Belfast Telegraph

Queen given jubilee Oyster card

The Queen's Diamond Jubilee has been celebrated by some of the nation's leading institutions with the presentation of an unusual present - an Oyster card.

London Mayor Boris Johnson gave the Queen the commemorative travel card as he led a delegation to Buckingham Palace to deliver a loyal address.

The politician was joined by representatives from renowned universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, the Bank of England and religious bodies such as the General Synod and the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, who all delivered speeches in praise of the monarch's 60-year reign.

Mr Johnson told the Queen, who was joined by the Duke of Edinburgh in the Palace's ornate ballroom: "When Queen Victoria celebrated her Diamond Jubilee in 1897, representatives came here from the far reaches of empire.

"In this remarkable year in our city's history, the world will again come to London, to share in Your Majesty's own Diamond Jubilee and to be part of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"Londoners will flock to the banks of the Thames to see your Jubilee Pageant pass down the river and the whole city looks forward to the moment in the summer when Your Majesty will declare the Games open, in the heart of a renewed east London, now transformed from the devastation of the blitz and post-war decline."

The 27 organisations that gave an address to the Queen are known as privileged bodies, which have the historic right of making a formal speech in person to the sovereign and receiving a reply.

In centuries past this important function allowed the groups to publicly declare their loyalty to the crown and have the "ear" of the monarch, while the King or Queen could hear grassroots opinions.

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