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LIVE: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh in Kent to open The Wing in Capel le Ferne and visit Canterbury Cathedral


  • The Queen is in Kent today, two weeks after the Duchess of Cambridge's visit
  • Her Majesty will be accompanied by her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh
  • She will open The Wing at the National Memorial to the Few in Capel-le-Ferne
  • The most senior royal will then unveil two statues at Canterbury Cathedral

4pm

That's it - Her Majesty the Queen and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh have now left Kent.

The Queen was in fine form
The Queen was in fine form

Thank you for reading our live coverage of what has been a thrilling day for Folkestone and Canterbury.

You can re-live it all by scrolling to the bottom of this page.

Watch: The Queen's visit to Kent

3.57pm

The High Sheriff of Kent's wife Kate Fenwick was lucky enough to speak to Her Majesty.

She said: "I think she's amazing and wonderful. She looks fantastic in the beautiful outfit she's wearing today."

3.26pm

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have now left the Cathedral. Crowds lined the Burgate to wave to the royals as they passed.

3.10pm

This then-and-now juxtaposition is doing the rounds on Twitter.

One shows the Queen and the Duke arriving at Canterbury Cathedral today, and the other shows them there 66 years ago in 1949!

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Cathedral today, and in 1949
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at the Cathedral today, and in 1949

The statues were unveiled outside the cathedral's West Door.

They have been placed opposite statues of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria.

Our current monarch and Queen Victoria are the only two in England's History to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee. 

The statues, carved by sculpture Nina Bilbey. Picture: Ian Scammell/Canterbury Times
The statues, carved by sculpture Nina Bilbey. Picture: Ian Scammell/Canterbury Times
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Canterbury Cathedral earlier this year to unveil two sculptures of themselves. Picture: Ian Scammell/Canterbury Times
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visit Canterbury Cathedral earlier this year to unveil two sculptures of themselves. Picture: Ian Scammell/Canterbury Times

2.59pm

The Cathedral is now filled with the sounds of God Save the Queen as the congregation sings the anthem in the presence of the royal.

The congregation sing God Save the Queen inside the Cathedral

2.30pm

The Queen is now inside the Cathedral and the service is underway.

Afterwards, Her Majesty and His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh will follow a procession to the Great West Door of the Cathedral where they will be introduced to the sculptor and stonemasons.

Canterbury Cathedral
Canterbury Cathedral

The Queen and the Duke will then unveil statues of themselves, which were commissioned by the Friends of Canterbury Cathedral to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

2.18pm

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh have arrived in the Cathedral precincts. They are now entering the Cathedral for a service.

It is expected to be led by the Dean of Canterbury, the Very Reverend Robert Willis.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby is currently at Leicester Cathedral leading the service to mark the re-burial of King Richard III.

2.10pm

Dozens are waiting in the Cathedral precincts for Her Majesty's arrival.

Meanwhile, outside the precincts in the Buttermarket, small crowds are gathered hoping to catch a glimpse of the royals.

Crowds line up outside the Cathedral precincts
Crowds line up outside the Cathedral precincts
Merle Brown was lucky enough to get a ticket into the Cathedral precincts for the Queen's visit
Merle Brown was lucky enough to get a ticket into the Cathedral precincts for the Queen's visit

1.53pm

Her Majesty is currently attending a private lunch ahead of the service at Canterbury Cathedral.

The last time she visited the city - and Kent - was in June 2013, when she bid farewell to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders at Howe Barracks.

Her Majesty on a previous visit to Kent
Her Majesty on a previous visit to Kent

Before that, she visited the Turner Contemporary in Margate in 2011.

Her granddaughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited the gallery earlier this month.

1.21pm

Excited passersby have spotted the Queen driving through Canterbury on her way to the Cathedral.

1.09pm

Always the way...

12.55pm

It looks like the Queen has now arrived in Canterbury...

She landed in the grounds of Kent College in Canterbury in a helicopter, before being driven to the Cathedral via the Burgate where crowds were waiting.

12.44pm

Last-minute preparations are in full-swing at Canterbury Cathedral ahead of the Queen's imminent arrival.

The union flag is proudly flying above the landmark.

Cathedral staff tweeted: "Final preparations are in full swing. Rain, rain, go away!"

Preparations underway for the Queen's arrival. Picture: @No1Cathedral.
Preparations underway for the Queen's arrival. Picture: @No1Cathedral.
The flag is flying above the Cathedral. Picture: @No1Cathedral.
The flag is flying above the Cathedral. Picture: @No1Cathedral.

12.34pm

As she makes her way to Canterbury, the official British Monarchy twitter account has posted this lovely photo of the Queen at Canterbury Cathedral 50 years ago.

The Queen at Canterbury Cathedral 50 years ago (Picture @BritishMonarchy)
The Queen at Canterbury Cathedral 50 years ago (Picture @BritishMonarchy)

12.26pm

Her Majesty has now left The Wing in Capel le Ferne after a visit lasting a little over half an hour.

