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Warm welcome for Queen in capital

The Queen has celebrated her Diamond Jubilee with the people of London as the Duke of Edinburgh showed he has lost none of his waspish humour.

Thousands turned out in three boroughs to welcome the royal couple, who are touring the UK to mark the Queen's historic 60-year reign.

Armfuls of flowers, cards and even soft toys were handed over to the Queen during her first stop, Redbridge, where an exhibition of world-renowned artwork and design classics were on display to mark the Diamond Jubilee at 17th-century Valentines Mansion.

When Philip met one of the many well-wishers, he showed that despite his recent health problems his wits are still keen as he joked with the disabled man about his mode of transport.

The royal strode up to David Miller, 60, and, gesturing to the four-wheeled mobility scooter he was sitting on, asked him: "How many people have you knocked over this morning on that thing?" Mr Miller, a trustee of a charitable trust that runs Valentines Mansion, and those standing with him erupted with laughter.

The Duke is known for his blunt speaking and is famed for making light of events and even people during royal engagements.

Mr Miller, who has difficulty walking due to a spinal problem, said after Philip had moved on: "That is just typical from the Duke. He is renowned for his humour but no offence was taken, it was all in good humour. I told him 'no, your Royal Highness, I had not knocked anyone down'."

Moments earlier the Queen and Duke had toured a marquee filled with design exhibits from the past six decades of her reign. Designer Sir Terence Conran, who helped the local council to source pieces for the display, greeted the Monarch when she first arrived.

The royal couple were joined by London Mayor Boris Johnson, who at one point took on the role of a lady-in-waiting, collecting flowers that had been handed to the Queen.

The Queen and Philip travelled on to the second leg of their London visit, Waltham Forest Town Hall, where they enjoyed a two-course lunch of Indian shepherd's pie followed by clotted cream bread and butter pudding prepared by celebrity Indian chef Cyrus Todiwala.


From Belfast Telegraph