The Day The Queen Visited Cowes
The Queen was given various Isle of Wight produce from different local companies.
Today was a very special day for the Isle of Wight and many have been waiting with keen anticipation since this royal visit was announced. Queen Elizabeth II has been touring the UK as part of her Diamond Jubilee Tour, along with her husband Prince Phillip. The world-famous sailing hub of Cowes was the chosen destination for the Queen’s visit to the Isle of Wight - ideal for getting here by boat and landing in style!
With clear blue skies, the hot sunshine was already beating down on Victoria Parade at Cowes from the early hours of the morning. The Queen was due to arrive on the parade for her ‘walk-about’ at around 10am. Isle of Wight radio interviewed a few people who had been there since around 6am – both from the mainland and locals - who were determined to find the best spot to meet the royal couple. By 9.30, the parade was packed with people hoping to see a glimpse of The Queen. Up to 12,000 were expected!
As a spectator, it was wonderful to be part of the crowd, who were all there to show their support for The Queen and be a part of this major Isle of Wight event, which will go down in history. The atmosphere was one of celebration, warmth and community spirit, reminding me of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in June, along with the Olympic Torch Relay just over a week ago!
It was not easy to capture a video or to get any close up photographs of the Queen… I was among the many people who were holding their cameras on tip-toe over the crowd’s heads and trying to follow the couple’s progress along the parade! You can see the photos of the Queen’s visit on our My Guide Isle of Wight Facebook page. Below is the video – The Queen’s Visit to Cowes from an excited spectator’s perspective!
The visit was of course planned down to the very last detail. Being The Superyacht Cup regatta, there have been some very impressive ‘super yachts’ in Cowes this week… one of them making a very impressive backdrop for the Queen’s arrival! Arriving aboard the Royal Motor Yacht (MY) Leander, passing by Gurnard and along to Cowes under a ‘parade of sail’, the Queen boarded a smaller boat and made her way to Trinity Landing. Her arrival was marked by a 21 gun salute, fired from the Royal Yacht Squadron. Walking up Victoria Parade, she stopped to listen to a special Diamond Jubilee song, composed and performed by Cowes Primary School. She also unveiled a commemorative plaque for the occasion and then arrived at the new RNLI lifeboat station at the end of the parade.
Once inside the RNLI lifeboat station, the crowd outside could watch what was happening inside on a big screen; my favourite moment of the day has to be when during one of the speeches, a boat out in the harbour honked its horn several times, making the speaker stop, smile and turn to The Queen musing, ‘That was nothing to do with me!’. The queen gave a broad smile, showing her delightful sense of humour.
The Queen and Prince Phillip then made their way via a small boat a little further along the harbour to Cowes Yacht Haven. Here, she was given various Isle of Wight produce from different local companies. Robert Thompson, the island’s Michelin starred chef from The Hambrough, presented her with the hamper. We were in contact through Twitter during the day… he was unsurprisingly feeling a little nervous. However, having met the Queen, Robert told us that the experience was ‘excellent’ and that ‘Her Majesty was loving the Isle of Wight Biltong for the corgis!’
Finally, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh headed off by car to catch a helicopter to the mainland, where their final engagement of the Diamond Jubilee Tour would be the New Forest Show in Hampshire.
Thank you to Isle of Wight Radio who have put together their radio interviews, listeners photos and some video footage too in this great YouTube presentation!