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Reflections of The Queen's 1961 Visit

 The Queen visits Stamford 1961With the Diamond Jubilee just around the corner, Stamford is eagerly waiting for Her Majesty the Queen to return after her last visit in 1961. On Monday 19th June 1961, Stamford had the honour of receiving the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh in the town’s quincentenary year.

3,500 school students from across the town gathered on Stamford School field as Her Majesty arrived. The crowds were delighted as The Queen made a circuit of the playing fields in an open Land Rover sent by the Palace for this specific purpose.

Jill Powell (nee Shouler), Head Girl (1960-61), remembers the day she was presented to the Queen, “The words which spring to mind first in recollecting the emotions of the day are ‘nerve-wracking.’ There had been much furore over the smallest detail of the day, such as whether or not the girls should wear gloves when meeting the Queen. But it was a great privilege to meet the Queen and I am pleased to learn that she is making a return to Stamford this year.”

Robin Maule, The Head Boy (1960-61), considers the profound effect meeting the Queen had on how he thought about his future and the decisions he made. He said, “I certainly couldn't think of anything I had done to deserve meeting the Queen. Perhaps the only thing to do was to commit to doing something in the future which would merit this distinction.”

From both experiences there is a real sense of pride and honour associated with a Royal introduction. Meeting the Queen has clearly touched the Head Boy and Head Girl of 1960-61, and every minute detail of the day has stayed with them over the last 51 years.

Half a century has passed, and preparations are now underway for the Queen’s visit to Burghley House as part of the Diamond Jubilee Tour on the 13th June. Stamford Endowed Schools are honoured to be part of the picnic in Burghley Park, and have the opportunity to perform in front of the Queen. Talented musicians from across the schools will contribute to the day’s festivities. The following four acts are performing on the day; the Stamford Junior School Choir; the SES Chapel Choir; the SES Big Band; and the SES Hot Baroque.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for everyone involved, so good luck to all of the students who are participating. We hope you have a rewarding and memorable day.

To see more images of the Queen's 1961 visit please click here.