VIDEO: Memorable day for all as Queen visits Bristol
IT was a royal visit planned in the finest detail, with schedules designed to run like clockwork.
But there was a surprise in store for the Queen during her trip to Bristol when she was presented with a handmade gift by an eight-year-old girl.
Alyssa Street astonished the Queen when she handed her a pair of earrings she had designed and crafted herself, during the royal tour of the Gatehouse Centre in Hartcliffe.
VIDEO: THE QUEEN'S VISIT TO BRISTOL. ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW.
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The Hareclive Academy pupil, who has Asperger syndrome, created the earrings, which had a penguin and Father Christmas design – just hours before the Queen arrived. She had told her mother Sam Hudson, who volunteers at the centre, an hour before the visit that she intended to give them to the Queen.
She presented the earrings – with a little help from the Duke of Edinburgh – after giving the Queen a posy at the end of the tour of the centre in Hareclive Road yesterday afternoon.
Ms Hudson, 33, who lives in Hartcliffe, said: "She gave the posy to the Queen but didn't give her the earrings as she planned. She then told the Duke she had made them for her and he took her over to the Queen and she handed them to her.
"Alyssa has picked up the skills to make earrings at the centre and now she can make them herself.
"The Queen liked them. She looked at them and said 'thank you'. She was surprised because she was only expecting the flowers.
"I don't know if she will wear them – they were very child-like."
Ms Hudson said she was "very proud" of her daughter, adding: "I knew she wouldn't say anything (to the Queen) because she doesn't express herself very well verbally. It was quite emotional – she is princess and queen-mad and she managed it all really well."
The touching scene came at the end of a memorable day, when cheering crowds lit up a city battling dark, grey skies, strong winds and rain.
It was the first visit to Bristol by the monarch in seven years.
Wearing a vivid pink outfit, the Queen visited a successful family business, the Old Vic theatre, the M shed museum and the Gatehouse Centre. Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh on one of the last public engagements of her jubilee year, the Queen arrived on the Royal Train at Temple Meads yesterday morning.
Her first port of call was caravan maker Bailey of Bristol in Ashton Vale. The royal party was given an extensive tour of the factory floor at the firm, which celebrates its 65th anniversary next year.
Tamsin, aged seven, the daughter of company director Nick Howard, presented the Queen with a white rose bouquet before the visitors moved off to their next appointment at the Bristol Old Vic.
VIDEO: THE QUEEN AT THE OLD VIC. ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW.
Crowds packed King Street to cheer the Queen as her Bentley limousine made its way along the cobbles towards the historic theatre, which is halfway through a multi-million- pound refurbishment.
As she emerged from the car, the Queen was greeted by a special song written and performed by the Bristol Old Vic Young Company. Artistic director Tom Morris escorted the royal visitors on a tour of the theatre, before they were shown to seats in the dress circle to watch a special performance of the theatre's Christmas production, Peter Pan.
Then it was on to M shed to lunch with 150 guests from a cross-section of Bristol society.
VIDEO: THE QUEEN AT M SHED. ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW.
Afterwards the Queen emerged to eager cheers from fans who had braved the wind and rain to catch a glimpse. As she and the Duke left, historic fireboat the Pyronaut sent a cascade of water into the air from the floating harbour.
Charmaine Earlington-Mclean, whose son Michael sang for the Queen in a choir made up of children from four Bristol schools, told The Post it was a "proud day" for the family.
VIDEO: THE QUEEN IN HARTCLIFFE. ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW.