Platinum Jubilee: When the Queen visited Chichester in 1956 in pictures

As we approach the Platinum Jubilee, we take a look back at the Queen’s first visit to Chichester in 1956.

By Megan Baker
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 12:48 pm

While she has been a regular attendee of Goodwood throughout her life, the Queen’s first appearance in the city came on July 30, 1956.

She and the Duke of Edinburgh were met with ‘nothing but cheers, smiles and kindly greetings’ as they arrived.

After being received by the Duke of Norfolk in Priory Park, the visit began with an inspection of a military guard of honour, followed by an appearance at the Assembly Rooms and a service in the Cathedral. The Queen showed ‘great interest’ in the ancient structure, remarking that she ‘could well believe it was a very loveable building’.

Her Majesty also made a visit to St Mary’s Hospital on the day, which had a ‘more quiet and personal atmosphere’ – though, just outside in St Martin’s Square, thousands were lined up to catch a glimpse of the royals. Crowds stretched from Priory Park as school children cheered and ‘all hearts cried, ‘Long live the Queen’’.

A 1956 edition of the Chichester Observer said it was ‘a day that will live long in the memory of all who were privileged to witness the event’.

Later on in the week, the Queen made a visit to Midhurst Sanatorium where she was given a tour and met with nurses and patients. She and Prince Philip then made their way to Goodwood where they had tea and watched the races in the Royal Box. Pedestrians and motorists lined the distance from Chichester to Arundel Castle – where the royals were staying – to cheer as they passed on their way home.

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