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Queen visits Bromley to celebrate jubilee
DESPITE pouring rain thousands of people lined the streets of Bromley to greet the Queen as she visited the town as part of her diamond jubilee tour.
Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh were met by more than 6,000 flag-waving school children who cheered and sang choruses of the National Anthem as they arrived in the Queen’s Gardens.
As the Queen stepped out of the car, dressed in a baby blue wool crepe dress and a white, lavender and baby boucle coat, the sun struggled to shine through the clouds.
The Queen was then shown around fashion exhibits before enjoying a cup of tea with couples celebrating their diamond wedding anniversaries this year.
Kenneth and Averil Holdaway, both 85, from Bromley, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in August.
Mrs Holdaway sat next to the Queen at the tea party and said: "It all went too quickly but it was an experience I will remember forever."
Also on display at the tea party was a cake designed by former teacher Brenda Purton, 71, who won the honour in a competition.
The cake, which was decorated with images of Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey and Balmoral as well as the Queen’s favourite animals, a corgi and a racehorse, will now be raffled off for charity.
While the Queen toured fashion displays Prince Philip met members of the Thyme Out Project, a charity gardening group, as well as a falconry display.
The Queen then unveiled a plaque on a commemorative black poplar tree before being shown a floral display in the shape of a crown, which will both be lasting memories of the Queen’s visit.
Every London borough was presented with a tree as part of the jubilee celebrations.
The Queen was then shown around the Glades shopping centre, where she was introduced to some of the designers at Debenhams as well as being shown the winning entries of a competition to design an outfit for the royal couple.
Year six pupil Fiona Kurti from Burnt Ash Primary School designed the winning Queen’s outfit, which was blue diamond themed dress, with matching hat and handbag.
She said: “It was really good to meet her. I was shocked but really happy when I won the competition.
“She asked me if it was my design and I said yes and she said it’s very smart and she shook my hand.”
Matthew Dudek, who is in year four at St Vincent’s Catholic Primary School showed his winning design to the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Duke of Edinburgh was in good form, joking with the crowd as they passed by.
Fashion designer Percy Parker said: "The Duke told me my suit looks like sack cloth. I don't think he'll be taking the number of my tailor."
Edward Gallagher, Jeorgie Brett and Jordan O’Brien who are all in year eight at Hayes Secondary School spoke to Prince Philip as he came out of the Glades.
Edward said: “It’s been really great day off school. It was definitely worth it. It was an honour to meet them. It was absolutely amazing to meet royalty.”
At the end of the tour the Queen was presented with a specially commissioned carriage clock, from Paynes Jewellers on behalf of the Bromley traders.
Paynes managing director Alastair Collier handed over the clock.
He said: “It’s been fantastic. She’s a lovely lady. It’s a historic moment for us. We wanted to present the clock on behalf of the community.”
One person in the crowd was left disappointed as the Queen failed to spot Natasha Orumbie’s cake creation of her face as she passed by.
Ms Orumbie, 36, said: “I’m absolutely gutted. I was here at seven to get a good spot but she didn’t see me.
“It took me two weeks to make the make. I just thought this is the diamond jubilee, I’ve never seen one before so I thought I’d do something to commemorate it. People in the crowd loved it though.”