Thousands set to fill park as Queen and Duke come to Ilford for Diamond Jubilee tour

Thousands of people are expected to crowd into Valentines Park to welcome the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to Ilford, and the Recorder will be there to bring you the first pictures and stories from the day.

Artwork worth an estimated �250million will be viewed by the royal couple before the exhibition, called London Pride, is opened to the public as part of a four-day festival.

A mini decorated by artist Damien Hirst has been parked in front of Valentines Mansion, and sculptures called The Queen’s Beasts are likely to grab Her Majesty’s attention as she tours the grounds of the 17th century building.

Ilford’s royal visitors are due to arrive at Valentines Park at 10.25am.

A short walkabout close to the mansion is expected before the Queen and Duke are shown around various exhibits and marquees.

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Gants Hill schoolgirl Imani Ahmed, seven, will present the Queen with a posy, while Barkingside schoolboy Richard Gold, 15, will hand her a gift.

The Queen will unveil a plaque at a newly created dry garden before the royal visit ends at about 11.20pm.

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She will make a visit to Walthamstow and Harrow later in the day, which is the first trip to London on her Diamond Jubilee tour.

Sir Terence Conran, who has overseen the London Pride exhibition, will be at a special invitation-only drinks reception in the grounds of Valentines Mansion after the Queen and the Duke leave.

The Recorder will have reporters and photographers in the park, capturing the visit as it unfolds.

A live blog, which you can view by scrolling to the bottom of this page, will post reaction, news and pictures during the morning and throughout the rest of the day.

If you would like to share a story with us about the Queen’s visit, tweet us @ilfordrecorder, email or call 020 8477 3800.

You can also upload pictures of the visit to

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