Queen and Prince Philip visit Isles of Scilly

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh have visited the Isles of Scilly for the first time in nearly 45 years.

Many of the Scillies' 2,000 residents turned out to greet them in sweltering sunshine as they toured St Mary's, the largest island in the archipelago.

The royal couple took a tour of the new Five Islands school as well as inspecting a new Sea Fisheries vessel.

They last visited the Isles of Scilly in 1967 aboard the royal yacht Britannia.

The Royal Standard flying over the town hall in Hugh Town, the capital of St Mary's, was the same flag which had greeted them more than four decades ago.

Robert Dorrien-Smith, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, met the Queen on her previous visit when she had lunch at Tresco Abbey, his family home.

Mr Dorrien-Smith, who was 16 in 1967, said: "We found the flag in a cupboard at the hall - it hasn't been used in the last 44 years."

Mike Hicks, chairman of the islands' council, said he was honoured that the Queen had taken the time to visit.

He said: "It is an important occasion for us, especially when you consider today is Ladies' Day at Epsom and the Queen is such a big fan of horse-racing.

"It is a privilege that she has taken the time to come down here."

The 77-year-old said he remembered the Queen's 1967 visit when his boat, the Sea King, was used by journalists and photographers to follow the royal party as they toured the islands by barge.

"The weather today is as good as it was then," he said.

Image caption The Queen last visited the Isles of Scilly in 1967

The islands' new Sea Fisheries vessel, which the Queen inspected, was named the Matt Lethbridge after the man who served as coxswain of St Mary's lifeboat for decades.

Mr Lethbridge died last year, aged 86.

The Queen and the duke rounded off their visit with a lunchtime reception in their honour at Tregarthen's Hotel on St Mary's.

Islander Emma Driscoll, who was one of the invited guests, said: "I'm overwhelmed, she brings such a great presence and joy.

"I think she lights up the room."

The Queen and Prince Philip had travelled to St Mary's by helicopter after arriving in the Cornish town of Penzance on the royal train.

More than 1,000 people gathered in Penzance to see them.

The Vice Lord-Lieutenant for Cornwall, Michael Galsworthy, said: "The Cornish love a party and this is a wonderful reason to have a party, to meet the Queen."

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