It’s been quite the hectic 24 hours for the country – but in case you missed it, Queen Elizabeth II paid a fleeting visit to Manchester this morning.
Headlines this morning have understandably been grabbed England’s triumphant 2-1 win over Denmark to advance to the final of Euro 2020, as well as the transport secretary’s announcement that fully-vaccinated Brits are permitted to travel to countries on the amber list without the requirement to quarantine on return. But a visit from Her Majesty The Queen is a no less significant event to our city.
It may not have been the most highly-publicised event prior to her arrival, but the reasoning behind HRH’s visit remains as important as ever.
From a stop-off on the Cobbles, to an unveiling at the Cathedral, she packed a lot into her short three-hour stay, but what brought Her Majesty to our region?
The Queen has travelled to our great city on a number of occasions over her nearly 70-year reign, but today she began her trip with a visit to the set of the longest running British soap, Coronation Street, based in MediaCityUK.
Her Majesty arrived at the famous ITV Studios set in Salford this morning around 11am, and met with TV bosses, Sir Peter Bazelgette and John Whiston, as well as some lucky cast members, before heading off on a tour of the behind the scenes of the continuing drama programme as part of her visit.
As well as getting to chat some of Corrie’s longest-standing cast members, including William Roache who has played the character of Ken Barlow since the first episode aired, Her Majesty also met the TV show’s film crew and heard of how it adapted practices to enable the show to keep filming throughout the pandemic.
Social media was filled with images and videos of her arrival on the set of the iconic Manchester-based soap – which celebrated 60 years on air last November.
Following on from her trip to Weatherfield, Her Majesty made her way over to Manchester Cathedral in the heart of the city centre.
She arrived outside the nearly 600-year-old building at around 11:40am.
During her visit to the Victoria Street Cathedral, HRH met with several representatives and unsung heroes from a wide range of different support groups in the North West who have helped communities throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Youth groups, carers, businesses, and charity volunteers were among those Her Majesty met to listen to their stories and extend her gratitude.
That’s not all either, as one of the main reasons for her visit to the 17th-century Manchester Cathedral was to unveil a brand-new plaque to commemorate the 600th anniversary of the collegiate church.
Speaking on Her Majesty’s visit, David Walker – Bishop of Manchester – said: “The Queen has not done many visits in the last year, so for one of her first days out to be here in Manchester is very special.”
“Manchester has done itself proud [during the COVID-19 pandemic],” he continued.
“The test isn’t how you enjoy the good times, but how you handle the bad times.”
The Manchester Gay and Lesbian Chorus also provided the soundtrack to the royal visit, singing songs by none other than beloved British band, Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Manchester today is said to have been one of her first solo trips since her consort of 73 years, The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip, died at the age of 99 earlier this year on 9 April.
Her Majesty’s whirlwind visit has been described as “a very special day” for all involved.
Featured Image – The Manc Group