During her reign, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Nottingham at least ten times. We take a look back at those visits, which include the Coronation year (1953) and three Jubilees (Silver in 1977, Gold in 2002 and Diamond in 2012).

Coronation visit, June 1953

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Credit: Nottingham Local Studies Library; Nottingham Guardian.

To mark the Coronation in June 1953, one of the many events staged was a carnival procession through the city centre. This procession was part of a pageant entitled Queens Through the Ages – staged by the Women’s Organisations of Nottingham. The bottom image shows floats processing down Wheeler Gate. The second photo shows Old Market Square, dressed and illuminated in 1953 to celebrate The Queen’s Coronation. The first photo is a street party held on Lenton Street in Hyson Green in 1953 to celebrate the Coronation.

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee visit, June 2012

All images credit – Tracey Whitefoot
Video credit – Ruby Bhattal

On 13 June 2012, as a part of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour, The Queen accompanied by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Council House, followed by Vernon Park. An estimated 20,000 people thronged on to Old Market Square and surrounding streets with many gathering from 5am. After meeting Civic leaders, The Queen stepped onto the Council House balcony to rapturous cheering.

The Queen visiting the city

1953 credit: Courtesy of the Nottingham Post
1977 credit: Nottingham Local Studies Library; P. Topham
2002 credit: Nottingham Local Studies Library; Nottingham Post

As mentioned, The Queen visited Nottingham at least ten times during her reign. In 1953, The Queen and Prince Philip are pictured chatting with jockey Gordon Richards at Nottingham Racecourse, she met with well-wishers as part of her Golden Jubilee tour in 2002 and in 1977, The Queen and Prince Phillip can be seen waving to crowds on Mansfield Road as part of the Silver Jubilee.

Raleigh visit,1968

1968 credit: Inspire Picture Archive

The Queen always took a keen interest in Nottingham industry, with a number of visits to various manufacturing sites over the years. In 1968, The Queen visited the Raleigh factory, viewing some of the bicycles that were due to be exported to the USA.

Boots and Birkin visits, 1955 and 1997

1955 credit: Nottingham Local Studies Library; Picture Nottingham; Nottingham Post
1977 credit: Boots Archive Collection

In 1955, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh visited lace manufacturers Birkin & Co. On 21 March 1997, Nottingham celebrated its centenary of city status and one of The Queen’s engagements was visiting Boots head office and manufacturing laboratories.

Military and Silver Jubilee, 1955

1955 credit: Nottingham Local Studies Library; Picture Nottingham; Nottingham Post
1955 credit: Courtesy of the Nottingham Post

The Queen always had a close association with Nottinghamshire-based regiments. In 1955, she undertook an inspection of the South Notts Hussars on The Forest Recreation Ground and the 350 (Robin Hood) Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery (TA) in Old Market Square.

Silver Jubilee Civic Reception, 1977

Images courtesy of: Nottingham Local Studies Library.

During celebrations for her Silver Jubilee in 1977, The Queen once again visited Nottingham’s Neo-Baroque Council House for a celebratory banquet attended by civic leaders and dignitaries.

Meeting Sporting legends

1977 credit: Nottingham Local Studies Library; Edgar Lloyd
2002 credit: Nottingham Ice Centre/Motorpoint Arena

The Queen also graced some of our world-famous sporting arenas. In 1977, she met Notts cricket legend Derek Randall at Trent Bridge. She also met Nottingham ice skaters Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean twice, following their gold medal win in Sarajevo 1984, then again at the National Ice Centre in 2002.  

University of Nottingham visits

1999 credits: University of Nottingham Manuscripts and Special Collections.

The University of Nottingham hosted The Queen on three occasions during her reign. She visited University Park campus on 28 July 1977 when she also officially opened Queen’s Medical Centre. In 1981, she returned to commemorate the centenary of the foundation of University College, then in 1999 she opened the new Jubilee Campus where she toured the halls of residence.

Visiting Old Market Square, 1955

Image credits: Courtesy of Nottingham Post and Picture The Past

Old Market Square has always featured heavily in Royal itineraries over the years. In her first visit to the city as Queen in 1955, thousands cheered as Elizabeth II walked along the processional way flanked by a detachment of the Sherwood Foresters. Following this, the Royal party then headed for The Forest, to meet local school children before heading to the Royal Show at Wollaton Park.

Platinum Jubilee, 2022

Whilst The Queen was unable to visit cities around the country as part of the Platinum Jubilee, Nottingham celebrated her Majesty’s 70 years on the throne with events across the city in June 2022.

An exhibition entitled 70 Glorious Years – The Queen in Nottingham, a large format open-air photographic exhibition was staged in Old Market Square.

This included many of the images in this above article and celebrated The Queen’s visits to Nottingham over the last 70 years. There was also a giant crown placed upon the front of the Council House and a floral display across Old Market Square. There was a Garden Party at Nottingham Castle and the Platinum Jubilee Beacon Lighting Events at Woodthorpe Park, Greens Windmill and Clifton Flower Park.