Thursday, 31 October 2013

The Queen and Prince Philip come to Sussex

by Jian Farhoumand.

This photograph by Richard Allan. All others by Jian Farhoumand

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Defender of the Faith, and her husband Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, today visited East Sussex.

The Royal Couple attended several events and locations across Newhaven, Lewes and Brighton in what was the Queen's first visit to Sussex in six years.

First stop, at 10.30am, was West Quay Fisheries, Newhaven, where the royals had a chance to sample the plaice.

And the fish.

Ian Bickerstaff, owner of the Fisheries, said: "We’ve been here for nearly 40 years and we’re a family business so it’s nice to be recognised."

He added that his crew of fishermen had felt proud to be picked to receive a royal visit and had gone out on a second trawl especially for today.

The Royal Couple had flown in by helicopter before being chauffered to the Fisheries in a sleek, black Bentley.

Crowds of hundreds cheered through the drizzle and reign (ahem - ed.) as Ma'am stepped from the towncar dressed in a fetching purple-pink ensemble and hat.

Prince Philip was dapper by her side in a navy blue single-breasted suit and tie.

The Royal Party then proceeded inside to meet the staff and tour the facilities, before moving onto YHA South Downs, Southease, at 11.30am to meet enthusiastic Duke of Edinburgh Award students.

Here the Royal Couple unveiled a plaque commemorating the opening of the new facility.

Next stop, at 12.30, was Harvey's Brewery on Cliffe High Street, Lewes, the oldest independent brewery in Sussex.

The crowd outside whooped with delight as we all caught a glimpse of her Majesty as she exited her Bentley, flanked by security, and entered the brewery with Prince Philip.

The high-pitched squeals and cheers of the crowd were highly reminiscent of those made by ecstatic throngs of fourteen-year-old-girls at a One Direction concert. In this case, however, the crowds were mainly composed of Sussex OAPs with purple rinse dyes.

Still, the enthusiasm was evident as police held security lines and helicopters buzzed overhead.

Inside the brewery, our Queen and her Prince were treated to a tour of the bottling plant followed by, at 1pm, a hearty lunch of posh nosh and local ale.

An inside sauce (source - ed.) leeked (stop!) the menu which included such delicacies as cured salmon with cucumber radish; butternut timbale with cider buerre blanc and baby carrots; Middle Farm apple assiette and apple fool with caramelised apple tuile.

Next the Royal Couple were ushered across to The Keep in Falmer, Brighton, arriving only two minutes behind schedule at 2.12pm. The Royal Tour was indeed progressing like clockwork, albeit perhaps a Timex rather than Rolex.

Her Majesty officially opened The Keep, a new local archive centre run by the University of Sussex that will eventually house over six miles of archives dating back some 900 years.

The Queen met staff and volunteers and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening and her visit.

All in all, it was an exciting day marked by much merriment and enthusiasm. Radio stations and local news programmes were agog with excitement and crowds of pedestrians were testament to the Royal Pull. It was probably the most excitement our fair county has seen since the heady days of the Great Storm of '13.

One local smartalec quipped: "It might be the first time the Queen has come to Brighton in six years but it seems like a queen comes here every six seconds, if you ask me."

1 comment:

  1. I saw their helicopter land. One does not associate the Queen with Newhaven fisheries.......however it was not long before they were in the Rolls heading for the safety and sanctity of Lewes. God save the Queen !