Queens' visit

PUBLISHED: 17:54 29 March 2011 | UPDATED: 19:06 20 February 2013

Queens' visit

Queens' visit

Warwickshire gave The Queen a rousing welcome as Her Majesty opened the new Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa then formally opened the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Her Majesty the Queen in Warwickshire

Warwickshire gave The Queen a rousing welcome as Her Majesty opened the new Warwickshire Justice Centre in Leamington Spa then formally opened the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon.

It was the Queens first visit to Leamington Spa in 23 years. Crowds lined the streets to welcome Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh who were greeted at the new 30 million Warwickshire Justice Centre by Lord Lieutenant Martin Dunne. After a tour of the centre the only one in the country to house crown and magistrates courts, police, probation and other criminal justice services under one roof the Queen went walkabout before being driven to Stratford-upon-Avon.
In Stratford security was tight but discreet, with armed security staff among the crowds and rifle-bearing marksmen on the roof of the theatre. But the atmosphere remained informal and relaxed as the waiting crowds in places up to 12 deep laughed and joked with the police officers lining the route.
During her visit to the theatre The Queen met members of the RSCs current acting ensemble and the RSC Young Company and was shown some other features of the 1932 theatre that have been kept as part of the new building. To mark the restoration of the building, The Queen unveiled a stone, carved by Helen Mary Skelton. It reads: Her Majesty the Queen, accompanied by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh opened the transformed Royal Shakespeare Theatre on 4th March 2011. The stone will later be placed in the base of the theatres new 36-metre high tower.
The royal party took lunch in the theatres Rooftop Restaurant. Head chef Nick Funnell and his team prepared a starter of pork rillettes, a main course of Dorset sole with salmon mousse, and a white chocolate mousse for dessert.
After lunch, the Queen and the Duke took a short tour of the building, visiting the wigs, make-up and wardrobe department before taking their seats in the auditorium to watch a performance of the Balcony Scene from Romeo and Juliet' featuring Sam Troughton, as Romeo and Mariah Gale as Juliet.
As the royal party departed the theatre, a posy was presented to the Queen by Rachael Boyd, ten-year-old daughter of artistic director Michael Boyd. Rachael said: It was amazing. It was nerve-racking but great.

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