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A businessman from New York and an Australian family were among the cheering crowds who travelled to see the Queen in Barkingside.

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David Rimmer, 53, was working in central London for a week but grabbed the opportunity to see the royal.

He said: “I heard the Queen was coming here so I played hookie from work for half the day.

“I got here at 12 to see her, it’s very exciting. I’m only here for a week, I never expected it.”

Australian David d’Lima, 51, and his daughter Jemima, 15, met the Queen personally at the end of her visit.

It was an especially poignant moment for David, who is secretary of the Australian Monarchist League, and lobbied to keep the monarchy when the country almost voted to become a republic in 1999.

He said: “I was pleased to present our loyal greetings, it’s the first time I’ve met her.”

Crowds lined Tanners Lane and waited for hours outside Barnardo’s to catch a glimpse of the Queen.

Toddlers from nearby Peter Pan’s Day Nursery jumped up and down waving flags to greet her and staff draped Union Flag bunting across the prams.

Pauline Clothier, of Clayhall, said she’d waited 57 years to see the Queen, after missing her previous visit to Valentines Park.

Friend Kim Harvey said they had been “practicing their curtseys in the mirror” for the occasion.

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