Breaking: The Queen has died - Letchworth recalls memories of the late Elizabeth II visiting our town

By Layth Yousif

8th Sep 2022 | Local News

HRH Queen Elizabeth II has died. PICTURE: CREDIT: The Royal Family official website
HRH Queen Elizabeth II has died. PICTURE: CREDIT: The Royal Family official website

Breaking: Her Majesty The Queen has died.

Queen Elizabeth II has died aged 96.

The UK's longest reigning monarch passed away only days after meeting new Prime Minister Liz Truss in what was her final act as the country's figurehead.

Initial news regarding her wellbeing emerged on Thursday (September 8) lunchtime, with doctors said to be concerned for Her Majesty's, prior to her health rapidly deteriorating.

Prince Charles and Camilla raced to Balmoral, along with Prince William who left Windsor to be with his grandmother. While Prince Andrew, Princess Anne and Prince Edward also travelled to the Balmoral estate on Thursday. 

The Queen cancelled a Privy Council meeting to be held on Zoom on Wednesday night after doctors asked her to rest.

Earlier this week Queen Elizabeth II presided over the transition of power from Boris Johnson to Liz Truss at Balmoral, her Scottish highland castle.

The monarch had been suffering from 'mobility issues' for many months.

PICTURE: Queen Elizabeth II visiting Letchworth Garden City for the opening of sheltered housing at Tabor Court and new houses around Beech Hill in 1993. CREDIT: First Garden City Heritage Museum

The Queen, Hertfordshire and Letchworth - picture credits First Garden City Heritage Museum

During her incredible seven decade reign, Her Majesty visited Hertfordshire a number of times in an official capacity, as well as spending time as a child and during her reign at St Paul's Walden Bury near Hitchin - the home of the Bowes-Lyon family - where the Queen Mother spent her childhood. 

Her Majesty visited Letchworth back in 1982 and 1993.

As you can see by First Garden City Heritage Museum's pictures 29 years ago, on July 30, 1993, Queen Elizabeth II visited Letchworth Garden City for the opening of sheltered housing at Tabor Court and new houses around Beech Hill.

PICTURE: Queen Elizabeth II visiting Letchworth Garden City for the opening of sheltered housing at Tabor Court and new houses around Beech Hill in 1993. CREDIT: First Garden City Heritage Museum

In 1982 the Queen officially opened Letchworth's North Herts Leisure Centre.

In the book, Letchworth Reflections: Memories of the Garden City 1960-2003 edited by Heather Elliott and John Sanderson, local residents shared their memories of the day Elizabeth II opened our area's leisure centre.

Watching from the garden

Whilst the house we were in was in Jackmans Place, the house that backed onto us was actually on the Baldock Road. Since my neighbour is a good friend of mine she said 'Come over and stand in my garden'. I thought that I was not going to get much of a view there so I moved down actually onto the road and the Queen passed about two feet away in her limousine going very slowly and I had an excellent view of her and got a lovely smile – plus the Duke. OK for me. Not very good security-wise but I wasn't going to do her any harm.

A Letchworth resident, as quoted in the book, Letchworth Reflections: Memories of the Garden City 1960-2003 edited by Heather Elliott and John Sanderson

Waving the flag

I remember the Queen coming to open the Leisure Centre and we all sat along Baldock Road, outside a friend's house, with our flags and our hats. She was late so we spent hours discussing what colour her hat would be and then when she came, she zoomed past at 40 miles an hour and so we didn't see what colour it was anyway. The waiting was much more fun than the Queen going past.

A Letchworth resident, as quoted in the book, Letchworth Reflections: Memories of the Garden City 1960-2003 edited by Heather Elliott and John Sanderson

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