Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Attending the Queen's visit to open the convention facilities in Liverpool

The Queen arrived at the International Business Festival (IBF) to open the new convention facilities in Liverpool to be met by the obligatory line of Mayors.

Before she arrived we had all be tutored in the appropriate things to do; doff your hat with left hand and shake hands with you right hand. All this advice was almost negated when someone thrust a brochure into our hands as the royal party arrived. Fortunately the mayoress of St Helens had a capacious handbag and collected up all the brochures.

There followed a short period of polite conversation as the Queen was introduced to each of us in turn. I can record no fascinating snippets of conversation other to report that I explained that Sefton included Southport and Bootle.

Next came Prince Philip who had a conversational opening prepared for us; what did you do for a living? Well I am still gainfully employed and so we embarked on an exchange about mental health and fundraising.

We were then ushered into the conference centre and given a quick tour of the IBF. I have to say I was impressed at the showcasing of British exports which seemed to have an emphasis on technology and innovation .
another British built car allegedly the most powerful car
that can be legally driven on the highway

The new Aston Martin

After the brief tour we came into the main arena where the Queen was to officially open the new convention facilities. Whilst we were waiting for the other dignitaries to assemble I took a quick snap of the assembled Mayors
 Next up was a performance by the Liverpool Pagoda Youth Orchestra who played a collection of pieces including Greensleves
I have to say that this short musical interlude was very well received and the arrangement of the quintessentially English song for Chinese instruments was very successful.

The purpose of the day was to declare the new centre open.

That accomplished the civic party lined up at the front door to bade the Queen farewell. I have to tell you that we were all a little too hot in our robes and I for one was keen to head off to my office so that I could de-robe.

There was quite a crowd of well wishers and more waiting at the Liverpool Town Hall. My experience as a mayor has given me a small insight into what it is like to have official engagements. Whatever you may think of the institution of the monarchy it has to be acknowledged that the substantial round of event the Queen undertook today in Liverpool would  exhaust most of us and yet there she was patiently and graciously carrying out all the hand shaking, greetings and every other duty people expected of her. It was impressive.

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