Newmarket is gearing up to welcome the Queen to the town for her only official visit to Suffolk during her 90th birthday year.
The monarch is coming to town on the morning of Thursday, November 3, and is expected at around 11am.
First she will be unveiling a statue of herself with a thoroughbred mare and foal on Birdcage Walk. The statue, sculpted by Charlie Langton and Etienne Millner, which has been privately funded, is a gift from Newmarket in celebration of her birthday and her lifetime’s dedication to the thoroughbred.
At the unveiling the Queen will be greeted by town mayor Cllr Andy Drummond and members of the Newmarket Commemorative Committee, which has been responsible for getting the statue in place. Town primary schools have also been asked to each select a small group of pupils to be part of the official unveiling ceremony and Newmarket Town Band will be providing the music. Also among the official guests will be 20 Newmarket Journal readers selected by ballot.
The visit will continue as the Queen travels down the High Street by car to the new National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art at Palace House, where she will be met by its director, Chris Garibaldi, and Peter Jensen, chairman of the Home of Horseracing Trust, which has been the driving force behind the ambitious multi-million pound project.
During her tour of the new facility she will see two of her former racehorses, Barbers Shop and Quadrille in the Rothschild Yard, home of the Retraining of Racehorses charity, along with five other re-trained racehorses and their trainers.
In the former trainer’s house, which is now home to the racing museum, the Royal visitor will be shown exhibitions including one celebrating the 250th anniversary of Tattersalls. She will then be introduced to benefactors who have helped to fund the new centre and meet staff before formally declaring it open.
The Queen will then cross Palace Street to Palace House, the mansion where her great grandfather Edward V11 was once a regular visitor as a guest of its then owner and his great friend Leopold de Rothschild. It is now home to the art collection of the British Sporting Art Trust and the Queen will be met by its patron Sir Samuel Whitbread before touring it new galleries.
Cllr Drummond said the royal visit, the first official one since 2011, was a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity for the town and hoped residents would turn out in force to greet the Queen and cheer her through the streets. “Newmarket will be representing Suffolk and we want everyone to be part of this very special day for our town and make it one that we will all remember for many years to come,” he said.