Do you remember these right Royal visitors?

We may not be able to boast palaces or historic battle fields but Crawley has attracted more than its share of Royal visitors over the years.

Crawley History - Royal visitors
Crawley History - Royal visitors

This collection of pictures shows some of the blue-blooded men and women who have greeted the flag-waving 
masses on their day trips to Sussex.

The Queen has visited Crawley on three occasions, on June 9 1958, December 17 1969 and on November 3 2006 with one earlier visit in 1950 as Princess Elizabeth.

The English have always loved a bit of pomp and circumstance – it’s one of the things we do best – and in 1958 the people of Crawley took to the streets to welcome the Queen.

Crawley History - Royal visitors

The bustling new town –one of eight created after the Second World War to take the strain off of an overcrowded London – played fine host to the vibrant young monarch still in the first decade of her reign.

The Queen was accompanied by her husband the Duke of Edinburgh – who managed to avoid making any of his now legendary verbal faux pas (or if he didn’t, they were kept very quiet).

The royal couple visited Three Bridges School and Crawley College.

Her Majesty planted a tree in Queens Square and, surrounded by crowds of happy new towners, they strolled along the Broad Walk and took lunch in The George.

Crawley History - Royal visitors

They were accompanied by Sir Thomas Bennett, the renowned architect, responsible for much of the development of Crawley and Stevenage.

In 1947, Sir Thomas was appointed as the chairman of the Development Corporation of Crawley New Town, a post he held until 1960.

In his early days at the Development Corporation, he was responsible for the scrapping of the existing plans for the New Town, and the appointment of Sir Anthony Minoprio to create the town’s new Master Plan.

He died on January 29 1980.

In 1988, patients at St Catherine’s Hospice were visited by Diana, Princess of Wales.

The Princess stopped by on August 29 and cheered up a drizzly day for staff and patients at the Malthouse Road hospice with her trademark smile and hands-on approach.

Greeted by the Vice-Lord Lieutenant of Sussex – and the usual cheering crowd – the Princess chatted with patients and cut a cake that was decorated with the hospice logo.

A visit from the Princess is one of those events that you never forget – and one group of schoolchildren will always remember the day they met the lady in question.

David Manuel said: “In 1988, I was the headteacher of Southgate West Middle School.

“As we had visited the hospice on occasions to sing carols to the patients, I was invited to bring a few pupils to meet the Princess.

“We waited outside for a quite a while – well-behaved of course!

“Then Princess Diana appeared and approached me with a coy look on her face saying, ‘I hope you haven’t been waiting too long’.

“The pupils were delighted that they had met her.”

The Princess may have been a welcome visitor to the hospice but it was the Queen Mother who laid the foundation stone.

The much-loved Royal matriarch came to Crawley in November 1982 where she was greeted by mayor Alf Pegler and given a tour of the half-finished Malthouse Road hospice.

The first patient was admitted to the hospice in 1983 and it was formally opened in 1984 by the Duchess of Kent.

And finally, we have Lavinia, Duchess of Norfolk.

She came to Crawley in November 1953 to lay a foundation stone at the Church of England New School.