DIAMOND JUBILEE: Gearing up for the main event

The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson at the service of celebration at Christ Church Cathedral

The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire Tim Stevenson at the service of celebration at Christ Church Cathedral

First published in News Bicester Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

OXFORD came to a standstill as servicemen and dignitaries marched through the streets to launch the city’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Crowds cheered and clapped as the procession passed from County Hall to Christ Church Cathedral on Saturday for a service to honour the Queen.

Among those taking part were members of the Royal British Legion, RAF Brize Norton, RAF Benson, a marching band and dignitaries from Oxfordshire’s councils.

Tracy Reeves, 44, and husband Colin, 46, from Bicester, watched as the procession made its way down Queen Street. Mrs Reeves said: “We are both ex-forces and it is so nice to see this. It is lovely.”

Kat Flack, 31, of Reading, said: “It was fantastic to see the parade.

“I am German and it is great how the British people love their country and their monarch.”

The service was led by the Bishop of Oxford, The Rt Rev John Pritchard, and featured the national anthem, hymns and blessings. Sheriff of Oxford Dee Sinclair said: “It was really nice to see how people in the city responded to this special occasion.

“I hope it bodes well because we have got a fantastic year coming up.”

Oxfordshire County Council chairman Don Seale said: “This is in recognition of the wonderful lady who has been our monarch for 60 years through some pretty difficult times and has never put a foot wrong.”

Warrant officer Alan Hart, of RAF Benson, said: “It is an honour to share in this once-in-a-lifetime event.

“She is our commander in chief and the person we have our allegiance to and this is our chance to be part of the celebrations.”

Christ Church Cathedral registrar John Briggs said: “Everyone wants to celebrate the fact the Queen has reigned over us for an inordinate span of time and celebrate what she has given to the country.”

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