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Last Updated: Friday, 8 June 2007, 13:20 GMT 14:20 UK
Queen marks charter anniversary
The Queen in Romsey
The Queen was greeted by Union flag waving crowds in Romsey
Almost sixty years after spending part of their honeymoon there, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were in Romsey to mark 400 years of its Royal charter.

The Queen greeted scores of people waving Union flags as they lined the streets of the Hampshire market town.

Romsey was awarded Borough status by King James I in 1607.

The Queen and Duke attended a service at Romsey Abbey before unveiling a charter stone and plaque to commemorate the anniversary.

In the afternoon, the Royal couple were due to visit Broadlands in Romsey, the former home of Prince Philip's uncle The Earl Mountbatten of Burma, where they spent part of their honeymoon in 1947.

There, they were due to plant Mulberry trees, just as James I did 400 years ago.

On their walkabout, well wishers shouted "happy birthday" at Prince Philip, who turns 86 on Sunday.

Teenager Lily Pozzetti-Holt, dressed in her school uniform and trendy over-sized dark sunglasses, asked the Queen for her signature, keeping her shades on throughout the chance royal meeting.

"I asked her to sign my year book but she said unfortunately she wasn't allowed to sign it," said the 16-year-old from Romsey.

'Such a surprise'

The Queen's equerry lifted two-year-old Jessica Phelps over the security barrier, leading her by the hand to meet the monarch.

The toddler handed a carnation bloom she was clutching to the Queen.

Her grandmother, Peggy Strange, said afterwards: "It was such a surprise. Jessica didn't seem phased."

Before 1607, the civil administration of Romsey had been in the hands of the Abbess as Lord of the manor.

The Royal charter gave official status to an informal group of citizens who had been running the town since the dissolution of Romsey Abbey in 1539.

Queen takes trip down memory lane
07 Jun 07 |  Hampshire

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