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Ten thousand flags and yards of bunting to kick off celebrations

March 8, 2012
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Leicester was determined to give the Queen the brightest, boldest reception possible as she kicked off her Jubilee tour after months of anticipation, accompanied by Prince Philip and the Duchess of Cambridge.The royal party arrived on the 10.15am train from London's St Pancras amid scenes of great excitement and were greeted by cheering people, standing at times 10 deep.

The area around the station had been decorated with banners bearing the specially designed Jubilee logo the first time it's been used.And as far as the eye could see, supporters were waving flags  10,000 had been put up by the city council, along with 10,000 yards of bunting.Many had been waiting since dawn. One, 19-year-old student, Sam Brown told the Daily Mail: "You just want to be able tell your grandchildren you saw the Queen at her Diamond Jubilee." Another Rachel Kings, also 19, said: "She's important because she is Britain".They were rewarded by the sight of the Diamond lady herself smiling broadly and looking elegant in an eye-catching fuchsia design with a matching hat.Her granddaughter-in-law Kate also looked immaculate in an LK Bennett peplum suit, topped off by a natty James Lock pill box.Reflecting the city's multi-cultural heritage, the welcome included Bollywood performers, Chinese umbrella dancers, and a gospel choir. 

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The well-heeled ladies were later guests at a fashion parade in the city's De Montfort University.Kate was to make one student's dream come true when she selected their custom-made design as her favourite.While the Queen and Prince William's wife attended to aesthetics, the Duke of Edinburgh was shown the Square Mile project – the university's initiative to stimulate and improve the local community.

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The Queen also attended a service of thanksgiving for her reign led by Anglican clergy and involving all the main faiths.

As the ceremony in the 14th-century cathedral ended the bells rang out in joy.

Leicester is just the opening chapter of a mammoth tour that will see the energetic monarch and her husband visit the length and breadth of the country.

The Isle of Wight, Birmingham, and Edinburgh are just some of the places they will see before they wrap things up in the South East of England on July 25.

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