BOTH the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh charmed the crowds when
they visited Hereford Cathedral as their first
engagement during the Herefordshire Diamond Day event. They were
there to celebrate the recent refurbishment of the cathedral close
which has been taking place over the past couple of years. New
paths, trees, lighting, and railings have all enhanced the area
that the Queen formally opened.
The royal couple talked happily to many of the thousands of
people who had gathered to see them, the commercial development
manager at the cathedral, Dominic Harbour, said. They seemed in
particularly good form, "chatting to everybody" despite the recent
worries about the Duke's health.
As the Queen performed the official opening, hundreds of blue
and yellow balloons were released, each one bearing the promise of
a free ticket to the cathedral library to see the Mappa
Mundi, the medieval map of the known world. At the time of
writing, I have been told that two people from the Oxford area have
already been in touch to claim their tickets, and the cathedral
authorities are hoping for many more.
The Queen and the Duke both signed the visitors' book
(above). A commemorative plaque of the royal visit will be
placed on an exterior wall at the west end of the cathedral.