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NEWS > History & Politics > Queen Elizabeth II's Visit to College in 1957

Queen Elizabeth II's Visit to College in 1957

Reflecting on the Queen's visit to Elizabeth College in 1957 was particularly pertinent to Bob Mahy (4799) as he was given the job of welcoming her to the College with a speech in Latin, written by Mr Cooper. The first words of the speech have been engraved on Bob’s mind ever since: "Abhinc trecentos quattuor annos illa praeclarissima regina, eodem nomine dictum, hanc scholam condidit" (spelling doubtful!). This basically commemorated the fact that the school had been founded by Elizabeth I. You will see in the photo below that the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were accompanied by R A B Butler, then Home Secretary. Also in the picture behind Bob is David Brookes (4468), then Head Boy, whose father had been the school doctor during the evacuation period of the war. On the right of the picture is the Dean of Guernsey, possibly Rev Frossard. 

Bill Hill (4863) was among those in the CCF  that was a 'Guard of Honour' at Elizabeth College that morning to be inspected by HM.  When that was over, they had the rest of the day off, so Bill and his best friend, Graham Parnwell rushed to their homes to change into 'civvies' then got on their bikes and raced across the island to a farm where the Royal party was to see some Guernsey cows etc.  You'll see from the photos that they were able to get as close as they liked as 'security' in those days hardly existed.  Bill seems to remember someone in the entourage suggesting that they shouldn't be racing about alongside of HM!).  The pics were taken on Bill’s Bantam Coloursnap camera, his first camera, and in a bit of a hurry, hence the blurring.  But they were in colour! (Slides).

Bruce Parker (4747) said "I was among the guard of honour which welcomed the Queen to Elizabeth College in 1957.  I remember thinking, as a sixteen year old, how beautiful she was as she passed between the ranks of us CCF cadets on parade in front of the College. I have been lucky enough to meet Her Majesty subsequently and on each occasion, in conversation, it was her sense of humour that struck me most.

I hope this generation of Elizabethans, born out of the first Elizabeth, will remember that it was during the second Elizabeth’s reign, that the College flourished into the wonderful educational establishment that it is today. I was in the junior school when George VI died and Elizabeth became Queen, we all shouted ‘God Save the Queen’ in the College Hall. We must now shout, ‘God Save the King’.

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