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Page last updated at 11:32 GMT, Thursday, 11 March 2010
The Queen and Prince Philip make royal visit to Devon
Jo Irving
By Jo Irving
BBC Devon


Watch our film of the Queen in Devon

7.15: Leaving the house at 7.15 in the morning is never easy.

But when you're spending the day trailing the Queen as she and Prince Philip visit Devon, then an early start is required.

So I head up the A38 in the BBC Radio Devon radio car to make sure I'm in place for the royal couple's arrival by royal train into Exeter St David's.

First stop of the day is St Loye's Foundation, it was established as a charity in 1937 to offer training and employment services to disabled people and the Queen is its patron.

Wyvern Barracks is next on the list - and that's where I'm heading now.

10:30: Her Majesty arrived here at Wyvern Barracks dressed in deep purple, which looks stunning. She's sporting a hat and coat which is sensible because although it's really sunny, it's also very cold.

Watch our film of the Queen at Wrigley's

There are 1,800 people here to see the royal couple. Some 1,100 cadets - dressed in their finery - and their friends and families all assemble in the parade ground.

It's an atmosphere of hushed awe as the crowds watched Army, Air and Sea Cadets celebrating Cadet 150. Prince Philip has been meeting and greeting the assembled throng before the royal couple will unveil a plaque to commemorate their visit.

12.30: I've just interviewed Christopher Knee, the chief executive of St Loye's, who said that today's visit has been "great".

He said it was the fourth time the Queen had been to St Loye's.

Today was a chance for her to see the charity's new building which is really bringing the charity into the 21st century. She last visited in 1998.

Now I need to jump in the car and head back down the A38. The royal pair have two more appointments in the schedule: Dartington Hall and then on to Wrigley's in Plymouth.

14:30. The royal couple had lunch at Dartington Hall Trust and I arrive at Wrigley's to see staff and pupils from local schools outside, waving Union Jacks. Everyone outside was able to watch what was going on in the factory on a big screen rigged up especially for the occasion.

Staff at Wrigley's waiting for the Queen
Staff at Wrigley's wait for the Queen's arrival

One little girl whose father works at the factory had made a card for the Queen this morning, never expecting to hand it over to her Majesty. So it was a lovely moment when she got to deliver her message in person.

Some of Wrigley workers found it quite an emotional occasion, marking the 40th anniversary of the factory's opening in the city.

The Queen leaves with a box of chewing gum from Wrigley's to take back to Buckingham Palace with her as a memento of her visit.

16:00: I get back to the BBC Radio Devon newsroom in Plymouth to recount my experiences on the radio, which you can hear later on Shep and Jo's programme and on Good Morning Plymouth on Friday 12 March 2010.

It's the first time I've seen the Queen at such close quarters for quite a while - the last time was 1977 on the Hoe for the Silver Jubilee and I've still got the sweatshirt to prove it!

It's been a long but enjoyable day for me and I'm only half the Queen's age - I hope she enjoyed it too.

In pictures: Royal visit to Devon
11 Mar 10 |  People & Places
Watch our film of the Queen at Wrigley's
11 Mar 10 |  People & Places
Queen and prince to visit Exeter
05 Feb 10 |  Devon
Webcam: Plymouth Sound
02 Dec 09 |  People & Places
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