Royal visit: The Queen at Chichester Festival Theatre

Crowds wait for the Queen at the Chichester Festival Theatre SUS-171130-121737001
Crowds wait for the Queen at the Chichester Festival Theatre SUS-171130-121737001
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Her Majesty The Queen is enjoying a special visit to Chichester Festival Theatre - an occasion witnessed by huge crowds who came to see her.

Dressed in matching pastel pink hat and jacket, she arrived around 12.30pm to big cheers and was greeted by Susan Pyper, Lord Lieutenant of West Sussex before meeting dignitaries including Chichester Mayor Peter Evans, The Bishop of Chichester Dr Martin Warner, Chichester MP Gillian Keegan and Giles York, Sussex Police chief constable.

She was welcomed into the foyer by Daniel Evans and Rachel Tackley, artistic director and executive director, before she entered the theatre to rapturous applause from school children who were among the audience.

The queen then watched a stunning performance by 70 members of Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s and then two songs from the CFT’s acclaimed production Fiddler on the Roof, with star Omid Djalili performing ‘If I were a rich man’.

It was narrated by 15-year-old member Evie Carter, who welcomed The Queen to the theatre.

She said: “We are the largest regional youth theatre, with over 800 members across Sussex.

“We couldn’t all fit on the stage today, but earlier you saw some of my friends performing the changing of the guard.”

Her Majesty sat between Mr Evans and Lord Lieutenant Mrs Pyper, clapping throughout the 30-minute production full of colour and humour.

Afterwards she unveiled a special plaque commemorating her visit, before she went outside and met lucky members of the public who had waited for hours to witness the event.

She was then escorted to the Minerva Theatre for lunch in the restaurant with guests including Dame Patricia Routledge, who first appeared at the CFT in 1969.

After lunch, Dame Patricia is due to perform a speech from Noel Coward’s Cowardly Custard.