She waved to the crowds, who duly waved back with union flags.

Her Majesty received a posy from Scarlett Stevens from Capel le Ferne Primary School
Her Majesty received a posy from Scarlett Stevens from Capel le Ferne Primary School

The smiling monarch was also presented with a posy by Capel le Ferne Primary School pupil Scarlett Stevens.

She is now en route to Canterbury Cathedral, where she will attend a service before unveiling statues of herself and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen leaves The Wing
The Queen leaves The Wing
The Queen outside The Wing. Picture: Matt Horne.
The Queen outside The Wing. Picture: Matt Horne.

12.24pm

Queen Elizabeth II becomes the first person to sign the visitor's book.

12.22pm

Her Majesty has now ventured out onto a balcony at the visitors centre.

It is from here where she would have watched a Hurricane, Spitfire and Typhoon flypast, but unfortunately, the display has been cancelled due to foggy weather conditions.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on the balcony
The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on the balcony

12.20pm

Proceedings have now moved into the Cockpit Cafe, where Her Majesty is being introduced to a group of "The Few" - six surviving RAF airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain during the Second World War.

Her Majesty is introduced to a group of surviving airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain
Her Majesty is introduced to a group of surviving airmen who fought in the Battle of Britain

Among the veterans there is Tony Pickering, 94, from Rugby, who says he is "proud" and "honoured" to meet her - although he would sooner be bell-ringing!

Listen to Mr Pickering talking about the experience here:

12.12pm

The Queen is now meeting Folkestone schoolchildren, who are currently learning about the Battle of Britain.

They are in The Wing's dedicated education hub, The Geoffrey Page Centre.

The Queen meets schoolchildren from Folkestone
The Queen meets schoolchildren from Folkestone
The Queen with Prince Michael of Kent
The Queen with Prince Michael of Kent

12.02pm

Her Majesty is being given a tour of The Scramble Experience at The Wing, which is an interactive display intended to bring the Battle of Britain to life for visitors.

Her Majesty is shown around the museum
Her Majesty is shown around the museum

11.54am

The Queen is looking radiant in a vivid shade of blue.

Her Majesty is now watching a video about a day in the life of soldiers during the Battle of Britain with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Video: The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh watch the Battle of Britain video

11.50am

She's arrived!

Video: The Queen is greeted by dignitaries

The Queen with Prince Michael of Kent
The Queen with Prince Michael of Kent

11.46am

Today's royal visit marks the second in as many weeks in Kent.

Earlier this month, the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton visited the Turner Contemporary in Margate.

The weather was certainly kinder to Kate, with wall-to-wall sunshine. In contrast, it's a dank and grey welcome for the Queen, but the forecast is looking brighter later.

11.34am

We're hearing a flypast of a Spitfire, Hurricane and Typhoon planned for noon today is now looking unlikely due to the weather conditions.

11.30am

It's been confirmed six veterans who fought in the Battle of Britain in 1940 are at The Wing to meet the Queen.

Her Majesty will officially open the new visitors centre, and watch a short film about the Battle of Britain.

11.26am

The Air Training Corps 99 squadron honour guards from Folkestone are in position at the entrance to the memorial.

11.22am

Crowds have gathered at the memorial, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen.

Among them is this "very cold and wet" family, who turned out - despite the miserable weather - to welcome the royal.

11.18am

Among the VIPs is Prince Michael of Kent, who will greet the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh on their arrival.

The Prince is the Queen's first cousin, and patron of the Battle of Britain Memorial Trust.

Prince Michael of Kent is among the VIPs
Prince Michael of Kent is among the VIPs

11.14am

Dignitaries have gathered at The Wing, a new visitors centre at the National Memorial to the Few in Capel-le-Ferne.

As many as 100 VIPs, volunteers and trustees are there to welcome her.

Schoolchildren, who will meet Her Majesty later, are also excitedly awaiting her arrival.

Excited youngsters braved the rain to cheer for the Queen
Excited youngsters braved the rain to cheer for the Queen

11.07am

Preparations are well under way at The Wing for the Queen's imminent arrival.

Video: Preparations for the Queen's arrival 

11am

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of Her Majesty The Queen's visit to Kent today.

Our team will keep you up-to-date with words, pictures, video and audio from The Wing in Capel-le-Ferne and Canterbury Cathedral throughout the Queen's visit.

Reporters Kiran Kaur, Matt Leclere and Gerry Warren and photographers Martin Apps and Wayne McCabe are awaiting her arrival.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official 90th birthday. Library image.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her official 90th birthday. Library image.

Don't forget to refresh this page for all the latest.

Click herenews@thekmgroup.co.uk or tweeting us @Kent_Online using #QueeninKent

for more details about why the most senior royal is visiting the county today.

You can get involved by sending us your views or pictures by leaving a comment below, emailing 


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