Police escort for a Royal visitor

CAN you spot your face in the crowd?

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 14th April 2012, 3:05 pm

Yesteryear this week goes back to April 1949 when a large group of people – mostly women – gathered outside Luton Town Hall in the hope of catching a glimpse of a Royal visitor.

The Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by the Mayor of Luton, Councillor William Edwards, was given a police escort as he walked along George Street, which was lined with onlookers, before a reception at the Town Hall.

Other Luton News photographs of the occasion show the Duke, wine glass in hand, chatting to a Scout leader and later sitting with the Mayor and other council members as they waited for lunch to be served.

The Duke and the then Princess Elizabeth had been married for less than two years when he came to Luton and her Coronation was four years away.

The couple had close connections with the town as they traditionally spent the weekend nearest to their wedding anniversary on the Luton Hoo estate, which was owned by their close friends, Sir Harold and Lady Zia Wernher.

In 1962, the Queen was given a tour of Luton Central Library shortly after it opened and in 1999 she and Prince Philip made an official visit to Luton Airport.

As they walked into the new high-tech terminal building, changes were instantly made to the screens behind the information desks.

They had been showing times and destinations, but suddenly the word WELCOME was flashed up on all 60 screens.