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Thousands turn out for royal tour

Thousands of royal well-wishers brought a city centre to a standstill as the Queen began her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK with the Duchess of Cambridge.

Everywhere the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Kate went in the centre of Leicester they were greeted by huge crowds of cheering, flag-waving people.

The duchess told one woman she was missing William "terribly" during one walkabout as hundreds clamoured to shake her hand from behind the barriers.

Kate looked relaxed as she chatted with her grandmother-in-law who also appeared to be enjoying meeting the crowds.

Many of those closest to the barriers had arrived early to secure the best spot. Laura Murphy, 30, waited for seven hours before she managed to shake hands with the duchess and ask her "how's William?". The physiotherapist said Kate replied: "He's fine - I'm missing him terribly." She said the duchess told her she was "being well looked after" in the absence of her husband, who is serving in the Falklands.

The royal party was greeted by banks of flag-waving supporters at the railway station. Their first destination was De Montfort University, where hundreds of students and other members of the public clamoured to get photographs and shake hands with the Queen and the duchess. Crowds 20 or 30 deep lined the square outside the university's main entrance.

Inside, the two royal women were even cheered as they walked into a fashion show, where they sat next to each other at the end of the catwalk and exchanged smiles and comments on the students' designs. The duchess chose a pair of shoes from a selection created by students. Winning designer Becka Hunt, 20, said she could not believe her shoes will now be made for Kate. "I'm overwhelmed," she said.

The Queen wore a cerise cashmere dress and coat with black trim by Angela Kelly, and a matching hat. The duchess was wearing a teal-coloured outfit from LK Bennett. The "Jude" jacket costs £295 and the "Davina" dress £225. Kate's hat was by James Lock and she wore Episode shoes.

After leaving the university, the royal party moved on to Leicester Cathedral where they were greeted by around 5,000 people who stood nine-deep at some parts. Around 700 people were inside for the service, which was described by cathedral staff as a Christian act of worship with multi-faith elements.

The final part of the visit saw the biggest crowds as thousands of people blocked off the shopping streets in the centre of the city to try to get a glimpse of the two royal women. In some places the crowds were 20 deep. They screamed and cheered as the Queen got out of the royal car followed by the Duke and the duchess.


From Belfast Telegraph