SEE US IN A NEW LIGHT
Remembering the Royal visit of 1990
This article was originally published in Link, the monthly newspaper for the Diocese of Newcastle. The May 2021 edition – available to read online here – marked the passing of His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.
A tablet lies in Newcastle Cathedral marking the occasion on 12 April 1990 when Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, visited the city to distribute the Royal Maundy money.
The royal guests were greeted by the Provost of Newcastle and the Maundy service included hymns sung by the Cathedral Choir, with readings from the Cathedral’s canons.
Ellie Robertson, who retires from her long-standing post as Cathedral Secretary later this year, worked at the Diocesan Office in Mosley Street at the time and remembers the buzz and excitement of the day, when she attended the service with her colleagues. One of the Cathedral’s old guidebooks recalls it was ‘a great honour [for the Cathedral] and the people of the diocese of Newcastle’.
A contemporary article in the Journal newspaper reported that the royal ceremony would provide lifelong memories for four Tyneside children who were chosen to be Children of the Royal Almonry.
They were Gemma Graham, 11, of Christ Church School, Shieldfield; Jessica Mayhew, nine, of St Paul’s Elswick; Graham Thompson, 11, of St Anthony’s, Walker; and Adrian Blackett, nine, of Archbishop Runcie, Gosforth. Each child carried a nosegay (posy of flowers) throughout the procession and, after the service, stood next to the Queen and Prince Philip for the official Royal Maundy photograph.
We wonder if any of the grown-up children are out there reading this today…
If you have any memories or photographs of the Royal visit, please do get in touch.