Looking back on when the Queen opened The Hive


It was a jubilant time when just days away from the start of the Olympic Games in London – the Queen visited Worcester as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour in 2012.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Worcester on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, just before noon and 15 minutes behind schedule to officially open The Hive – the city’s new £60 million library and history centre.

Momentum had been building at the Worcester News as a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #JubileeWorcs was launched. It encouraged readers to tweet on the day of Her Majesty’s visit.

There was a 16-page souvenir edition published with the paper filled with vibrant pictures of the Queen and those who waited to see her.

Dressed in a Karl Ludwig pale pink tweed coat and dress and a matching hat from Angela Kelly, the Queen, accompanied by Prince Philip, was welcomed by a cheering crowd as she arrived in the Butts.

The Royal party was greeted by the deputy lieutenant of Worcestershire Angela Brinton and several civic dignitaries including His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, chancellor of the University of Worcester; vice chancellor Professor David Green; Bishop of Worcester Dr John Inge; Worcester M.P. Robin Walker; Mayor of Worcester Roger Berry; and Councilor Adrian Hardman, the leader of Worcestershire County Council.

Inside the building the Queen enjoyed a tour of the ground floor taking in the new children’s library while Prince Philip was taken to the third floor.

The Queen, escorted by the Duke of Gloucester and Coun Hardman, was taken to the summer reading challenge, where she was introduced to Worcestershire’s young poet laureate Rowan Standish-Haines.

The group then moved to the story pit, where Kathy Kirk, head of library services, explained some of the features of the library and then viewed a Books Alive performance by children from St Clement’s Primary in St John’s, Worcester.

She also met artists whose work is exhibited in the Hive and visited the council’s customer service Hub.

Following their tour, Prof Green welcomed the Queen to Worcester and invited her to unveil a plaque, marking the official opening of the Hive.

He said: “Your Majesty, today is a very special day for the people of Worcester and Worcestershire.

“We offer our sincerest thanks to you, ma’am, on the occasion of your visit to your Faithful City during this, your jubilee year.”

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