Queen's Platinum Jubilee: Her Majesty's visits to Falkirk district over the years

It was on February 6, 1952 that the reign of Queen Elizabeth II began following the death of her father, King George VI.

Her Majesty the Queen last visited the Falkirk area in 2017 when she opened the Queen Elizabeth II Canal at the Helix.  Pic: Michael Gillen.
Her Majesty the Queen last visited the Falkirk area in 2017 when she opened the Queen Elizabeth II Canal at the Helix. Pic: Michael Gillen.

Today, she becomes the first British monarch to reign for 70 years.

The official celebrations for her Platinum Jubilee will take place later this year, in June, at a time when it is hoped better weather will see celebrations take place across the country during a long weekend with an additional public holiday, on June 3, to mark the occasion.

It is hoped communities will come together to celebrate the historic milestone.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh leaving the Burgh Buildings on her first visit to Falkirk in 1955.

Over those last seven decades, Her Majesty has been greeted by cheering crowds as she’s toured the country performing her duties.

And it’s been no exception when she’s come to the local area, visiting on no less than six occasions during her time on the throne.

The weather may not always have been favourable, but local residents have gathered to catch a glimpse of the royal visitor and cheer, with children waving flags and homemade posters, ensuring she received a very warm welcome.

Her first visit as Queen was in 1955 when she carried out a Scottish tour that took her across the country.

On arriving in Falkirk she inspected troops in Newmarket Street and met with the Provost and other dignitaries in the former Burgh Buildings, now the registrar’s office.

Accompanied by the late Prince Philip, she made a visit to Grangemouth where she was shown round the ICI plant.

Her tour also took her to Linlithgow and South Queensferry.

In 1960, the Queen was across the Forth in Kincardine to open the new power station, even visiting one worker in his home.

The monarch’s next visit to Falkirk wasn’t until 1985 when, despite heavy rain, people turned out in their hundreds when she officially opened the new Mariner Sports Centre in Camelon.

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Both the Queen and Prince Philip were back in May 2002, for the opening of the Falkirk Wheel.

Crowds gathered under dark, looming clouds for the occasion, which saw the special visitors embark in MV The Caledonian and travel around the Basin before opening the Falkirk Wheel and viewing the attraction’s visitor centre.

Their next visit came in 2011, when the royal couple toured the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

The Queen visited the oncology department and physiotherapy ward, taking the time to meet both patients and staff, before unveiling a plaque to officially open the hospital.

And her most recent visit to the local area was in 2017, when she and Prince Philip officially opened the Queen Elizabeth II Canal and visited the Kelpies.

The couple boarded the Seagull Trust’s boat, The Wooden Spoon, to travel down the Western Approach and disembark at Kelpies Pool.

They met with dignitaries and representatives from Scottish Canals and witnessed a flypast by aircraft from the Scottish Airshow.

They also took the opportunity to look inside one of Andy Scott’s Kelpies and met with partners, stakeholders and community representatives outside the visitor centre at the Helix.

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