Image 1

PLATINUM JUBILEE: Her Majesty’s visits to H&F

Categoriesnews Communitynews

Image captionImage 1: The Queen and Prince Philip at the BBC Television Centre in White City with comedian Harry Secombe. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

During her 70-year reign, Her Majesty The Queen has made several official visits to Hammersmith & Fulham.

Her first official visit to the borough came in November 1946 when the then 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth was guest of honour at Burlington School's prizegiving in Fulham. She visited as the school began preparations to mark its 250th anniversary.

It came a year ahead of her marriage to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, and more than five years before she ascended to the throne following the death of King George Vl in February 1952.

Image 2
Image caption: Image 2: Hammersmith Town Hall decorated for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953. PICTURE: H&F ARCHIVES


Her coronation on 2 June 1953 prompted street parties across the borough, with Hammersmith Town Hall decked in bunting for the occasion and streets strung with flags and messages of goodwill.

As so few people had television sets, a live screening of the coronation was organised, with Hammersmith’s Commodore Theatre packed to watch the unfolding scene as the 27-year-old was crowned.

Two days later, Queen Elizabeth ll and the Duke of Edinburgh were cheered by crowds lining the streets as an open-top car took the couple on a ‘state drive’ through west London – which included Askew Road in Shepherds Bush.

Image 3
Image caption: Image 3: Archive photo of a Coronation street party in Riverside Gardens

The crowds were six-deep, with many more hanging out of windows to get a glimpse of the new monarch. Resident Jean Clark, of Roxwell Road, presented Her Majesty with a bouquet of flowers as the car slowly progressed up the packed street.

Two years later, on 6 June 1955, the Queen made an official visit to Hammersmith Hospital, in Du Cane Road, White City, where she met staff and students at the postgraduate medical school. She was following in the footsteps of her grandfather, King George V, who had opened it in 1935.

She also met patients and hospital staff on a tour of the facilities, and performed the official opening of a new £80,000 cancer facility. Hundreds lined her route around the hospital grounds.

But there was time for informal visits too. In 1957, the Royal Family, including nine-year-old Prince Charles and seven-year-old Princess Anne, paid a visit to Bertram Mills circus at Olympia.

Image 4
Image caption: Image 4: Archive photo of a Coronation street party in H&F

Silver Jubilee

By the time the Silver Jubilee arrived in 1977, celebrating 25 years of The Queen’s reign, the borough showed it still had a huge affection for the monarch.

It was the excuse for no fewer than 42 street parties on 6 June 1977, and a further 36 later in the week.

The then Mayor of Hammersmith, Cllr Leslie Hilliard, used the occasion to launch a fund for the planting of jubilee trees, at £10 a time.

Want to read more news stories like this? Subscribe to our weekly e-news bulletin.