September 17, 2022 10.00 am This story is over 14 months old

Lincoln Mayor and Sheriff who met the Queen during city visits pay tribute

Former Mayor and City Sheriff hold fond memories

A former mayor and a city sheriff who met Queen Elizabeth II when she visited the city have paid tribute to “one of the most charming and influential people our country has ever known”.

Councillor Loraine Woolley, who held the position when Her Majesty and Prince Phillip visited Lincoln for Maundy Thursday in April 2000, said it was “quite an occasion for the City of Lincoln”.

The issuing of Maundy money is one of the most important events in every cathedral calendar and is only gifted to one city each year.

“It was Millennium year which made the Queen’s visit still more momentous, and there was an excitement building in the city,” said Councillor Woolley.

Her role during the visit was to welcome the monarch by presenting the Richard II sword.

“When I did this and looked up I was greeted with the most amazing smile and shining eyes and from that point on the day was a huge success,” said the councillor.

“Her Late Majesty had a wonderful knack of putting everyone at ease and that is what ensures that such occasions are successful.”

The Queen and Prince Phillip visited Lincoln in 1996 for the opening of the University of Lincoln. This photo of them with former sheriff Councillor Pat Vaughan hangs in the Guildhall.

The Maundy service was followed by a lunch at the Assembly Rooms.

“I was privileged to host that event, so had engaging conversation on all sorts of issues, but most were light-hearted and full of humour.

“The Queen had agreed in advance of the visit to be part of a photograph featuring five women then in lead positions of authority in Lincoln, something that twenty two years ago was a rare attainment.

“The photograph was a triumph… but it would never have happened but for the Queen recognising the significance it had for Lincoln’s history.

“Her Late Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was one of the most charming and influential people our country has known.”

Councillor Pat Vaughan was the City Sheriff during a visit by to open the University of Lincoln in 1996.

He said it had been an “honour and privilege” to have accompanied the mayor at a number of engagements that year, but that the highlight was meeting HM Queen Elizabeth II.

“The Civic Party welcomed her to the Guildhall during her visit to the city to open the University of Lincoln, and then we had the huge honour of joining her for lunch.

“Her Late Majesty was a kind and gentle lady, she chatted to the Mayor and myself and put our nervousness at ease.

“This remarkable lady will be missed by us all and I would like to thank her for her service to the country.”

Photographs of both visits, alongside those of other royal family members hang in The Guildhall in Lincoln where a book of condolence is available for people to sign until Tuesday evening.

Photos hung at the Guildhall also include this one from June 27, 1958 when HM Queen Elizabeth came to open Pelham Bridge.