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Disappointment as dignitaries block view of the Queen at Orford Park visit
2:10pm Thursday 24th May 2012 in News
FOR many it was set to be a once-in-a-lifetime event to see the Queen in person.
But some of the thousands who turned up for last week’s Royal visit were left disappointed when their view was blocked at the last minute.
Karen Gallagher, from Paddington, said: “My friends and I took our seven-year-olds out of school to see the Queen on Thursday. They were all so excited but came away hugely disappointed.
“We were told where to stand to get a good view of Her Majesty at the community centre but once she arrived the people within the barrier just crowded around her meaning the children and everyone else couldn't see her.”
Rita Nixon, from Longford, added: “I, together with several hundred people, particularly the children, had an excellent view ready for the Queen to meet the welcoming party.
“But as soon as she arrived the privileged guests who were a short distance away with an excellent view surged forward and surrounded the Queen, completely obliterating the view of hundreds of people who were left very angry. Most of them had waited patiently for more than two hours and some may never see the Queen again in their lifetime, including me.”
Margaret Cooper, aged 75, from Orford added: “All the VIPs crowded round her and all we could see was the top of her hat.”
The incident left questions from those who missed out on seeing the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh as to why they were allowed to stand there if they would not be able to see anything from those view points.
A spokesman for the council said: “A huge amount of planning goes into events of this scale. The Royal party was intended to tour the site in an open-topped vehicle, which would have given the thousands of people who had gathered a much better view. Unfortunately, with the rain earlier in the day, the Palace representatives invoked the wet weather contingency plans, which limited some of the spectating spots.
“The problem was compounded at the community cabin, where police and security teams altered the plans for crowd management at the last minute, which meant that some spectators found their views blocked. Despite our best efforts to move everyone back into their planned spaces, the volume of people and amount of activity made it difficult to put right at the time and it is a real shame that some people missed out on the close-up views.”