Queen's 96th birthday: Memories of the Queen's royal visits to Welwyn Hatfield
- Credit: Kevin Lines /Archant
Today – April 21 – is Her Majesty The Queen's 96th birthday.
The monarch's 70 years on the throne will be celebrated in June over The Queen's Platinum Jubilee Weekend from June 2 to June 5.
Ten years ago, as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour, Queen Elizabeth II arrived at Hatfield House on an official visit.
The Queen has made a number of Royal visits to Welwyn Hatfield during her long reign.
She has carried out engagements in Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, and at the Royal Veterinary College near Brookmans Park over the years.
The Queen visited Welwyn Garden City in 1963 for the official opening of the borough's then new hospital named after her.
The Queen Elizabeth II Hospital that the monarch opened has now been demolished and replaced with the much smaller The New QEII Hospital on the same site.
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It wasn't the Queen's first visit to the borough though.
In 1959, Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Hawkshead Campus of the Royal Veterinary College, between Brookmans Park and Potters Bar.
She visited what was then a field station for the college, part of the University of London, on April 20, 1959.
Following the Queen's visit, the RVC's bursar at the time sent a letter thanking staff for their hard work in getting the Hawkshead Lane site ready.
The letter also included a message from the Queen's Private Secretary to the college's principal which read: "Her Majesty has told me to send you her thanks and to ask you to let everyone concerned with the College know how much she appreciated their welcome and how greatly interested she was in everything that they had to show her.
"The Queen believes that your students cut short their vacation in order to be there; if this was so, she hopes you will tell them that she was deeply touched by their doing so and that she was delighted to see them.
"Her Majesty sends her best wishes for the future of the new Station which she opened and for all who work for it; if their labours are as effective as the arrangement for her visit, she has no fear for their success."
For the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012, the monarch paid an official visit to Hatfield House.
She planted an oak tree in Hatfield Park on June 14, 2012 to commemorate her Diamond Jubilee.
The event was attended by local dignitaries as well as schoolchildren from across the borough.
In 2003, the Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, visited Knebworth Park. It was Prince Philip's last visit to the Hertfordshire estate.