THOUSANDS of people welcomed the Queen to Burghley House and Stamford today.
The Lord Lieutenants of Lincolnshire, Rutland, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire hosted the event for the Queen at Burghley where she met local dignitaries and people who were nominated to be presented to her for their work within their communities. The visit was part of her diamond jubilee tour.
The Lord Lieutenant of Rutland Dr Laurence Howard said: “The mood of the crowd is the most important thing and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“It made everybody happy to be in the presence of the Queen.”
About 8,000 people packed into the grounds of the stately home to join the celebrations, eating their own picnics while listening to live music on the big stage.
Many had claimed their places at the best viewpoints hours before the Queen arrived.
The afternoon was packed full of entertainment with the Red Arrows and Spitfire displays wowing the crowd.
Her Majesty arrived at Burghley House by helicopter from Nottingham.
She was greeted by the Burghley House director Miranda Rock and her husband Orlando.
The Queen then met with her four Lord Lieutenants before taking part in a ceremonial tree planting ceremony outside the main house, planting a lime three close to one Queen Victoria planted on her visit to Burghley House in 1844.
Afterwards the Queen was driven past the jubilant, flag-waving crowds up to the VIP area to meet with people from each of the four counties before retiring for lunch.
Afterwards, a speech was given by the Lord Lieutenant of Lincolnshire Tony Worth, chairman of the event’s organising committee, before everyone in attendance sang the national anthem.
The Queen then departed for Stamford where she was greeted by whoops of delight from the thousands of people waiting to see her.
The town centre was packed as the Queen waved to the assembled crowd which featured all ages, including nursery children and ex-servicemen and women.
A flypast from the Red Arrows announced her arrival as she was driven across the town bridge, up St Mary’s Hill, along St Mary’s Street and St John’s Street, across Red Lion Square, on to Red Lion Street and Broad Street, along Star Lane, St Paul’s Street, St George’s Street, St George’s Square and St Mary’s Street before heading back across the town bridge.
Hayley Lewin, 91, of Queen’s Walk, Stamford, was watching with her friend of 90 years Joan Harris, 92, of Main Road, Greatford.
Before the Queen arrived, Mrs Harris said: “I saw the Queen at Peterborough show but that was a fair while back. I thought it would be nice to come but it is a shame that Prince Philip couldn’t come. I hope he feels better soon.
“It would have been nice to see Kate and William as well but there’s plenty of time for them to come! I don’t think I have ever seen so many people in Stamford at one time.”
Afterwards Mrs Lewin said: “I am pleased I came. It was really nice to see her.”
Clare Rudkin, 33, of Forest Gardens, Stamford, was due to give birth to her second child - a son - on the day of the Queen’s visit.
She said: “I walked in to town to try and get things moving so if my waters break here, I might have to consider naming him Philip!
“The diamond jubilee is such a historic occasion and it is nice that Stamford got to be part of it.”
The car then turned into Broad Street where there was cheering and screaming.
Louise Taylor, of Luffenham Road, Ketton, took her children to Broad Street to see the Queen.
She said: “It was amazing. I wasn’t going to come because I took the children to Windsor Castle last week.
“The kids will definitely remember today. They haven’t stopped talking about Windsor.”