Queen enjoys a tour of King’s Lynn town hall on Accession Day

There were cries of 'hip hip, hooray' as the Queen arrived in King's Lynn today to celebrate the start of her 60th year as monarch.

About 150 members of the public braved the cold outside the town hall to see her arrive, wearing a turquoise, grey and white wool dress, coat and matching hat by Angela Kelly.

She smiled and waved before going inside, where guests paid tribute to her 'dedicated and exemplary' service.

Giving an address inside the hall, town mayor Colin Sampson: 'For 60 years your majesty has given dedicated and exemplary service to the people of this country and the Commonwealth.

'Locally, your majesty has made a matchless contribution to our economy and brought enjoyment to many by inviting members of the public to share so much of your Sandringham home.

'West Norfolk residents are very appreciative of all that your majesty has done to support the area and your majesty has earned a very special place in their hearts.'

Mr Sampson then presented the Queen with a framed copy of the address and she signed the visitors' book.

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Along with local dignitaries, school children and members of the Army, sea and air cadets were invited to join the visit.

Mr Sampson, Norfolk chief constable Phil Gormley, West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham, Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk Richard Jewson and High Sheriff Georgina Holloway greeted the monarch on arrival.

The Queen was invited to view a number of exhibits, including The Jewels of West Norfolk compiled by the town's museum.

She also viewed items from the town's archives, including the certificate of her father's birth at nearby Sandringham house.

Nine-year-old Rosie Muspratt presented a bouquet of roses as the Queen left the town hall.

The youngster said: 'It was very exciting but I wasn't nervous. I was honoured to do it and she was very nice.'

The crowd gave three cheers as the Queen left the building. One onlooker shouted 'God bless you ma'am' as she was driven to her next engagement by Range Rover.

Laura Skrzynski, who has been following the Queen for 21 years, travelled from London.

'I love that the monarchy is above politics and feel that the Queen represents that best of all. She stands for integrity and respect and I am inspired by her faith. She has been a constant through all our lives,' she said.

Later, the Queen visited the picturesque but snow-covered village of Dersingham, which is less than a mile from her private Sandringham estate.

A walkabout planned at the gates of Dersingham Infant and Nursery School was cancelled because of the heavy snow which still lay 5ins deep on the ground.

But a sizeable crowd of local residents had braved the cold conditions to catch a glimpse as she passed.

As she stepped from her chauffeur-driven vehicle, there was a round of applause, and close by was a large media presence of cameramen, photographers and reporters.

Inside the school, many classrooms had projects and displays with a royal theme.

In one class a 'Royal Laundry' was in full operation with bloomers hanging on a line and more clothes drying below.

Decorated white underpants were stuck to the ceiling - all inspired by the children's book The Queen's Knickers, by Nicholas Allan.

Class teacher Carole Crane said: 'The Queen came in and said 'Oh, they're doing the washing'. She did not say a lot but she smiled and seemed to be enjoying herself.'

In a heartfelt Diamond Jubilee message to the nation, the Queen has thanked all those who had given 'wonderful support and encouragement' to her and the Duke of Edinburgh over the past six decades.

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