Nerves and excitement at Royal visit to Harold Hill

This is the second time nine-year-old Jamie Stevens has seen the Queen - but he won’t remember his first royal sighting.

He was two days old when his mum Alison took him to the previous royal visit to Havering in 2003.

“Jamie had just been born,” said grandmother Connie Wittington, 72, of Cecil Avenue, Hornchurch. “My daughter was literally coming out of the hospital and they came and stood in the road to see her.

“We’re regular royal watchers. It’s nice when they come to your borough.”

The Kupryte family, of Harold Hill, were among the first to arrive in Settle Road this morning for the Queen’s visit.

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“We’re very excited to see the Queen,” said Hailsham Close resident Beata. “When my daughter Melita found out she was coming here, she said we needed to go and stand in the front row.”

Melita, seven, was joined by her four-year-old sister Minela.

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“It’s just something unusual in the area,” said 64-year-old Chris Kennick. “We follow what she does and we are often up in Buckingham Palace because I’m a big military person.”

Kriisy Ferrier’s two daughters Danielle and Sophie have got front row seats for today’s royal visit - Danielle’s having lunch with the Queen and Sophie’s performing in Little Shop of Horrors for her.

“I’m so proud,” said Kriisy, 44, of Bellflower Path, Harold Hill. “They’re a bit nervous. They performed Little Shop of Horrors as their end-of-year play and that was a fabulous performance.”

Harold Hill’s Drapers’ Academy is “one of the jewels in the crown”, says Havering’s Mayor, Cllr Lynden Thorpe.

Cllr Thorpe arrived at the Settle Road school with council leader Cllr Michael White, deputy leader Cllr Steven Kelly and education boss Cllr Paul Rochford. “I’m a bit nervous,” said Cllr Thorpe. “I feel very honoured in my mayoral year that her majesty is coming to the borough. I’m very excited.

“This is a terrific school - one of the jewels in the crown.”

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