Rewind Gallery: The day The Queen came to Hitchin - how our town gave Her Majesty a right royal welcome

By Layth Yousif

5th Jun 2022 | Local News

This weekend marks the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with many near and far hanging up the bunting to celebrate such a momentous occasion.

HRH Queen Elizabeth II marks an incredible 70 years on the throne as our reigning monarch - with Hitchin marking the anniversary with all manner of events in and around the town centre.

But who remembers the time Her Majesty visited Hitchin?

Ten years ago, in the middle of a wonderful Olympic summer, The Queen visited our town.

On Thursday June 14, 2012, Hitchin welcomed Her Majesty the Queen to the town as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK.

Hundreds, if not thousands, packed out the High Street and Market Place that day to catch a glimpse of the Queen.

Anticipation was high. Revd Michael Rodin rehearsed the choir of St Mary's Church in Market Place, while Hitchin Town crier Alan Myatt warmed up the crowd. Near to the Rose and Crown corner of the square, children from Whitehill Junior School put on an excellent show of flag-waving.

People sang the hymn Jerusalem, accompanied by Hitchin Town Band, when the Queen arrived in her immaculate black Bentley to loud cheers and excitement.

In the square, she was welcomed to Hitchin by her cousin, Sir Simon Bowes Lyon and was escorted by the Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire, the Countess of Verulam.

Dressed in lilac, in a thoughtful nod to the renowned lavender fields in our area, the Queen was presented with a gift of Hitchin Lavender by Theodore Dye, a direct descendant of a man who actually presented Hitchin Lavender to Queen Victoria.

Elizabeth II also presented The Queens Award for Voluntary Service to Yvonne Limbrick and Terry Ransome - on behalf of the 150 strong volunteer team at the British Schools Museum - whose volunteers gathered in numbers dressed in Victorian costume.

Later that day, the Queen would visit the Lister Hospital in Stevenage, and Hatfield House for a private reception and lunch with Lord Salisbury.

All images courtesy of Hitchin's brilliant Film Infinity. You can see their film of the day on YouTube below:

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