The Lord-Lieutenant was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of The Queen. It was a day of great sadness for Greater Manchester, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. It was akin to the passing of the Head of a worldwide family of over 2½ billion people. It was an extraordinarily long reign; the longest of any British Sovereign and an outstanding example of service both in wartime and peacetime.
Since Greater Manchester was formed in 1974, Queen Elizabeth visited 28 times, visiting 74 different venues. She visited 9 times on her own and 19 times with her loving husband, The Duke of Edinburgh. Her first visit was in June 1977 and her last visit was in July 2021.
The most recent visit in July 2021 was to Coronation Street for their 60th Anniversary and Manchester Cathedral to mark the 600th Anniversary Celebration of the Collegiate Church. At the Cathedral she met groups of people from across the North West who were influential or had done extraordinary work within their local communities. Her Majesty wished to meet those who were very much hands on.
In 1992 she officially opened the Metrolink taking a ride on a tram to passer-by’s surprise. She met volunteers and staff during the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and attended the Squash and Hockey events. Along with the Duke of Edinburgh she came to Greater Manchester in March 2012 for her Diamond Jubilee, opening the Central University Hospital, visiting Children’s BBC (whilst the Duke visited Salford University) had lunch at Manchester town hall and then attended the Urban Garden party at Manchester Central (Greater Manchester’s spin on a royal garden party). Tens of thousands of people saw her, either at the hospital, lining the streets of Manchester and Salford, outside the town hall or in Manchester Central.
Following the Manchester Bomb in 2017 she came, and at least temporarily lifted everyone’s spirits, by visiting first responders, staff at the MRI and those injured and being treated.
The Queen was also represented at visits to over 1100 organisations or venues across Greater Manchester by other members of the Royal Family.
The Lord-Lieutenant sent her Condolences to all the members of the Royal Family, looks back with gratitude and looks forward to offering her support and loyalty to The King.