[Gallery] A brief history of the times that Queen Elizabeth II visited Swindon

By Barrie Hudson - 9 September 2022

  • Images of the Queen visiting Swindon in 1997 - photo credit Richard Wintle

    Images of the Queen visiting Swindon in 1997 - photo credit Richard Wintle

We look back at the five times Queen Elizabeth II visited Swindon during her lifetime.

The late Queen was just 24 years old when she made her first official visit to Swindon.

At the time of that visit, on 15 November, 1950, she was Princess Elizabeth. Her 70-year reign as Queen would not begin until February of 1952, on the death of her father, King George VI.

1950 was the year in which Swindon marked a half century of being officially recognised as a borough, and the future monarch's visit was the highlight of the commemoration.

Her official duties included opening the Garden of Remembrance in Queen's Park and the new playing fields in Moredon.

Throughout the visit, cheering crowds greeted Her Royal Highness - as she then was - and the audience for the ceremony at Queen's Park included loved ones of those who had given their lives for their country.

By the time of her next visit, in July of 1954, Her Majesty was in the third year of her long reign. Arriving by train, she was driven to Wroughton Airfield to present the Royal Welch Fusiliers with new colours.

As with her visit in 1950, the streets along which her car passed were lined by cheering crowds.

It would be 17 years before Her Majesty next visited Swindon. In 1971, she and her husband, Prince Philip, made an official visit to open the new Wyvern Theatre. 

Her Majesty's next visit was in November of 1997, when her duties included appearances at Wharf Green, the Brunel Plaza and Gorse Hill Infants' School, and in October of the following year she was in Swindon once more to open Motorola's new Groundwell plant.

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