H&F mourns the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Flags have been lowered at Hammersmith & Fulham following news of the death of The Queen.

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Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022) on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Flags have been lowered at Hammersmith & Fulham following news of the death of The Queen. They will remain lowered, as a mark of respect, until after her state funeral.

It follows a message issued by Buckingham Palace on 8 September 2022 confirming the death of Britain’s longest-lived, and longest-reigning monarch, at the age of 96.

Tributes have been paid to the first British monarch to commemorate a Platinum Jubilee. Queen Elizabeth ll marked 70 years on the throne earlier this year.

“I know I speak for everyone in Hammersmith & Fulham in expressing the deep sadness all of us feel on hearing the news about Her Majesty The Queen,” said Cllr Stephen Cowan, Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham.

“The Queen’s selfless dedication to our country and the Commonwealth defined her life and the best of our way of life, from her service while Princess Elizabeth during World War II to this week when as our Monarch she performed her constitutional duties even while gravely ill. We mourn her passing and send our sincere condolences to The Royal Family.”

Cllr Cowan has sent a formal message of sympathy to Buckingham Palace on behalf of all the residents of the borough of Hammersmith & Fulham. Books of condolence are now open at Hammersmith Library and Fulham Library. The Royal Palace also has an online book of condolence where you can pay your tributes.

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Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles embark from Chelsea Harbour in Fulham on the first part of their journey in The Jubilee River Pageant (3 June 2012). PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Visits to H&F

The Queen’s first official visit to the borough came in November 1946 when the then 20-year-old Princess Elizabeth was guest of honour at the prizegiving at Burlington School in Fulham, 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.

During her long reign, she made several further official visits to Hammersmith & Fulham. Her coronation on 2 June 1953 prompted street parties across the borough, with the 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, Shepherds Bush.

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

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, 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.

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Edenhurst Avenue Platinum Jubilee street party

Celebrating The Queen’s reign

Hammersmith & Fulham residents have a history of celebrating important milestones during The Queen’s long reign.

The Silver Jubilee in 1977 to celebrate 25 years of service to her country 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. 

In 2002, H&F residents marked her Golden Jubilee, honouring 50 years on the throne, and in 2012 they celebrated her Diamond Jubilee after 60 years of service.

This year, more than 80 street parties were held to mark Her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne. You can see photos from many of the street parties here.

The borough also took part in the historic Beacon Lighting Ceremony to celebrate Her Majesty’s reign. Residents also marked the occasion by taking part in The Queen’s Green Canopy.

Remembering Her Majesty

If you would like to leave a tribute to The Queen, two books of condolence are now available for residents of the borough to sign. These can be found at Hammersmith Library and Fulham Library.

For those unable to attend the libraries in person, the Royal Palace also has an online book of condolence where you can pay your tributes. These messages will be passed on to The Royal family and be held in the Royal archives.

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

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