What's the future Queen doing in a sandpit in Hertfordshire?

Princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret playing in the sandpit at St Paul's Walden Bury

Princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret playing in the sandpit at St Paul's Walden Bury in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

A photograph of the future Queen Elizabeth II as a young child playing in a sandpit in Hertfordshire features in a new interactive story map.

Historic England has launched the educational resource for schools to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee this year.

It shows hundreds of images of the Queen at local heritage sites across England, including St Paul's Walden Bury in Hertfordshire.

The tool has been created by Heritage Schools, an award-winning education programme that aims to help school children develop an understanding of their local heritage and its significance.

The resource is available to everyone and aims to educate children about their local history, highlighting important sites that the Queen has visited in their area throughout her 70-year reign.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “This interactive map shows the incredible variety of sites the Queen has visited in the past 70 years.

"We hope schools, teachers, parents and the wider public will explore the map, discover more about their local historic sites, and follow in the Queen’s footsteps by supporting their local heritage.”

Princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret playing in the sandpit at St Paul's Walden Bury

Princesses Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret playing in the sandpit at St Paul's Walden Bury in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Chronicle / Alamy Stock Photo

Among the highlights is a photograph of young Princesses Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth II, and younger sister Margaret playing in the sandpit at St Paul's Walden Bury, near Whitwell.

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This was the home of their grandparents, Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and Cecilia Nina Bowes-Lyon (née Cavendish-Bentinck).

St Paul’s Walden Bury was the childhood home of the Queen’s mother, Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

The house was built in c1730, along with ornamented formal pleasure grounds in the adjacent woodland.

The estate stayed with the Bowes-Lyon family during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The gardens and pleasure grounds were restored from the 1930s to the 1960s, with subsequent work by Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe.

The story map also includes the Queen visiting new homes in Stevenage during her visit for the official opening of the pedestrianised town centre in April 1959.

Stevenage was designated the first New Town under the New Towns Act in 1946.

The pedestrianised town centre was the first purpose-built traffic-free shopping zone in Britain, taking its inspiration from the Lijnbaan in Rotterdam.

Royal tour of inspection of crops at Sandringham, Norfolk. This pictures was taken August 13, 1943.

Royal tour of inspection of crops at Sandringham, Norfolk. King George and family using a pony trap to avoid the use of petrol. This pictures was taken August 13, 1943. - Credit: Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

Funded by the Department for Education and run by Historic England, the Heritage Schools programme aims to help children learn about their local heritage and its significance.

From opening important civic buildings like town halls and schools, to visiting museums, sports grounds and pubs, the map shows the huge variety of heritage sites the Queen has visited both during and prior to her reign.

The story map not only teaches children about the Queen’s role as our monarch, but also highlights the heritage she has visited that is right on their doorsteps.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi said: “Queen Elizabeth II is the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee and Her Majesty’s dignity, commitment and grace continues to inspire people all over the world.

“It’s so important that children have the opportunity to learn about the Queen’s life, and millions will soon have access to a number of educational resources including the brilliant interactive story map, and the Department for Education’s Platinum Jubilee Celebration book, which will begin to arrive in schools this month.”

Princess Margaret with her mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and her father George VI in front of St Mary's Church in Eastbourne.

Princess Margaret with her mother Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and her father George VI in front of St Mary's Church in Eastbourne. - Credit: Sueddeutsche Zeitung Photo / Alamy Stock Photo

The story map is available to everyone via the Historic England website, and features images of the Queen visiting significant buildings, places and events in every region of the country.

Alongside these images there is information about when and why the Queen visited, as well as a brief history about the site itself.

Many of the buildings are listed on the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).

Children and the public can take part in the Platinum Jubilee commemoration, and make history, by contributing their own images, drawings or information about the buildings to the NHLE through Historic England’s Enriching the List project.

You can visit the Heritage Schools: Platinum Jubilee Story Map at historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/education/teaching-activities/platinum-jubilee/


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