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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Queen continues West Country tour
The Queen in Taunton
The Queen said she had enjoyed meeting people
The Queen has thanked the people of the South West for their "heartening" welcome in the wake of the deaths of Princess Margaret and the Queen Mother.

The monarch made the comments during a lunchtime address in Bath, after spending the morning touring Taunton and Wells in Somerset on the second day of her Golden Jubilee tour of the UK.

On Wednesday, the Queen and Prince Philip toured Falmouth, Truro and Exeter in Cornwall and Devon.

The royal couple will travel to about 60 towns in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland throughout the course of their 15-week tour.

Click here to see a tour map

Addressing her lunchtime audience, the Queen said: "Following a time of sadness in my family, the warmth of the welcome we have received in the South West has been especially heartening.

"Your celebration of my reign has brought home to me with renewed force how much I owe to you all for your loyalty and support over the last half century."

The Queen went on to comment on the importance of the West Country in terms of beauty, history and the economy.

"It felt very appropriate to begin this first Jubilee tour by the sea yesterday, as the sea ports of the South West have played such an important part in our history.

"The beauty of the South West is well-known and appreciated by the 21 million visitors who come every year."

She praised the coastline, the gardens, cathedrals, ancient cities and rural landscapes.

"I have also appreciated the opportunity to meet and talk to many of you from the South West during my visit and to see the diversity of ways in which you contribute to your own local communities."

The Queen in Taunton
The Queen meets the people in Taunton

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh began their trip in Taunton at about 1000 BST at a farmers' market.

They then travelled to Vivary Park to be welcomed by thousands of children from Somerset schools and meet a nurse, Doreen Hardman, who cared for the Queen's father George VI when he was dying of lung cancer.

The royal couple then flew by helicopter to the tiny city of Wells, where they viewed the traditional carnival floats that proceed through towns throughout the West Country every autumn.

They also chatted to the two Glastonbury-based pilots who hope to travel to the edge of space in the giant QinetiQ balloon gondola.

After touring Wells, the royal couple travelled by car through Somerset villages to Bath for a tour of the Roman Baths, the Pump Room, the Guildhall and the Abbey.

The visit to the South West is designed to highlight two of the region's most important industries - farming and tourism - that were both badly affected by last year's foot-and-mouth outbreak.

In her lunchtime address, the Queen said the disease "not only affected farmers but many others who depend on the well-being of the countryside and especially those in the tourist industry."



Tour dates:

1 1-2 May: Cornwall, Devon and Somerset
2 7-8 May: Tyne and Wear and Durham
3 10 May: Buckinghamshire and Berkshire
4 23-29 May: Scotland
5 1-4 June: London and Windsor
6 7 June: West Sussex
7 11-13 June: Wales
8 27 June: Portsmouth
9 2-3 July: West Midlands
10 11-12 July: West Yorkshire and the Humber
11 17-18 July: Suffolk and Norfolk
12 24-26 July: Manchester and Merseyside
13 31 July- 1 August: Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire
14 5 August: Lancashire

  • Dates for Northern Ireland will be announced later


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     WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    The BBC's Jennie Bond
    "It's been a flying start to this Jubilee tour"
    See also:

    02 May 02 | England
    Queen continues West Country tour
    01 May 02 | England
    Queen starts Jubilee tour
    01 May 02 | England
    Picture gallery: Jubilee tour
    21 Mar 02 | England
    Queen heads to the suburbs
    29 Apr 02 | UK Politics
    Queen dines with her prime ministers
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