As Queen turns 94, rare photos recall her time in Yorkshire

The Queen has always had a special relationship with Yorkshire, and on her 94th birthday, this collection of pictures from the archive recalls some of her visits to Broad Acres, both as Princess Elizabeth and as Sovereign.

The Queen at Doncaster Racecourse in 1977.
The Queen at Doncaster Racecourse in 1977.

It was a timeline that began in July 1949 when, as a newly-wed, she and the Duke of Edinburgh stepped off a train at Halifax to begin a three-day tour of the West Riding. Some 50,000 people squeezed into Roundhay Park to catch a glimpse of her watching a children’s pageant.

Yet the county was already familiar to her family. The Studley Royal estate near Ripon, which includes Fountains Abbey, played host to the Queen Mother throughout her 101 years. The estate had been owned by the family of her close friend and former bridesmaid, Lady Doris Vyner – whose Scottish home in Caithness the Royals also visited.

The Queen’s love of horse racing has drawn her to Doncaster, and to the St Leger, on numerous occasions. In her Coronation year of 1953 the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, accompanied her. She has also been welcomed at York Racecourse and at the Harewood horse trials.

Stopping to talk to people who braved the heavy rain at the new civic precinct in Bradford in 1974.

Neither has she been a stranger to the agricultural community. As Sovereign, she has been guest of honour at the Great Yorkshire Show three times, most recently on its 150th outing, 12 years ago. Her visit in 1977, her Silver Jubilee year, capped a whole summer of appearances in the county, also taking in York, Hull, Wakefield and Leeds, where she sat inside the Elland Road football stadium, filled to capacity with 40,000 people watching a youth festival in her honour.

She has also officiated at the 900th anniversary of Selby Abbey in 1969 and the opening of the Humber Bridge in 1981, and has distributed the Royal Maundy money here seven times.

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Lord Halifax introduces the Queen to Mayor of Beverley Councillor Eric Bielby in 1977.

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The Queen wWith Princess Anne and Prince Philip at Trinity House, Hull, in 1969.

James Mitchinson, Editor

The Queen tours Catterick Camp accompanied by the Duke of Kent in 1957.
The Queen acoompanied by the Mayor of Harrogate Coun R. A. McCaroll, on her walkabout in Station Prade in Harrogate
The Queen visits Wakefield in 1982.
The Queen on her way to the paddock at Doncaster Races to see her horse Gay Time in 1952.