Her Majesty has met thousands of members of the public during her engagements in the UK and abroad, but during her visit to Somerset on Thursday, she bumped into a very familiar face – her in-law. The Queen was visiting King's Bruton boarding school when she was reunited with Christopher Bournes Rhys-Jones, the father of her daughter-in-law the Countess of Wessex. The monarch chatted and shook hands with Sophie's dad, who was present at the engagement as a former pupil of the school.
The Queen was visiting the school to open a new music department named in her honour, the Queen Elizabeth Music School, on King's Bruton 500th anniversary. One notable parent at the school is The Corrs former percussionist Caroline Corr, who is a sponsor and whose two children attend King's.
The Queen shakes hands with Sophie's dad Christopher
"I had first met the Queen many years ago in 2002 at the Jubilee Concert," said Caroline afterwards. "There had been a lot of musicians in the line-up but when I said I'd met her, she did show some recognition. It was very quick then and I got to speak to her for longer this time, which was lovely. I told her that I have two children at the school and she also asked about the percussion rooms. She was so warm and so interested."
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The Queen was given a tour of the music facility by headmaster Ian Wilmshurst. In one room, Sam Innes, 18, in the upper sixth, was with his piano teacher. "My piano teacher said to give it [the piano] a cheeky play, and the Queen said, 'oh do.' I played some Chopin. It was really scary!" said Sam. "She said that we had a lovely facility and that it must be lovely to play in here."
Christopher was a pupil at King's Bruton school
In another room, pupils were playing compositions they had made themselves using digital technology for their GCSE's. Adam Barrett-James, 15, who is in fifth form, recalled: "She asked who was playing, and I told her it was the computer playing the music. She quite liked it! Meeting her was a moment I will never forget." In the recital hall, Her Majesty also listened to the choir singing King of Glory, King of Peace and Magnifat.
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Before leaving, the monarch unveiled a plaque and signed a visitors book. She was presented with a posy by a young girl called Alice, a year three child from Hazlegrove Primary School. The Queen remarked that the flowers "match my dress", with Alice later admitting that she was "a bit nervous" but that the Queen was "really nice".
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