The Queen Visits Dorset

Hundreds of people braved the weather to welcome the Queen to the South West of England.

She and the Duke of Edinburgh arrived by Royal Train to begin a series of engagements in Dorset and Wiltshire as part of her Diamond Jubilee tour of the UK.

Following the wettest April on record, the rain continued into May as well-wishers patiently stood outside Sherborne Abbey to await the royal visitors.

However, minutes before they arrived, the showers eased off and the umbrellas disappeared among the crowd of several hundred people.

Schoolchildren waved flags and cheered loudly as the Queen and Philip drew up in a car following a short journey from Sherborne station.

On arrival at Sherborne Abbey, the Queen and Philip met primary schoolchildren at a Mad Hatter's Tea Party in a marquee on the lawn. The Queen was presented with a bouquet of flowers by eight-year-old Leah McGarry, who attends Abbey Primary School in Sherborne.

Leah, who was dressed as Alice from Alice In Wonderland, said afterwards:

"I feel really excited that I was chosen to hand over the flowers to the Queen."

The Queen then toured a food fair and met People's Millions award-winners, while the Duke went inside Sherborne Abbey and viewed an exhibition of local artisans.

The royal couple then made the short journey by car to the nearby Digby Memorial Hall where they attended a 1952 themed coffee morning with guests and staff from residential homes across Dorset.

After meeting people enjoying the party, they went outside and spoke to members of the public. They then returned to the station by car to travel to Salisbury on the Royal Train.