Leicester's Royal Visit
8 March 2012, 13:33
Cheering East Midlands crowds got the Queen's Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK off to a colourful start as she let the train take the strain for the first leg of her journey around the UK.
She was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh and her granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, for the visit to Leicester. Well-wishers waving Union flags were on hand at the city's station as the royal party alighted from the 10:15 Nottingham service from St Pancras International in London.
The Queen, the Duchess and the Duke arrived at De Montfort University to enthusiastic cheers from more than a thousand flag-waving well-wishers. As the royal party walked through The Magazine - one of the ancient gates to Leicester - they were greeted by dancers and city dignitaries. Crowds 20 or 30 deep were packed behind the barriers which surrounded the main entrance of the modern university building.
The Queen arrived first to loud cheers which got louder as the Duchess walked into the square. She paused to wave and smile at the crowd. The Duchess laughed and joked with VIPs as she watched a series of dance and choral displays before entering the main building. As the royal party disappeared inside, crowds close to the door strained over the barriers to get mobile phone pictures and they continued to cheer and wave flags as they watched the official greetings through the huge glass windows.
The Queen, Duchess and Duke were then greeted at Leicester Cathedral by a huge cheer from the thousands of waiting people. The crowd, who stood nine-deep on some parts of the pavement and looked to consist of around 5,000 people, let out whoops and claps as the royal party pulled up outside.
The royals accepted flowers and stopped to chat to people as they made their way into the cathedral. Around 700 people were inside for the service, which was described by cathedral staff as a Christian act of worship with multi-faith elements. Inside, the royal party stood at the front to sing a hymn before taking their seats.