The Queen delights the crowds on her many visits to our area

The Queen has made many visits to the Chichester area, including several to the Roussillon Barracks.

Monday, 10th August 2020, 12:39 pm

Following our piece last week about her trip to Bognor Regis as a two-year-old, when she built sand castles on the beach, we thought we would look back at some of her early visits to the area as Queen.

Unlike her childhood visit in March 1929, when the sun shone, the weather did its best to put a dampener on the Queen’s visit to Chichester shortly after Gala Day in 1956.

The streets had looked resplendent with their decorations until a severe gale the night before the Queen was due to arrive, which saw many of them blown down.

Waiting for the Queen in Chichester in 1956

The visit was still a success, as the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, inspected a military guard of honour in Priory Park and waved for the thousands of people who had turned out to see her.

Two years before, in 1954, Canadian pilot Johnny Kent hosted the Queen when she was at RAF Tangmere to see Prince Philip depart in a Royal Canadian Air Force DC4-M North Star aircraft for the opening of the Vancouver British Empire and Commonwealth Games.

Another visit on March 10, 1978, saw the military band play Happy Birthday in honour of Prince Edward, who was celebrating his 14th birthday.

That same day saw her drop in at Chichester College of Technology before heading north to Horsham.

The Queen inspecting a military guard of honour in Priory Park in 1956

On March 27, 1986, the Queen attended the Maundy Service in Chichester Cathedral before distributing Maundy Money. Her arrival was heralded by Beefeaters and greeted by hundreds of spectators armed with Union Flags.

The Queen posed for photographs outside the cathedral with four lucky schoolchildren and those who could not make it to the Cathedral were treated to the sight of a Royal walkabout in North Street.

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Johnny Kent welcoming the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to RAF Tangmere in 1955

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Johnny Kent and No.92 Squadron