs of the Royal couple coming face to face with monsters – often accompanied by captions such as ‘don’t look, ma’am, it’s behind you…’