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In pictures: The Queen officially opens the Alexandra Gardens bandstand

David Lee

David Lee

Adoring crowds including hundreds of singing school children welcomed the Queen as she officially opened a new bandstand in Windsor today (Wednesday).

It was the second of four official engagements in the town to mark her 90th birthday tomorrow (Thursday).

After visiting the Royal Mail Windsor delivery office in William Street, the monarch moved swiftly on to Alexandra Gardens to open the bandstand which has been built to mark the longstanding links between the Queen, the armed forces and Windsor.

School children from across the Royal Borough greeted her as she strolled through the sun-drenched gardens alongside the Duke of Edinburgh and other dignitaries including the Mayor of Windsor and Maidenhead, Cllr Eileen Quick.

She then stopped off to catch a glimpse of six commemorative plaques which will be added to the bandstand.

Children from six Windsor schools – Alexander First, Braywood CE First, Dedworth Green First, Dedworth Middle, Queen Anne Royal Free CE and The Royal School – researched the themes for the plaques which included illustrations of The Commonwealth and the Coronation.

The Queen and the Duke then took their seats in front of the bandstand to watch as a 500-strong choir of children, accompanied by the Band of the Irish Guards, serenaded them with songs including When the Red, Red Robin and African folk song Siyahamba.

The choir also sang the hit Beatles song When I’m 64 in tribute to the record-breaking length of the Queen’s reign.

Students from Cox Green School in Highfield Lane and Langley Grammar School then took to the stage to perform their interpretation of a scene from Romeo and Juliet, before everyone sang happy birthday.

The Queen finished off her visit by officially unveiling a plaque to mark the opening of the bandstand.

The Royal Borough’s head of libraries, arts and heritage for the Royal Borough, Mark Taylor, accompanied the Queen throughout her visit.

He said: “Singing and dancing is one of those things that really brings people together.

“She was particularly pleased with the South African folk song which was a tribute to the Commonwealth.

“This certainly hasn’t been a normal working day and it’s been a real high point.”

The Mayor added: “How often has this happened before – never. It’s the first time we’ve had a monarch reach the grand age of 90 and we’re very lucky in Windsor that Her Majesty and her family enjoy spending so much time here.”

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