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11 February

Celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

With all the celebrations this week and in the coming year to mark 70 years since Her Majesty The Queen ascended to the throne, we thought it an appropriate time to remember the many ways King’s and OVs have been involved with The Queen and to look ahead to the Platinum Jubilee year.

We begin with this poignant and vivid memory of the day The King died, by OV Lloyd Daniels (Cr 46-56) .

I was there – 6th February 1952

“I was 13 years old and lived in Worcester with my parents and younger brother. Wednesday 6th February was a school day and I rode my bicycle from our home in Lansdowne Walk to The King’s School right beside the Cathedral and the River Severn. I had been going to this school for over five years.

“It was a cold and frosty morning as I left home and it took me less than 15 minutes to cycle through the city to School. I put my bicycle in the bicycle sheds along one side of the school playground. As I walked across the playground to my classroom, I looked up at the tower of the Cathedral, which was shrouded in the freezing fog. I had no idea of the events that were taking place in our country that were to make history.

“I walked round College Green, joining others going to College Hall for morning assembly. I sat on one of the many rows of bench seats with my friends from class Upper Remove A. Promptly as the Cathedral clock began to strike 9 o’clock we were all told to stand up as the Headmaster entered the hall from his house alongside. He walked the full length of the hall, which was in complete silence, climbed the steps to the platform, and stood behind a table in front of his high backed chair. The School monitors were sat on chairs in a row either side of him. The School teachers were sat on rows of chairs behind.

“We all left College Hall and went to our classrooms for lessons. At morning break (play time),  we went out into the playground but it was so cold we did not stay for long. As I returned to my classroom around 11 o’clock, one of the cathedral bells began to ring. It was a single bell, tolling about once every 30 seconds. This was a signal that something of great sadness had happened. We did not know what it was.

“Once I got back to my classroom, the word soon passed round, “the King has died”. At first, we did not know whether or not to believe it. It was true; His Majesty King George VI had died peacefully in his sleep at Sandringham House. He was found dead in bed at 0730 GMT by a servant. He was just 56 years old. The official announcement from Sandringham was given at 1045 GMT, shortly before I heard the cathedral bell begin tolling.

“I was there, the day King George VI died.”

Platinum Jubilee Queen's Maundy Thursday visit

Her Majesty the Queen & the Duke of Edinburgh Visit Worcester and attend the Royal Maundy service at Worcester Cathedral. Photo by the late Tom Bader (Hon OV)

One OV who will be heavily involved in the celebrations of the coming year is OV reporter and broadcast journalist Cameron Walker (Os 08-15). Currently at GB News, Cameron regularly reports on the Royal Family for the channel and expects to be very busy covering the Platinum Jubilee in year ahead.

Platinum Jubilee Cameron Walker

Cameron tells us, “I am very grateful that GB News has given me the freedom to focus a lot of my time on producing Royal content for the channel. The British Royal Family is a big journalistic passion of mine, so I have had a lot of fun planning for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations later this year. I was lucky enough to hone my reporting skills when I was asked to front a series of news packages for ‘Alastair Stewart: A Royal Year’ over the festive period. I am hoping to do more royal reporting in the future.” You can watch Cameron reporting on the programme HERE.

As we finish the article it seems only right to remember some of the visits The Queen has made to Worcester and the Cathedral. Many OVs will remember seeing her in 1951, the year before her coronation, as she visited The Royal Worcester factory and opened the museum. Other visits included attending the Maundy Thursday Service at the Cathedral in 1980, and another to the Cathedral in 2012; occasions many OVs, particularly choristers, will remember well.

Platinum Jubilee Queen's visit to Edgar Tower

If you are playing a part in the jubilee celebrations this year, we would love to hear from you alumni@ksw.org.uk .