The Queen comes to Poundbury

HER Majesty the Queen arrives at Dorchester's South train station. Photo by Claire Vera

HER Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Poundbury today (Thursday, October 27th) to unveil a statue dedicated to the Queen Mother.

The Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived at Dorchester South Station on the royal train to be greeted by dignitaries including the Mayor and Mayoress of Dorchester Tim and Anita Harries and the Lord Lieutenant Angus Campbell.

A large crowd gathered at the station to welcome the royal party before they continued to Poundbury to unveil a statue of the late Queen Mother as the centre piece to Prince Charles’ development.

Prince Charles paid tribute to his “darling grandmother” as he invited the Queen to unveil a statue to the Queen Mother.

Suffering from a heavy cold, Prince Charles also praised his Duchy staff, architects and builders involved in the construction of his Poundbury estate – now home to more than 3,000 people.

During their visit to Poundbury the royal party toured the Royal Pavilion and Waitrose, chatting to staff, and were presented with hampers of food.

Security was tight for the visit with more than a hundred police officers on duty. The roads leading to Queen Mother Square and many shops in and around it had been closed since Tuesday evening.

A helicopter hovered nearby throughout the visit.

The Queen and Prince Philip left shortly after the unveiling the 9ft 6in tall bronze statue by Philip Jackson, while Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall stayed for a private lunch and then the opening of the Duchess of Cornwall Inn which will be run by Dorset brewers Hall and Woodhouse.

Hundreds of well-wishers turned out for the visit although for many it was difficult, if not impossible to see.

Dorchester resident Elaine Grassby was among those who turned up with her flag and Union Jack bowler hat, but left shortly after the Queen arrived.

“I saw her come in, but you’d need to be eight feet tall to see anything,” she said.

Many had overcome the problem by bringing their own step ladders, climbing onto window ledges and in the case of several younsters, scaling trees and large ornamental pots to get a better view.

See Wednesday’s (November 2nd edition) of View from Dorchester for more photos.