Coronation fit for the Queen re-enacted by Dereham Church Infant School children

The bells rang out and a gold carriage was put on for a special royal event in Dereham to mark the Queen's diamond jubilee.

A mock coronation played out by pupils and governors from Dereham Church Infant School this morning in the nearby St Nicholas Church.

Watched by 160 children - who were dressed in their finest - and their parents, Millie Eagle, 7, from Dereham, played the part of the Queen and wore a silver and purple crown, while holding a sceptre, sword and orb.

Canon Sally Theakston, rector of St Nicholas Church, was the Archbishop of Canterbury for the special occasion.

She said: 'It thought it was a real privilege to lead the service, especially as the children were so enthusiastic. It will be something they remember for an awful long time.

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'By participating an event like this, with the bells ringing and the organ playing, it meant so much more.

'It was wonderful to see a sea of expectant and excited children. They were beautifully behaved and for children of that age to sing two verses of the National Anthem off by heart is better than some adults can do.'

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During the service all the children put on homemade gold and silver crowns and after the new Queen walked down the aisle she was taken to the church in a special carriage while everyone shouted, 'hip hip hooray!'

Afterwards everyone tucked into cakes, scones and sandwiches made up by the school cooks at a street party, which featured homemade bunting.

Headteacher Karen Gay said: 'We did a mock royal wedding last year and there was such positive feedback from the parents about how the children understood the event. It is important they understand what the jubilee is about. We want to give the children real experiences and memorable experiences.

'Our children never cease to amaze me. The whole school comes together as a real community when it comes to these events.'

In the run-up to the coronation the children watched the 1953 coronation, designed a pair of jubilee knickers for the Queen and learned about what life was like in the 1950s, among other activities.

Millie said: 'It was exciting. I felt happy.'

John Gretton, chairman of governors who played the crown bearer, said: 2: 'I thought the children were absolutely fantastic. They always do us proud on big occasions - they have a sense of occasion and they love dressing up.'

A jubilee service will be taking place at St Nicholas Church on Monday at 3pm and a street party will be held in the churchyard afterwards.

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