Sand castle and donkey rides on agenda for Queen as she enjoys a day at the beach

queen, weymouth, sand castle, donkeys, beach, sand, Prince Phillip, sculpted, punch and judy, puppets, royals
The Queen and Prince Philip got to experience some of the traditional elements of British seaside towns, as they took to the esplanade at Weymouth. There they encountered a cheeky donkey called Sooty...
 Photo: © Getty Images

Weymouth pulled out all the stops to ensure the Queen and her husband Prince Philip felt at home during a visit to the seaside town on Thursday, greeting the royal party with a replica Windsor Castle sculpted from local sand.

Modelled directly on royal plans, the 20-foot-wide construction took five men 300 hours to create. Its 20 turrets included one flying the royal standard in the same place one flies when the Queen is in residence at Windsor Castle. "The Queen was thrilled with it," artist Mark Anderson revealed. "Prince Philip was pointing out different rooms in the Castle and said, "That’s where I have my morning tea".

There were more reminders of traditional British seaside activities in store, too. The royal matriarch, who was making her first visit to the town, and her spouse were introduced to some of the donkeys which carry children up and down the shoreline and Punch and Judy puppets.

Puppeteer Mark Poulton showed the monarch his Victorian Punch and Judy stand and reminded her how members of the Royal family have been watching shows like his for years. At the donkey concession one cheeky mount, Sooty, stuck out his tongue, prompting laughter from Philip who reached out to touch it.