Princess, 11, to welcome the Queen as she arrives in Ilford

The Queen will be met by a Princess when she comes to Ilford on Thursday as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour.

Eleven-year-old Princess Sebastio, who attends Cleveland Junior School, Cleveland Road, Ilford, will be one of the lucky few allowed into the invitation-only area for the royal visit at Valentines Mansion and Gardens, off Emerson Road, Ilford.

Princess said: “I am so excited about the event, especially because I might have a chance to shake the Queen’s hand. I never thought I would get the chance to go to something like this.

“It is a real privilege and I will be wearing my smartest school uniform for the occasion. I can’t believe I am going to see the Queen, and I will be waving my England flag all day.”

Cleveland pupils were asked to write down why they wanted to attend and the best entries were then selected at random.


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Associate headteacher Carole Minkey said: “I have never in my whole teaching career seen children so excited and enthusiastic about taking part in an event. It has been crazy.

“We drew names out of a hat in front of all the pupils and when Princess’ name was chosen to go into the VIP section she was over the moon.”

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The majority of Redbridge schools have been given the opportunity to attend the royal visit and it is expected that 1,500 students will be there on the day.

Uphall Primary School, Uphall Road, Ilford, is bringing 140 students and 40 adults to line the Queen’s route within Valentines Park.

While Phoebe Yeoman, 11, will represent Wanstead Church of England School, Church Path, Wanstead.

Her proud dad, Trevor Yeoman, said: “It’s going to be an experience she will have forever.”

The family can boast a double honour as Phoebe’s sister, Megan, 14, who will be at Valentines Park on Thursday with Wanstead High School, is set to carry the Olympic torch in July.

The Queen is due to arrive at the park at 10.25am, with gates opening at 7.30am for the crowds to gather.

Council leader Cllr Keith Prince has said he expects thousands of people to descend on the park.

Stewards will be on hand to direct people, with all the park’s entrances, except the one in Emerson Road, open.

Two big screens near Valentines Mansion will beam pictures of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to the crowds.

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