THOUSANDS of people turned out in Hitchin this morning (Thursday) to welcome the Queen on the first leg of her Diamond Jubilee tour of Hertfordshire.
She arrived by train at Hitchin railway station at 10.33am, where she was met by MP for Hitchin, Peter Lilley among other dignitaries.
Following this the Queen made her way to the Market Square where crowds cheered as she met shopkeepers and saw a presentation by young schoolchildren.
Her Majesty was dressed in a lilac double wool crepe shift coat and a lilac, green and yellow floral print dress designed by Stewart Parvin.
Her matching hat was designed by Rachel Trevor-Morgan.
The Queen was welcomed by her cousin, Sir Simon Bowes-Lyon, and his wife, Caroline, who live at St Paul’s Walden Bury.
Her Majesty was presented with a gift from the people of the town, which included lavender oil from the fields of Hitchin.
The lavender oil was presented on a bed of flowers representing some of the businesses and organisations in the local area.
Other items were from Harkness Roses, The William Ransom Hitchin Physic Garden, The Triangle Community Garden, Hitchin and Letchworth Garden Hospice.
The Queen presented the volunteers at the British Schools Museum The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the highest award for volunteer groups in the UK.
She handed the award to 80-year-old Yvonne Limbrick, schools programme manager.
Mrs Limbrick, who has worked with the museum since retiring as headteacher of Hexton Primary School in 1995, was joined by 19 other volunteers from the museum who were all dressed in Victorian costume.
Mrs Limbrick said: “It has been a wonderful experience and receiving the award from the Queen herself is a real honour.”