The Queen’s visit to the Cathedral and St Martins House, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Duchess of Cambridge was “just wonderful!”, according to the people who stood from 8am to see her arrive.
As the royal guests stepped out of their vehicle the many hundreds of people gathered in Peacock Lane and the Cathedral grounds waved flags and banners, Kibworth Brass Band played, Sikh Dohl drummers played and the Cathedral bells rang. The Royal visitors really enjoyed (so we are assured!) the half hour service which included readings by members of other faiths from their own scriptures, and the first performance of an anthem from the choir songbook of music composed especially for the Diamond Jubilee. There were young Indian and Pakistani traditional dancers, trumpets, a choir from Church Hill Church of England Junior School and a cello solo by a young chorister.
The Queen and Duchess received posies, then met hundreds of school children – collecting many bunches of flowers, cards and gifts on the way while Ibstock Scout band played and a Zimbabwean choir sang. The Royal Guests met Faith Leaders, youth groups and charities working from St Martins House, before enjoying lunch in the Grand Hall with a wide range of guests age from 6 to 96. One couple celebrated their Diamond wedding anniversary on very day of the visit!
As they left St Martins House they all signed a commemorative document which will placed in the Cathedral, and the Queen unveiled a stone monolith engraved in honour of the visit.
An Exhibition is on display in the Cathedral and St Martins House now