Thousands line streets of Mitcham for Queen

Wimbledon Guardian: The Queen arriving at St Mark's Academy The Queen arriving at St Mark's Academy

Thousands lined the streets today to welcome the Queen to Mitcham.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were visiting St Mark’s Acadamy in Acacia Road as part of this year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations - on what is an historic day for the borough.

Her Majesty was wearing a Stewart Pavin baby blue wool crepe with a white lavender and baby blue boule tweed coat.

Keran Currie, headteacher at Stanford Primary School, said: “This is very last minute but we wouldn't have missed this opportunity.

“We have all been preparing for the jubilee celebrations and then we told the children they would have the chance to meet the Queen they were very excited. The other 300 are on their way down now.

“It's a fantastic occasion for us.”

Year five teacher, Shagufta Aslan said: “We are very excited. It's not every day you get to have such an occasion.

“The children always take an interest in seeing the Queen on the news but to have her come to the local area is a great opportunity for all the children and it makes it come to life. To have the Queen come and visit where we live is great and is a fantastic opportunity. The children are all excited."

After meeting teachers and children, the royal party had lunch with community achievers from across south London.

Peter Steiner, 85, from Mitcham, was one of those chosen to lunch with the Queen. He said: “I have been a volunteer in my borough for 35 years. I'm the vice presidents of the Merton and Morden Guild of Social Services. I also have served for 15 years as a volunteer at the Royal Airforce Museum.

“There are lots of volunteers in Merton . I was astonished when I got the invite. I keep saying to my wife they must have got it wrong.

I have never before in my life been in such close proximity to HM. And I'm 85 so it's an experience not to be repeated.”

“It's overwhelming quite honestly.”

Mayor of Merton, Gilli Lewis Lavender, said: “Never I my wildest dreams did I think I would be sitting next to the Queen for lunch which is tremendously exciting. I think its great for her to see what a wonderful school this is. You can see by the art work in the room what wonderful work the children do.”

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