Following the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022, Leicestershire was united in mourning.
A range of events took place to pay tribute to The Queen, including the launch of a temporary exhibition to celebrate her life.
The exhibition was commissioned by His Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, Mike Kapur MBE, and was hosted at the city’s Guidhall, St Martin’s House and County Hall in Glenfield.
Visitors were able to reflect on The Queen’s many visits to Leicester and Leicestershire, from as early as her childhood trips to the countryside, to the most recent Maundy Service at Leicester Cathedral in 2017.
HM Lord-Lieutenant, Mike Kapur said: “This exhibition is a celebration of The Queen’s links with Leicestershire. It’s intertwined with the memories and milestones which make our city and county what it is today.”
The exhibition includes archive photos of The Queen’s visit to Leicester University, De Montfort Hall and local business N Corah & sons in 1958.
In March 1980, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh visited Leicester and despite the poor weather, crowds of people gathered to meet the royal couple. They received a blessing from the Bishop of Leicester and toured the new extension to the Royal Infirmary.
During the nineties, The Queen made several visits to Leicestershire. In June 1996 she met Loughborough Grammar School pupils and visited the Defence Animal Centre and Melton Mowbray and in December 1997 she visited Belvoir Castle.
Leicestershire was honoured by a Golden Jubilee visit in August 2002. The Queen met people in the city centre, Guru Nanak Gurdwara and the National Space Centre in which she paid tribute to the distinct identities and multi-culturalism of the places she had visited.
Later in the early 2000s, Leicester was developing as a 21st century city. The Queen opened and toured both the Leicester Grammar School and iconic Curve Theatre in December 2008.
A few years later, The Queen began her Diamond Jubilee tour in Leicester on the 8th March 2012.
Leicester’s reputation as a vibrant and harmonious multi-cultural city made it an important choice for the launch of the national tour to celebrate The Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Leicester responded not just by hosting the start of the royal tour but also by re-shaping part of the city centre with a new space called Jubilee Square.
On the 13th April 2017, The Queen attended the Maundy service at Leicester Cathedral – the last cathedral in the country she had yet to visit.