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A boy scout says he felt “startled” and “surprised” after he gave a bunch of flowers to the Queen which he bought this morning in Tesco Express.

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Jacob Coy, 12, of Hesketh Road, Forest Gate was one of thousands lining the barricades waiting for the arrival of the Queen today.

Jacob said: “I am very surprised, I waited for over two hours for her get here but it was worth it.

“I have never seen her close up before only in pictures. I said ‘congratulations’ to her and gave her the flowers I had bought.”

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Valentines Park, Ilford as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK.

The motorcade drove through the park stopping 50 metres from the VIP section surrounding Valentines Mansion.

As she got out of her car at around 10.40am a huge cheer rose from the crowds, many frantically waiving Union Jack flags.

Hitesh Mody, 42, Cranbrook Raod, Gants Hill said: “Before I even saw her, the whole crowed was saying: ‘She’s wearing blue! She’s wearing blue!’ then I got to see her. It was incredible.”

Also waiting for a glimpse of the Queen was Maria Kyriacos, 51, of Benton Road, Newbury Park.

Mrs Kyriacos said: “It was lovely, it was really exciting and she was dressed very well as always. Everyone was having fun - it really was a day to remember”

After greeting the crowds, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh went on a tour of Valentines House with Redbridge Council leader Cllr Keith Prince.

There was another loud cheer as they walked out of the mansion and into a marquee showcasing art work by the borough’s schools.

Valentines High School pupil Simran Kaur, 13, of Landsbury Avenue, Chadwell Health was chosen to present her painting to the Queen and said she felt “stunned” when speaking afterwards.

Simran said: “It was very intense as she went round the marquee and when she came to us I was very scared.

“Before she arrived we were told to call her Your Majesty the first time and then Ma’am after that. She was very nice with us and it was very cool and calm.

“I feel amazed I just met the Queen and managed to get a picture with her.”

After crossing to the barriers to speak to visitors and receive flowers, she and Prince Philip left at around 11.15am.

They are visiting Waltham Forest and Harrow later today.

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