HUNDREDS of schoolchildren re-enacted the Queen’s Coronation as part of jubilee celebrations.
The ‘mini-coronation’ was a large scale event which took place at Durham Cathedral with a full cast of youngsters in costume.
Almost 500 pupils took part in the hour long ceremony with Zoe Kimura, seven, of St Godric’s RC Primary School in Durham, taking on the starring role as she arrived in a horse-drawn carriage and was crowned as Queen.
Prince Philip was played by Josh Mulholland, seven, of St Margaret’s Primary School in Durham.
Pupils from 10 different schools in Durham City took on roles including; lords, ladies in waiting, knights, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, the Dean of Westminster, Bishop of Durham, Keeper of the Jewel House and the Groom of the Robes.
The ceremony on Thursday was the first occasion all the children were together and after just one dress rehearsal they re-enacted the event to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Elizabeth Baker, the education officer for Durham Cathedral, came up with the idea last year to teach children in the city about the jubilee and the church’s role in the ceremony.
Mrs Baker said: "I contacted all the headteachers in the city and had replies straight away. They all loved the idea and wanted to take part, it was amazing.
"I knew the children would love the pomp and ceremony of events this weekend and the pop concerts when they saw it on TV, but I wanted them to understand the importance of the event too.
"I was eight during the Silver Jubilee and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t realise the significance of why we were celebrating the Queen being on the throne for 25 years at that time.
"Queen Elizabeth is the second longest serving monarch after Queen Victoria.
"I wanted the children to recognise the parts they played in at the Cathedral and learn about the church’s role in it."
Around 480 children took part in total with 82 children having an official role. The youngest participants were aged five and the eldest were 16.
Mrs Baker, who has spent the past few months hand-making orbs, sceptres, gowns and robes for the mini-coronation said: "There were children from 10 schools in the City of Durham area.
"When the horse drawn carriage arrived with our ‘mini queen’ the children really rose to the occasion."
"They looked fantastic and all did brilliantly with their lines. I had a copy of the Order of Service and we had to make it a little shorter and change some of the language, but a lot of it was still quite difficult.
"The Archbishop of Canterbury, who was played by Jonathan Anstee had the most to remember - he is only eight but did really well and everyone recited their lines perfectly.
"It was a fantastic event and everyone is very proud of how well the children did."
Jubilee beacon in one of Britain’s remotest spots
WORK is nearing completion to build a Jubilee beacon in one of the region’s most remote places.
Beacons will be lit throughout the country on Monday spanning the length and breadth of the UK.
Members of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors will light a beacon at Deadwater Fell near Kielder, Northumberland, accompanied by a celebratory event at the nearby Kielder Observatory.
Cadets from 1156 (Whitley Bay) Squadron Air Cadets ATC and Forestry Commission staff are also helping with the preparations.
Thomas Conneely, vice chair of RICS matrics North East, said: “The UK has a long history of lighting beacons for royal events and we’re extremely proud to be coordinating some to commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
“Kielder is looking to become England’s first Dark Sky Park - which is why the astronomical facility is based there – it has some of the best skyspace in our country, free of light pollution.
So it is a fantastic location and those that attend should be able to see the beacons to the North and South of Kielder, in addition to the Deadwater Fell Beacon, whilst also getting the opportunity to do some star gazing, tour the observatory and see how the equipment works at first hand.”