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Historic Royal visit to DMU hailed as a fantastic success plus

De Montfort University (DMU) celebrated one of the proudest days in its history when it welcomed Her Majesty The Queen on the first stop of her Diamond Jubilee Tour today (Thursday 8 March).

Accompanied by the His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge, Her Majesty arrived to the roar of a huge crowd that had gathered in DMU’s Magazine Square. Despite the fact that the Royal Party arrived a little before midday, many of the crowd had been waiting to catch a glimpse of them since 4am.

Professor Dominic Shellard, Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University, said: “Today was absolutely momentous. There is no other word for it.

“The fact that De Montfort University was the very first place that Her Majesty The Queen visited to launch her Diamond Jubilee tour of the nation was not lost on any of our students and staff and they turned out in their thousands to cheer her on in a huge show of admiration for her magnificent 60 year reign. We were filled with pride to have her here.”

The Royal Party arrived through Magazine Gateway, a medieval city gateway added to Leicester Castle by the Third Earl of Leicester. There they were greeted by DMU Vice-Chancellor Professor Dominic Shellard, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Governors Mr Mike Kapur, and Chancellor of DMU Lord Waheed Alli.

A celebration of Leicester and DMU’s multi-cultural population followed, with colourful demonstrations of Indian and Chinese dancing. Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness were then escorted to a fashion show featuring stunning creations by DMU’s Fashion graduates. His Royal Highness, meanwhile, was given a demonstration on several projects that form part of the ground-breaking Square Mile community initiative.

Some of the sights that were placed around the route the Royal Party were shown were the six prototype designs for a shoe for the Duchess of Cambridge, in addition to a pair of shoes that were made in Leicester for The Queen’s grandmother more than a century ago.

The Royal Party were presented with gifts including a unique headscarf and shawl for Her Majesty, as well as a framed portrait of a corgi by ten-year-old artist Chelsie White. Her Royal Highness received posies from local children, and His Royal Highness received a specially created 3D lenticular image by DMU’s Professor Martin Richardson.

Before departing, each of the Royal Guests was invited to sign the university’s visitors book before Her Majesty unveiled a plaque to commemorate the visit that was forged at family-owned foundry in Leicestershire.

Professor Shellard added: “Having The Duke of Edinburgh and Kate, The Duchess of Cambridge, accompany her made this event even more special. The Queen looked resplendent and after escorting her around the campus I couldn’t help but be charmed. She was so happy to meet the students and particularly interested in the diversity of the campus and the number of international students we have here.

“I have no doubt that all those who witnessed this historic event for the university will be left with memories to cherish for a long time to come.

Posted on: Thursday 08 March 2012

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