Crowds of excited people lined the streets today to give a warm welcome to Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness visited Leeds as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour of the United Kingdom and visited three of the key sites in Leeds.
The tour began at Leeds Arena where Her Majesty and His Royal Highness were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire Dr Ingrid Roscoe and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, along with key members of the council, before being treated to an aerial acrobatic display by Urban Angels Circus as they dropped into the Arena via ribbon. The Royal Party were also introduced to the promoters SMG, contractors BAM and the young apprentices who have been working on the project.
The Queen was then asked to unveil a plaque which officially marked the topping out of the £60million entertainment venue. This occasion was marked by a performance by children from Little London Primary school who performed a song and a poem about growing up in Leeds, before presenting Her Majesty with a framed version of the poem to mark the occasion.
The Royal party then made their way down the Headrow to the newly restored City Varieties Music Hall where they were greeted by Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for Leisure and theatres director for Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd, Andrew Macgill.
Eight young people from the City Varieties Youth Theatre Company then performed their version of the famous Good Old Days and presented Her Majesty with a gavel, before Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member with responsibility for children’s services introduced the council’s ambition to become a Child Friendly City. Cllr Blake then presented Her Majesty with a framed picture as a symbol of the city’s commitment.
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness then made their way to Briggate to meet and greet the huge crowds of people who had lined the main shopping street in Leeds. The Royal party then proceeded to the seating area where the ambition to become a Child Friendly City was officially launched by a choir made up of singers from choirs across Leeds and the crowd singing ‘Rainbow Nation’ followed by the National Anthem and three cheers for The Queen. Louise Iontton, a former Paralympic Powerlifter and volunteer for the 2012 Olympics presented a posy to Her Majesty to mark the end of her visit to the city.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle said:
“It has been fantastic to have The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visiting the city today, and it was great to see so many people turn out to welcome them.
“It is an exciting time for Leeds as we see the Arena nearing completion, the launch of Child Friendly City and the many other hugely exciting developments in the city, and it was a pleasure and an honour to share this with the royal party.
“This was a unique occasion for the city and an excellent memory for all those involved.”
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450