Queen's lightning visit to bell foundary takes East End by storm

THE Queen arrived in London’s East End unexpectedly this-afternoon when the Royal Bentley pulled up outside the Whitechapel bell foundry.Just a handful of people saw her, before word got round

Picture: Joe Lord

NOT many people expected the Queen to suddenly turn up in London’s East End this-afternoon when the Royal Bentley pulled up outside Britain’s oldest manufacturing company.

Just a handful were outside the Whitechapel bell foundry with cameras as the Queen and Prince Philip arrived.

But after they were spotted stepping out of the car the news quickly spread and within minutes hundreds gathered.


They were greeted by Alan Hughes and his wife Kathryn, directors of the Whitechapel Foundry famous for casting the Big Ben bell for the Houses of Parliament and America’s Liberty Bell in Philadelphia.

“It was just like any other tours we do,” Kathryn later told the East London Advertiser.

“But we normally stop the manufacturing process. We didn’t this time.”

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The Queen was presented with a small bell and Prince Philip given paper weights by the couple’s daughters Jenifer and Lizzie.

Outside, hundreds were by now lining both sides of Whitechapel Road as the Royals stepped back into the car.

In the crowd was Lucia Riscavo, 42, with her nine-year-old daughter Debbie.

“After seeing the Queen arriving, I quickly went to pick up my daughter from school so she could catch a glimpse of her,” Lucia admitted.

The crowd only dispersed after the Royals drove off and life returned to normal along the busy Whitechapel Road.