Queen’s Ilford visit has been ‘months in the making’

Plans to welcome the Queen to Ilford have been in the making for up to six months, it has emerged.

Last week, one of the borough’s best kept secrets was let out of the bag, with the announcement the Queen is coming to Ilford as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The monarch, together with the Duke of Edinburgh, will visit Valentines Mansion and Gardens, off Emerson Road, Ilford, on Thursday, March 29.

The town will be the Queen’s first stop as she embarks on a tour of the UK to celebrate 60 years on the throne.

Plans for what the Queen and Duke will see and do while at Valentines Mansion are a closely guarded secret, but it is understood she will be welcomed by dignitaries from across north London.

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Mansion volunteer Georgina Green said: “When you think of programmes like The Great British Bake Off [which was filmed at the mansion], this borough has done a lot of work to try to put Valentines Mansion on the map.

“So it’s quite an accolade for the management of the mansion and for the borough itself.”

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She added she understood plans for the Queen’s visit were first drawn up as long as six months ago.

The Queen last came to the borough in May 2002, when she visited Redbridge Lane West allotments as part of her Golden Jubilee celebrations.

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