5 OCTOBER 2005

Click here to send this news item to a friend The Queen discovered that even "ice-maidens" can give a warm welcome when she paid a visit to Aberdeen this week. Her Majesty was greeted by the world women's curling champions as she opened a new £2.5-million rink in the heart of the Scottish city. A group of younger curling fans also treated the sovereign to a display of the chilly sport. And although she didn't venture out onto the ice herself, the monarch was right on target with her choice of apparel. The royal visitor looked both elegant and cosy in a warm purple coat and matching feathered hat as she chatted with the youngsters.

The 79-year-old, who seemed to be in jubilant form, was eager to meet her local fans before her summer break comes to an end. She has been staying at nearby Balmoral Castle, but she is now due to return to London.

Quite a few of Aberdeen's residents got the chance to bid her farewell, though, as she also stopped by the Town Hall for a civic reception and lunch with local politicians. Patients at the city's newly-opened children's hospital likewise enjoyed a visit from the royal, who is unlikely to forget the welcome she received from little Erin Beattie. The brave nine-year-old, who was not expected to survive after being knocked down 18 months ago, led the welcome party by presenting the VIP guest with a bouquet of flowers.

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Photo: © Alphapress.com
Queen Elizabeth chose a heather-hued ensemble for her Aberdeen outing Photo: © AFP
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The royal visitor arrives at the city's new curling rinkPhoto: © AFP
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