She reigned with grace and dignity, dedicating her life to the service of her people. Over the course of her seventy-year reign — the longest reigning monarch in the nation's history — H.M. Queen Elizabeth II witnessed dramatic changes to society and the nation. We celebrate the moments which H.M. the Queen came to see these moments of change in Trafford, and remember her life of service. 

 


Queen’s visit to Longford Park (20 June 1977)

Taken from the Stretford and Urmston Journal:

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a garden party in the grounds of Longford Park, as part of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee celebrations. There were 3,000 invited guests.

‘More than 75,000 people from all over Greater Manchester lined the Queen’s route in Chester Road and Edge Lane, Stretford, many of them keeping up a six hour vigil…. Decked in their red, white and blue, many surged behind the Rolls and followed it to the gates of Longford Park.

The Queen and Prince Philip stepped out of their car to be greeted on the steps of Longford Hall by the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester. Sir William Downward. The Mayor of Trafford’s four year old daughter Susannah then presented the Queen with a hand spray of flowers, before they went inside to sign the visitor’s books of Trafford and Greater Manchester. The Royal couple stepped out into the warm sunshine again to be met by the warm applause of their guests.

Taking a circular route around the park, the Royal pair went on a meet-the-people walkabout which lasted half an hour – 20 minutes longer than expected. After the walk about, they retired to a private pavilion to take tea with several of the VIPs.’

 

Excerpt from the Manchester Evening News, dated 6 February 2012:

‘Responsible for royal visits to the region for almost four decades has been the office of the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester. Paul Goddard, clerk to the Lieutenancy from 1973 to 2007, has seen the Queen on numerous occasions. When asked what was the most memorable visit of his long service, he said:

 “The one that most sticks out in the mind was in 1977 on her Silver Jubilee tour,” says Goddard. “She was travelling from Leigh to Stretford, where we had a garden party in Longford Park attended by about 2,000 people. It was the first time a royal garden party had been held outside London.

The Queen travelled from Leigh down the motorway, which was closed for the visit, and there was a helicopter overhead. We were in the advance car when we got a message: 'We've lost the Queen!' Her driver had taken her off at the turning which said Trafford Park. There was a car ahead which had Jim Anderton, the chief constable in it, and it had to do a u-turn on the motorway and double back to get the Queen back on track!”


Queen Elizabeth II visits Greater Manchester Police HQ, Chester House (21st March 1986)

Officially opened the new Communications and Computer Centre at Chester House Phase II. This purpose-built complex alongside the Chester House headquarters is one of the most advanced units of its kind in Great Britain.

'In March 1986 the Queen was again catching up with science and innovation in Manchester. This time it was at the control room at the Greater Manchester police headquarters. Still carrying a bouquet of flowers, she chatted to staff in front of their computer screens at the main motorway control room.'


Opening of Centenary Bridge at Trafford Park (1 December 1994)

In December 1994, Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Trafford Park to open the new lift bridge over the Manchester Ship Canal. This bridge is one of only three of its type in Britain and the deck can be lifted 15 metres between two pairs of towers, 30 metres high, to allow the passage of ships. The Queen opened it as part of the Manchester Ship Canal's centenary celebrations. It was the first low-level opening bridge to be built across the canal since it opened in 1894.

An article in the Stretford and Urmston Messenger, dated 8 December 1994, reads:

 ‘A hundred years after her great, great grandmother, Queen Victoria, officially opened the ship canal, Elizabeth the Second was there to open the first new bridge across it for a century. The Queen, watched by the Duke of Edinburgh, was the first to press the button which lowered the 550 tonne roadway from two sets of towers standing 41 metres high. The Centenary Bridge and its road links from Trafford borough to Salford.  Her visit came three days before the bridge and road links were opened to the public.  Trafford Mayor Cllr Ken Rogers and Manchester Chief Constable David Wilmot were among those who met Her Majesty on the Trafford side of the bridge. Having lowered the bridge, she became the first pedestrian to walk across it, accompanied by Trafford Park Development Corporation chairman, Bill Morgan.


Queen’s visit to Coronation Street (July 2021)

On 8 July 2021, the Queen visited the set of Coronation Street to mark 60 years of the popular television programme. She was given a 40-minute tour of the set and studios, and met the cast and crew of the show. The Queen asked how they had managed to keep filming during the pandemic and then said “it’s really marvellous you’ve been able to carry on”. The cobbled streets were covered with a red carpet for the royal visit. The Queen previously visited Coronation Street in 1982, when the studios were located at Granada Studios in Manchester. In 2013, the sets moved to ITV Studios, Trafford Wharf Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford.


 

We invite you to remember how Trafford celebrated the life and achievements of HM Queen Elizabeth II by visiting our exhibition, 'Happy and Glorious: H.M. the Queen's Platinum Jubilee'