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Touching photos of the Queen’s visits to Oxfordshire


Sep 14, 2022

Here we feature more photos of the Queen’s visits to Oxfordshire over the years.

Following her first visit to Oxford as Princess Elizabeth in 1948 she returned many times and was always welcomed by a large crowd of well-wishers. Often children were selected to offer Her Majesty a posy of flowers.

The Queen had a busy day in Oxfordshire on April 8, 1959, when she made eight stops in six hours.

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Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

The whistle-stop tour took in Banbury, Chipping Norton, Woodstock, Heythrop, Ditchley, Witney, Shirburn and Henley.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived at Banbury by train from Windsor.

After meeting dignitaries at Banbury and Chipping Norton, she was driven to Woodstock, where she was presented with a pair of Woodstock gloves and invited to compare them with a pair of long gloves made locally for Queen Elizabeth I, on loan from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

There was laughter when the Queen compared the old gloves with her own hand and commented: “My word, they are large.”

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After lunch at Ditchley, the Queen and the Duke made an unscheduled stop, pausing to meet huntsmen and hounds from the Heythrop Hunt.

The most amusing incident during the day occurred at Early’s blanket mill at Witney.

Charles Early, three-year-old son of the firm’s vice-chairman, Richard Early, and Susan Early, 14-year-old daughter of chairman Patrick Early, had been chosen to present blankets to the Queen – a blue one for Prince Charles and a pink one for Princess Anne.

All went according to plan as Susan stepped forward to hand over the gift for the Princess.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

But young Charles, having presented the Prince’s blanket to the Queen and returned to his mother, suddenly darted forward and snatched it back.

It looked as if Prince Charles had lost his gift from Witney.

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But as the Queen left the mill, young Charles appeared in front of the crowd with the blanket, the Queen’s chauffeur opened the rear door and the boy dropped it inside.

The Queen turned and waved to him as the car drove off.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF