June 19 2013 Latest news:
Jane Ball , News Editor
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Well-wishers can give the Queen a huge welcome on Friday for her first ever visit to Harold Hill.
The royal guest will meet staff and students of the Drapers’ Academy, in Settle Road, and officially open the school’s new buildings.
Around 5,000 residents are expected to cheer the Queen, who will not be accompanied by Prince Philip, as she travels by car to the academy.
She will be arriving between 11.45am and 12.15pm and departing between 2.15pm and 2.45pm.
These times are approximate, Havering Council warned, and the Queen will not have time to talk to residents.
There will be a temporary road closure in Settle Road between 8am and 4pm on the day, but residents on foot are able gather outside the school and line surrounding streets.
When possible, the police will allow vehicles into Settle Road for residential and school access.
There will be parking restrictions in Dagnam Park Drive between its junction with Leamington Road and number 78.
It is believed the Queen, who visited Romford, Hornchurch and Harold Wood in 2003, will spend a few hours touring Drapers’ and will enjoy lunch with some of the children and staff.
Principal Matthew Slater said: “It’s difficult to put my feelings in words but we are so delighted that she has found the time to visit.
“It’s a proud moment for us to have a monarch visit in what is such an important year for her and a pivotal year for us.”
She will be treated to a performance of Little Shop Of Horrors, which the students performed to rave reviews in the summer.
The visit will then continue into the learning support department, followed by a trip to the science labs.
The £24m Drapers’ campus forms part of Havering Council’s Harold Hill Ambitions which aims to regenerate the area and improve the quality of life for residents.
A number of VIP attendees will be present, including Havering Council leader Cllr Michael White, deputy leader Cllr Steven Kelly and all of the school governors.
The school choir will then keep the Queen entertained with a performance of Something Inside So Strong.
Year 10 student Grace Taylor will be presenting a posy to the Queen, marking the end of her visit to Harold Hill.