Queen makes historic visit to Mitcham
The Queen made her first visit to Mitcham today delighting thousands of people who had queued in the rain to greet her.
Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh visited St Mark’s Acadamy in Acacia Road as part of this year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Well wishers lined the streets to catch a glimpse of the Queen in her Royal car before arriving at St Mark's Academy where she was given a lively welcome by students – just as the sun came out.
Vice principal, Olivia Douse, said: "It's just a real honour for the students to have the Queen come and to be part of the London preparations.
"I think it's absolutely fantastic for Mitcham, definitely.
"Students have been so excited in the run up to it and have been getting involved.
"They have really stepped up to the mark and we are really proud of them."
During her two hour visit to the school, the Queen enjoyed a British picnic themed lunch with some of South London’s ‘achievers’ and all 13 of the borough’s mayors with the Queen seated next to Councillor Gilli Lewis-Lavender, the Mayor of Merton.
Kevin Vickers, a church minister at the All Nations Revival Church in Mitcham, was one achiever invited to lunch with the Queen.
He said: "It was a real surprise and honour to be invited.
"I think it's really special that the Queen is coming to Mitcham.
"It's a very special occasion for Mitcham and is recognition that this is a very special place."
Following lunch, the Queen unveiled a plaque marking her visit before continuing her tour of South London at Richmond Park.
Grace Oyerinde, 45, from Mitcham, took the day off work to enjoy the celebrations and said it was a "privilege" for the Queen to have visited Mitcham.
Her 13-year-old daughter Ronke was one of those invited for lunch with the Queen.
She said: "She wrote a song for Mitcham and won a competition some years ago.
"It was sung by 6000 children.
"She was then named outstanding youth of the year so I assume she was invited off the back of that.
"She was absolutely thrilled and ecstatic and so was I.
"It's been great for Mitcham what with all that's going on and all the deprivation and schools not really flying the flag so it's just been brilliant."
Children and staff from the Carmena Christian Day Nursery in Streatham also came down to greet the Queen and didn’t let the rain dampen their spirits.
Miss Kerisha Brady, 25, a manager at the nursery, said: "I was honoured to see her.
"It's a once in a life time moment, everybody just came out together which was nice."
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