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Her Majesty the Queen, in her monarchical capacity as the Duke of Lancaster ,was given a warm Lancastrian welcome as she visited Lancaster Castle this morning.
The Queen, 89, arrived at the railway station on the royal train at 10:22am where she was met by large crowds and local cadets who lined the route from the station to the castle’s John of Gaunt Gate. Wearing a turquoise suit, she was driven to the castle in a black Range Rover amongst a convoy of cars carrying dignitaries just after 10:30am.
She waved to the many crowds who were flying Union Flags and Duchy of Lancaster flags, waiting for hours in the occasionally heavy rain to catch a glimpse of her on her first visit to the city for 16 years.
A band played the National Anthem as she stood on the temporary stage outside the castle gates. The Chairman of the Duchy, Mark Hudson then gave a two minute speech welcoming the Queen and saying that to Lancastrians, she was their Duke and said how 2015 marked several important anniversaries such as the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta and the 750th Anniversary of the Duchy’s establishment. The Queen was then ceremonially given the keys to Lancaster Castle by the castle’s constable.
She was then given a tour of the castle and watched a production of Shakespeare’s Richard II which she smiled to and seemed to enjoy. After a brief visit to the castle, she re-emerged and drove through Lancaster as she waved to the crowds before going on to Myerscough College where she watched a horse shoeing demonstration.
Her visit comes after a busy week which included the State Opening of Parliament on Wednesday and welcoming the President of Italy on Thursday.