Jubilant crowds greet Queen
JUBILANT crowds today turned a sun-drenched Neptune Quay into a sea of red, white and blue.Hundreds eagerly lined the waterfront in honour of Ipswich's long awaited royal visitors – Her Majesty The Queen and, close behind her, the Duke of Edinburgh.
JUBILANT crowds today turned a sun-drenched Neptune Quay into a sea of red, white and blue.
Hundreds eagerly lined the waterfront in honour of Ipswich's long awaited royal visitors – Her Majesty The Queen and, close behind her, the Duke of Edinburgh.
They had come early, come prepared, and come to show their great enthusiasm and respect in the Queen's much-celebrated Jubilee year.
As far as the eyes could see, bunting hung from buildings, from yachts and from nearby homes.
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Flags waved high into the air – grasped by the young and the old alike, and flowers lay in neat posies, anticipating their presentation to an exceptionally special guest.
For many, this was a day quite unlike they had ever experienced in their lifetime. Positioned early and giggling with excitement, youngsters jostled for the best vantage point and patiently awaited the royal arrival beneath a perfect summer's sky.
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For youngsters like Ipswich's Jack Potter it was a particularly poignant event – made all the more exciting by his own birthday.
"I'm 10 today so Mum thought it would be a good idea to come down and see the Queen as part of my big day," he said. "It's really exciting because everyone is very happy."
Mum Kim recalled the Silver Jubilee and said her own fabulous memories of that day were now more than enough to persuade her that she should share this special occasion with her children.
"It seemed like the right thing to do for all of us," she said. "I've come down here with Jack, his sister Bethany and his Nanna Eileen because it feels like a very important event for people of all ages.
"Back in the Silver Jubilee I remember going to Windsor Castle. It was an amazing day for me, and something I've never forgotten. I want to make sure that my children have their own amazing day with very special memories too."
Taking a similar view, Beverly Dowding had arrived at the quayside early to share in the excitement with her children Paul, 9, and David, 8.
"These are just such special events that you can't afford to miss out on them – I wanted the boys to share in something that the whole country is enjoying."
She added: "I'm really glad that my sons' school appreciated the fact that so many parents wanted their children to be involved in the event."
In fact, plenty of Suffolk schools had obviously decided to share the occasion with their youngster. Clutching each other's hands and dressed in their summer uniforms, long lines of youngsters passed toward the front of the spectating area – desperate to get a glimpse of the famous visitor as she passed by and spoke briefly to some of her biggest fans.
And it wasn't only the young being encouraged to revel in the big day.
People of all ages – dressed in their most formal finery or their most casual summer clothes – took up their places on their quayside and delighted in the cheers, the colour, and the mellow sounds from a specially arranged band.
"I felt I had to come here today and be a part of this," said 82-year-old Harry Last. "I couldn't get time off in the Silver Jubilee so this was my big chance to see The Queen in my home town."