The Queen says that she is “very keen” to visit Harold Hill
PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 October 2012
PA Wire/Press Association Images
The Queen has said that she is “very keen to do the trip to the Drapers’ Academy” in Harold Hill.
The Queen’s excitement about her first visit to Harold Hill on Friday October 26, was revealed by Major General Adrian Lyons (CBE), the chair of governors at the school in Settle Road, who organised the visit.
He said: “We have been told directly that the Queen says that she is very keen to make the trip and ‘it is something very important’ that she wants to do.”
Major Lyons, who is also the chair of governors at the Drapers’ Company, says that the Queen, who is the freeman of the Drapers’ Company normally visits Drapers’ Hall in London once every three years.
But on this occasion, she decided to visit the school, making it the second time that she has ever visited a building sponsored by the company.
The visit also coincides with the school’s recent GCSE success, making it one of the most improved school’s in the country.
Major Lyons said: “Why shouldn’t the Queen visit Harold Hill?
“I think its great that she is coming to Harold Hill and it reinforces the importance of the school in the area and the importance of education as a whole.”
He says that the company made the decision to sponsor the school because “they felt that they could make a difference in a community that was overlooked”.
Before work had started on creating the new school building, he says that he contacted the Queen’s secretary about a visit to the new school.
He says that he got a response back saying that he should get in touch with them once the building was completed.
When he got in contact with them earlier this year, he got a response back saying that the Queen would be delighted to visit.
He said: “I knew that it was going to be difficult because it was in the Queen’s Jubilee year, but I said that it would be much appreciated if she could make the visit.
“When we found out that she was going to visit, the hardest thing was keeping it a secret.”
The site where the school is built, is believed to have strong links with English monarchs.
The area is believed to have been used as King Harold of England’s manor during his reign in 1066.
Major Lyons said: “We have still got a huge distance to go with the academy but the Queen’s visit makes the first chapter so splendid.”