Queen admires skyline on Shard trip
The Queen asked for a bird's eye view of Buckingham Palace as she looked across London's skyline from the top of The Shard.
She went up western Europe's tallest building, standing at 1,016ft (310m) high, with the Duke of Edinburgh as the royal couple visited the London borough of Southwark today.
The Queen peered through an interactive telescope on the landmark's 69th floor, before braving the cold weather on the 800ft (244m) high open-air viewing gallery of the building at London Bridge.
Dressed in a matching purple coat and hat, the Queen remarked that St Paul's Cathedral looked "quite small" as she walked around the 360 degree gallery, known as The View.
"It's interesting, the different views and how people can see their houses," she said.
The Queen was introduced to Mark Layden, 24, a member of The Shard's apprenticeship scheme, who showed the monarch how to use a digital telescope, which can identify landmarks across the capital and allows users to zoom in.
Speaking after the royal visit, Mr Layden said: "I was stood by the telescope and she asked, 'are you going to show me Buckingham Palace?'
"She liked how much you can zoom in. She seemed quite interested in a plane flying past on its way to City airport as well."
Despite the grey skies above, the Queen and Duke stepped out on to the outdoor viewing platform on level 72, where they met staff and young people involved the Southwark Scholarship Scheme.
The project removes the financial burden of going to university for high achievers who would otherwise have struggled to be able to afford it.
The scholarships are part of the local council's multi-million pound Youth Fund, investing in education and employment opportunities for young people in Southwark.
After leaving The Shard, the Queen and Duke visited Southwark Cathedral where they were greeted by cheers from more than 200 local schoolchildren waving Union flags.
As they entered the historic building, choir singers sung the National Anthem before performing a rendition of the Vast Ocean of Light, which was written for the Diamond Jubilee.
The Queen giggled as she was introduced to the cathedral's cat, named Doorkins, who lay asleep on a chair inside the main hall.
"It goes for lunch in the market and then sleeps it off in the chair," Andrew Nunn, the Dean of Southwark, said.
The Queen was shown a stain-glassed window which features an image of her face after it was repaired following damage in the Second World War.
"I didn't know anything about it," she said. "It's very unlikely."
The royal couple met members of the guild of broderers of the cathedral who are making a new set of jubilee copes to be worn by the four bishops of the diocese.
"It does take an age doesn't it," the Queen said as she was introduced to the broderers.
During her visit, the Queen was shown a new stained glass window created by Icelandic artist Leifur Breidfjord to mark the Diamond Jubilee.
The lowest part of the design of the window bears the text "Vivat Regina! Defender Of The Faith, Diamond Jubilee 2012" and the heraldic symbol of the Glaziers Company.
The design was commissioned after a competition by the Worshipful Company of Glassmakers and Painters of Glass.
As the royal couple left the cathedral, the Duke turned to a group of schoolchildren and asked: "Anyone got frostbite yet?"