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Essex: Queen to visit Chelmsford Cathedral and Felsted School today

PUBLISHED: 08:52 06 May 2014 | UPDATED: 08:52 06 May 2014

The Queen arrived in Essex this morning

The Queen arrived in Essex this morning

The Queen is visiting Essex today to celebrate two special anniversary events.

Accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, she is scheduled to attend a special service at Chelmsford Cathedral this morning followed by the unveiling of a plaque at Felsted School.

Cathedral spokesman Ruth Collin said the sense of anticipation was growing yesterday as the final preparations were put in place.

“We are all very much looking forward to it,” she said. “The final preparations are being put in place, the seating is out, the flowers arranged – it’s looking great.”

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Rev Stephen Cottrell, described the visit as the “icing on the cake” for the diocese’s centenary celebrations being held this year.

Assembling a 650-strong guest list, which best represents the diocese’ achievements over the past century, has been a “massive” operation for the cathedral.

Ms Collin explained: “We wanted it to represent the whole range of the work that goes on in the diocese and the cathedral over the past 100 years.”

Clergy, congregation and active members of the community will join the royal visitors for a traditional service, which is to be broadcast on loudspeakers in the churchyard for the public to hear.

The Dean of Chelmsford Nicholas Henshall said: “A lot of people invited are there for their role in the community, whether it is in the voluntary sector, running after-school clubs or activities in hospitals.

“This is not about looking back but looking forward at what the next 100 years will look like.”

The Queen will then visit Felsted School, near Braintree, where she will unveil two commemorative plaques during a special assembly in the Lord Riche Hall, which was opened by Princess Anne in 1989. The visit, which will be “the absolute pinnacle”of the independent school’s 450th anniversary celebrations, forms part of a long heritage of royal visits.

The Queen Mother attended the school’s 400th anniversary celebrations in 1968 and Old Felstedian Sir Marcus Setchell oversaw the delivery of Prince George last year.

Headmaster Dr Mike Walker said: “To have a reigning monarch visit Felsted School will be the absolute pinnacle of our 450th year celebrations.

“The school is busy preparing for this Royal visit and the children are very excited to be part of this special day. I am very proud and fortunate to be headmaster at this time.”

Stowmarket Road in Great Blakenham was closed on Saturday night after a car left the road and crashed into a house.

Police have named the van driver who died in an accident on the Orwell Bridge on Friday as 67-year-old Michael (Mick) Rayner from Essex.

A new customer service office has opened in Sudbury as Babergh and Mid Suffolk councils prepare to move their main operations to Ipswich where they will share Suffolk’s Endeavour House headquarters.

Road crews from Highways England will be working at the following sites on East Anglia’s busiest roads over the next week – so this is where drivers can expect to find delays:

Colchester MP Will Quince was visibly moved as the House of Commons passed a new law giving parents the right to compassionate leave from work after suffering the tragedy of stillbirth.

The snooker area at Bears Pool & Snooker Club in Ipswich has now opened following the venue relaunch this summer.

A primary school student is counting down the days until the Bury St Edmunds Round Table fireworks display after winning an artwork competition to be the VIP.

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