RAF Cosford pageant for The Queen - in pictures

It was a day that those present will remember for the rest of their lives as the Queen and Prince Philip enjoyed a visit to the West Midlands.

It was a day that those present will remember for the rest of their lives as the Queen and Prince Philip enjoyed a visit to the West Midlands.

As RAF Cosford was bathed in an all-too-rare day of glorious sunshine, tens of thousands of people descended on the base to see the Queen as she watched the special pageant laid on for her Diamond Jubilee.

Click on the image to the right to start the photo gallery

And for two lucky youngsters it was an extra special day to treasure as they got closer than most after being chosen to present the monarch with bouquets of flowers.

Chloe Willis and Tesni Miles both chatted with the Queen as they handed over specially-made posies during her Diamond Jubilee visit.

After unveiling a plaque to commemorate her visit, the Queen was presented with flowers by four-year-old Chloe, whose serviceman father is currently stationed in the Falkland Islands. Chloe, who was accompanied by her mother Sharron, greeted the Royal party as they emerged from a tour around the RAF Museum.

“Chloe was a little bit nervous as she had been inside the building and then the doors opened and she saw everybody outside who was waiting for the Queen,” said Mrs Willis.

  • Pick up your Express & Star today for a 16-page picture supplement on the royal visit.

“Although she wavered for a second, the Queen really put her at her ease and I am so proud of her. She is only four years old but I am sure she will treasure that memory forever.”

Chloe lives in the barracks at Cosford with her mother and father, Sgt Jeff Willis, who has been based at Cosford for two and a half years but is currently stationed in the Falklands.

Mrs Willis said her daughter chatted briefly with the Queen about her father.

“The Queen said ‘thank you for the flowers’ and asked Chloe her name, and asked where her father was,” she added.

“Chloe told her that Jeff was in the Falklands and the Queen said that Prince William had been there recently. She asked how Chloe was keeping in touch with Jeff, and whether she was using the internet, like the Queen did with Prince William,” she added.

Meanwhile, Albrighton youngster Tesni Miles was given the surprise of her life when she was pulled from the crowd and asked to present Her Majesty with some flowers just five minutes beforehand.

And it was an extra-special treat for the delighted seven-year-old as she had been discharged from hospital just one week ago after receiving treatment for a lung condition.

Her mother Allison, 33, said: “They just pulled Tesni out of the crowd and a security guard asked if she would mind presenting some flowers to the Queen.

“We said ‘yes, obviously’ but as we stood waiting Tesni began to get nervous. I just told her the Queen was a lovely lady and she did turn out to be very nice to her.

“As she walked towards us she asked ‘are those for me?’ and Tesni said ‘these are flowers for you, your Majesty.’ The Queen thanked her and said the flowers were beautiful.”

Organisers had been planning yesterday’s event fortwo years, knowing that the Queen would be visiting the region as part of a nationwide tour to celebrate 60 years on the throne.

From a weather point of view, it could not have been better planned. The sun shone until shortly after the Queen left the airbase near Wolverhampton and then it rained again in the evening.

Air Force base chiefs and the Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire’s office originally estimated a turn-out of 10,000 but were forced to close applications for tickets after being inundated with more than 35,000 requests.

The day’s celebrations were capped by a special Jubilee pageant, starring 5,000 schoolchildren and representing different decades of the Queen’s reign. Youngsters dressed in bright clothes, waving pompoms and flags took part in the celebration.

The Queen and Prince Philip watched as participants paraded in everything from Victorian to 1960s clothes, drove gleaming vintage trucks, a JCB digger, and walked 16 corgis past them on a mile long route around the base.

They took a tour of the RAF Museum before meeting 120 dignitaries and going for lunch, followed by the pageant. There was hope that the event will have shown the base and the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering in such a good light that it will have helped permanently secure its future in the region, two years after plans to move it to South Wales were scrapped.

Among the thousands who turned out to see the Queen were Harry Livesey, aged 77, and his wife Joan, from Wolverhampton.

They were accompanied by Mr Livesey’s fellow volunteers at the RAF Museum, Don Rhodes from Newport and Ray Hislop.

Mr Rhodes and Mr Livesey are involved in guiding tour groups around the Museum, while Mr Hislop works on restoration projects.

Mr Livesey, of The Woodlands, Penn, served as a Lance Corporal in the Army in the Royal Dragoons, having narrowly missed out on the chance to do his National Service with the RAF. He said:?“There has been talk for a long time casting uncertainty on the future of this base and the Defence College of Aeronautical Engineering.

“I just hope that a visit from the Queen will have shown what a wonderful place this is.”

For some, the visit of the monarch was another chance to see her many years after their first glimpse. Derek Horton aged 71, of Ivetsy Bank Road, Bishops Wood, was there with his friend Annie Griffiths, 69, of Old Weston Road, and her sister-in-law, 70 year old Mary Bibby, who had come over from her home in County Down, Northern Ireland. Mr Horton said: “The last time I saw The Queen I was a pupil at Woodfield School in Penn in the 1940s and she would only have been Princess Elizabeth at that time.”

Mrs Griffiths added: “The Queen has done so much over the years. Her visit is a real boost for pensioners like me.”

IT worker Graham Mills and his wife June, both 62, of Trysull Road, Merry Hill, got their place along the parade route at 10am and set up their deck chairs.They have a 37-year-old son, Stephen, who is a sergeant in the RAF and is based at Cosford.

Mrs Mills: “This is the first time I have ever seen the Queen and while we have been here a number of times because of Stephen, this is certainly one of the more memorable. He has been working as have so many of his colleagues so we haven’t had chance to see him.” Max and Margaret Beeston from Silvermere Park in Shifnal, had not been able to catch more than a glimpse of the Queen and Prince Philip but enjoyed the day nonetheless.

Mr Beeston, aged 70, said: “It was brilliant. They’ve done really well in organising this.

“I thought it was very original. We couldn’t see the Queen because she was so far away but they drove around the parade route first.”

Businesses also took the opportunity to show what they could do as thousands of people browsed stalls.

Tettenhall based boat builders Fletcher brought a £30,000 boat bearing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee logo and a Union Flag on the front.

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Comments for: "RAF Cosford pageant for The Queen - in pictures"


Put this farce in perspective.

They came,,,they smiled and waved a bit,,,then went home.

And the total cost to the tax payer was---?????

And the benefits to the tax payer were----?????