Return visit for The Queen after 50 years

HM The Queen
HM The Queen

HM The Queen is set to visit the Forth Road Bridge today (Friday) to mark the iconic structure’s 50th birthday.

Accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, The Queen will unveil a plaque dedicated to the people who have worked on the maintenance and operation of the Bridge over the past 50 years.

The plaque is positioned at the viewing platform, which is located next to the Forth Estuary Transport Authority 
(FETA) offices.

It will sit alongside the memorial The Queen unveiled when opening the Bridge on September 4, 1964.

She will arrive late morning and spend just 15 minutes before heading over the bridge to Rosyth to launch the Royal Navy’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Whilst at the Bridge, the Royal Party will also meet 
FETA’s six longest serving members of staff. Her Majesty will also be presented with a bouquet of flowers by eight year-old Charlotte Waite, daughter of the FETA communications manager Chris.

Also present on the day will be a small group of members from The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), who formed the Guard of Honour when The Queen opened the Bridge.

The group who will proudly represent the original guard includes Guard Commander Colonel Dudley Lucas (then Major) and Major Philip Grant (then Lieutenant).

The Royal Party will then cross over the Bridge, as The Queen makes her way to Rosyth to name the Royal Navy’s newest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth.

Lesley Hinds, convenor of FETA, said: “It was a young HM The Queen who opened the Forth Road Bridge 50 years ago, so FETA is honoured to welcome Her Majesty back to help mark the Bridge’s 50th birthday.

“Many people have dedicated their entire lives to maintaining and operating the Forth Road Bridge – keeping a vital part of Scotland’s infrastructure network in good shape – and I can think of no better way to commemorate the time and effort they have given over the years.

“Having the Cameronians present also harks back to that historic day in 1964 when North and South Queensferry were finally linked by the Forth Road Bridge and we are delighted that they will be present to welcome Her Majesty and The Duke of 
Edinburgh.”

*The visit is open to the public but those wishing to come along are being advised that sections of the FETA car park will be closed to the public to allow access for the Royal party.

The Queen has had a hectic schedule this week.

She presented awards at the Palace of Holyrood on Tuesday; on Thursday, she attended a Thistle Service in St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh and a Service of Commemoration at the Scottish National War Memorial, Edinburgh Castle.