Last Thursday (14th June) we gathered together to welcome Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex to Chester.
The morning was buzzing with anticipation with the crowds arriving from 6am; flowers and flags in hand, it was safe to say patriotism was present in abundance! Of course we had the bunting out over at The Coach House and we opened our doors early as we played hosts to the North West Emergency Paramedics and 2 gentlemen from BBC Radio who set up shop on our porch. Luckily the sun was shining as children from local schools started a chorus of “welcome to Chester” as Her Royal Majesty pulled up outside The Storyhouse.
Introductions were swiftly made before an air-siren signalled a minute of silence in honour of those affected by the tragedy at Grenfell last year. The royals then headed inside for the unveiling ceremony as police spotters carefully watched the crowds from the skyline. As official sponsors of the Storyhouse our lucky MD Les Owens was invited to attend the event personally and although he was unable to take any photos inside, he was keen to tell us all about it and he was apparently sat only 2 seats away the Queen!
After the mornings festivities concluded, they made their way along Northgate street, passing the Coach House on the way to their own lunch at The Town Hall next door. Although it was Meghan’s first official royal duties without Price Harry, she looked 100% comfortable, as she greeted locals; at one point stating that Harry “is the perfect husband.” Some of our lucky hotel guests even managed to get a wave from the princess as she walked past and looked up at their room. After making their way to the Town Hall, the pair briefly addressed the crowds before making their way back inside.
The Queen and Meghan finally left the Town Hall after a busy morning via the police station opposite our hotel side door, where their driver awaited them. Although most of the crowds were unable to glance them leaving after this point, we had a front row view and even got a royal wave from the queen herself as the pulled away.
Overall I think it’s safe to say that Chester came together on Thursday and a fantastic day was had by all!