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Comment 27 APRIL 2012

Queen pays tribute to Welsh spirit in emotional return to Aberfan

27 APRIL 2012

She is the most travelled monarch in history, having toured the world many times over during her sixty-year reign.

But today the Queen showed that some of her strongest ties lie in the small Welsh community of Aberfan, where she returned to open Ynysowen Community Primary School.


 

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It is the fourth time the sovereign has visited the area since a mining disaster claimed 144 lives there in 1966.

And the Queen's continued support was rewarded as relatives of the victims turned out to give her a warm and patriotic welcome – with some exchanging a few emotional words.

 

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Despite the driving rain, school children lined the streets waving flags and cheering as the monarch arrived with the Duke of Edinburgh.

Later, the royal party headed on to Ebbw Vale where they met with former steel workers and attended a thanksgiving service.

Showing her gratitude for the jubilant response to her visit, the Queen praised Wales' steadfastness and spirit.

"I have travelled the length and breadth of this country during my 60 years as your Queen," she said during the service.

"Prince Philip and I have shared many of the joys and sadnesses of the Welsh people in that time and have always been struck by your sense of pride and your undimmed optimism.

"That remarkable spirit of Wales has been very evident in this valley today."

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