The Queen laughs as she signs official portrait during visit to Norfolk fire station

The Queen appeared in high spirits as she opened the new South Lynn fire station with Prince Philip on Monday. The monarch laughed as she signed an official portrait which will be hung inside the new £2million fire station, in Horsley Fields, Norfolk.

Despite the freezing cold temperatures, crowds of royal fans and well-wishers gathered outside the station to greet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Children from a local primary school also stood and waved flags as the royal visitors arrived.


The Queen laughed as she signed her official portrait

The Queen had wrapped up against the winter chill in a camel coloured coat with fur cuffs, topped off with a matching hat and cream gloves.

The royal couple were met by Lord Lieutenant of Norfolk, Richard Jewson, and Norfolk's chief fire officer, Nigel Williams, who showed them around the new station.

The Queen appeared in high spirits as she opened the fire station

Fire crews who are based at the station then demonstrated some of their specialist equipment, including a rescue boat which was deployed during a flood in the region.

Firefighter Mark Endersby revealed: "The Duke was very interested in it, he was asking what does this do? What does that do?"

The Queen and Prince Philip also met volunteers for Prince's Trust, who work alongside firefighters and members of the Hunstanton fire cadets.

Prince Philip joined the Queen for the fire station opening

They concluded their visit by unveiling a plaque to commemorate the official opening. Chief fire officer Nigel Williams said it will have pride of place at the station alongside the signed portrait.

The visit follows the couple's appearance at a church service in West Newton, Norfolk on Sunday. Her Majesty was once again in a cheerful mood as she greeted fellow church-goers and members of the public outside the chapel.

The Queen has been residing at her Sandringham estate over the Christmas break, and is expected to return to Buckingham Palace soon after her relaxed festive season.