Two Elizabeths mark abbey's charter

An imposing flamed-haired Elizabeth I glares down at the current monarch as the Queen helps Westminster Abbey and School mark a historic landmark.

There to help celebrate the 450th anniversary of the granting of the institution's Royal Charter, the Queen unveiled a strikingly modern oversized statue of her forebear yesterday.

She also inspected a chair she last sat on more than half a century ago – a coronation seat used by almost every monarch since 1308.

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In 1560, Westminster Abbey – which then fully incorporated the school – was granted a Royal Charter by Elizabeth I.

Arriving in brilliant sunshine, the Queen, dressed in a deep pink outfit, attended a special service at the place of worship.

In notes included in the order of service, she paid tribute to the Abbey's place "close to the hear of the Sovereign" and its role in reflecting and inspiring UK life.

After being led through the church accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, the Queen took her place as guest of honour for proceedings.