Centre stage for theatre date
NEXT stop on the Queen's tour of the city was a visit to the Bristol Old Vic Theatre, which is halfway through a multi-million pound refurbishment.
A large crowd gathered in King Street to greet Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh with people of all ages waving union jack flags and eagerly holding up camera phones.
As the Royal car made its way down the cobbled street the crowd began to cheer, the noise reaching a climax as Her Majesty stepped out.
As she made her way into the theatre's foyer members of Bristol Old Vic Young Company sang Remember, Remember, a song they composed themselves.
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The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were then introduced to Tom Morris, artistic director, Laura Marshall, chairwoman of the theatre board and Emma Stenning, executive director, who then escorted them around the theatre.
They took their seats in the dress circle where they watched a ten-minute "technical rehearsal" of the theatre's Christmas production Peter Pan, starring Tristan Sturrock as Peter Pan and Madeleine Worrall as Wendy.
The Queen and Duke then made their way to the refurbished royal box, where members of the Bristol Old Vic Young Company held tea lights as they again sang a song they had composed themselves, this time called Fly Away.
The couple were then invited on stage to meet cast members and to unveil a plaque to mark the royal visit and the reopening of the royal box.
Toby Yapp, 11, a member of the young company, presented Her Majesty with a replica silver token.
The token was a copy of one of the 50 that were handed to the people that helped found the theatre in 1766.
The token means that the Queen can now attend any show at the theatre free of charge.
Madeleine Worrall, who plays Wendy, said: "Meeting the Queen was lovely – she was very sweet and seemed very interested in the production.
"I think the visit was a delightful thing for the theatre.
"The Duke made everyone laugh by telling Tristan, who plays Peter Pan, that it looked very dangerous to come flying down from the ceiling but he assured him it wasn't!"
The Queen and Duke then toured the backstage area, including a dressing room, and met the cast and production staff.
Tim Streader, chief electrician, who lives in Bishopston, and Fred Stacey, workshop supervisor, who lives in Bedminster were two of those to shake hands with the Queen.
Mr Streader said: "I've worked here 41 years and we've had lots of other Royals visit in the past, but the Queen coming here today made it the full set."
As the Queen left the theatre she was given a posy of red and yellow flowers by Peggy Edwards, 11, another member of the young company. A group of children, aged from five to ten, from Holymead Primary School in Brislington also gathered with colourful drawings and bouquets of flowers for the Queen, who received the gifts and spoke to them before getting into her car.
The Old Vic reopened in September after being closed for 18 months.
So far £12 million has been spent renovating the Grade One listed auditorium and backstage area.
The next phase will redevelop the front-of-house area and aims to be completed in time for the theatre's 250th anniversary in 2016.