It was a moment of history in the making as Her Majesty The Queen arrived at King’s Lynn Town Hall on Monday 6 February to receive a loyal address from Borough Mayor Cllr Colin Sampson.
The town, which has long had an association with the royal family, was honoured to be chosen as the location for the first visit marking the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.
On her arrival The Queen was greeted by the Lord Lieutenant, Mr Richard Jewson and Mrs Jewson, the High Sheriff of Norfolk, Mrs Georgina Holloway and the Under Sheriff, Mr Charles Holloway, Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Sampson and Mayoress, Mrs Susan Sampson, Mr Henry Bellingham MP, and Chief Constable Mr Phil Gormley and Mrs Gormley.
During her visit The Queen was invited to the Stone Hall to examine an exhibition of local treasures and artefacts presented by members of the cabinet and council, Norfolk Registration Service, Norfolk Record Office and King’s Lynn Museum.
Amongst the treasures on display was the King John Cup, believed to have been crafted in England c1340, of which The Queen has a replica at her Sandringham residence.
Historical documents showing King’s Lynn development including the King John Charter (1204) – which granted King’s Lynn the rights of a free borough, affording the town much greater freedoms and the ability to develop into a commercial centre – and a document with both national and very personal significance for The Queen, the registration of her father, King George VI’s birth were also exhibited.
After examining the various artefacts and talking to staff presenting them, The Queen moved into the Assembly Room to receive a loyal address from the mayor. Guests, including local dignitaries, representatives from all 9 local high schools and the College of West Anglia, members of the local business community and council staff gathered to witness the address.
During the address the mayor welcomed The Queen to West Norfolk and thanked her for the ‘exemplary service’ to the people of this country and the Commonwealth. He concluded: “It is with great pride that we welcome you to King’s Lynn & West Norfolk on this remarkable day and give you our warmest good wishes for the forthcoming years.”
Following the address Her Majesty signed a copy of a photograph of herself and Prince Philip. The official photograph, showing The Queen in evening dress with tiara, Garter Sash and Star with family orders and The Duke of Edinburgh in the uniform of The Admiral of the Fleet with Garter Sash and Star and other decorations, will also be signed by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh before being displayed in the town hall.
Her Majesty also signed the visitors’ book. This is the second occasion that she has signed the King’s Lynn Town Hall visitors’ book, the first being in 1946 when she visited with her mother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, and grandmother Queen Mary.
After a brief tour of the building Rosie Muspratt presented The Queen with a posy of flowers.
The Queen took time to accept further posies and good wishes from the waiting crowd that had gathered outside the building before driving to her next engagement at Dersingham School.
Loyal Address to Queen Elizabeth II, presented by Borough Mayor, Cllr Colin Sampson on 6 February 2012 to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Mayor, on behalf of the people of West Norfolk, congratulates Your Majesty on the occasion of the Diamond Anniversary of your accession to the throne.
For 60 years Your Majesty has given dedicated and exemplary service to the people of this country and the Commonwealth. Locally, Your Majesty has made a matchless contribution to our economy and brought enjoyment to many by inviting members of the public to share so much of your Sandringham home. West Norfolk residents are very appreciative of all that Your Majesty has done to support the area and Your Majesty has earned a very special place in their hearts.
Your Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee is a unique occasion in the history of this country and it is with great pride that we welcome you to King’s Lynn & West Norfolk on this remarkable day and give you our warmest good wishes for the forthcoming years.