Queen's wedding visit at Manchester Town Hall 'the best present'
Published: 24th Mar 2012 17:50:17
A newly-wed couple who met the Queen when she unexpectedly dropped in at their wedding have said it was "one of the best presents you could wish for".
John and Frances Canning were married at Manchester Town Hall on Friday, as the Queen and Prince Phillip were at a lunch, hosted by the lord mayor.
The Queen was touring the city as part of her Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
Mr Canning said it was "just phenomenal" and "one of the most memorable moments of my life".
The couple only found out the Queen would be at the town hall after they had booked it as their wedding venue.
John and Frances Canning: "For that moment you felt very, very special"
Mrs Canning said: "It was a bit scary but lovely.
"She was so nice and gracious.
"She was beautiful a really nice woman, and wished us all the best."
When the couple were told the royal party would be in the building Mr Canning wrote a 'spur of the moment' letter to Buckingham Palace inviting the Queen to drop by if she had a moment.
He said: "I've never ever written a letter to anyone, for any reason.
"It was a bit tongue in cheek in some ways, I thought 'What have we got to lose? If we get a letter back, even better'.
"I put in my letter that I hoped she would have a lovely day in Manchester, all the very best on the Jubilee and if you've got any spare minutes, we're only next door."
A lady in waiting replied thanking him for the invitation and said unfortunately the Queen would not be able to attend, but she wished them all the best for the future.
Mr Canning said: "That made my day, because I thought 'She's read it'.
"I just thought that was the end of the matter.
"After we'd got married, we walked through our guests into the middle room where we were going to spend five minutes together.
"The gentleman from the Town Hall came up and said the Queen had [actually] agreed to meet us.
"Little did we know it had already been arranged a long time before."
The Queen was in the city having earlier officially opened the BBC's new base in Salford.
She posed for pictures with Mr and Mrs Canning and congratulated them on their marriage.
Prince Phillip asked about their plans for honeymoon in Italy.
Mr Canning said: "It was a lovely present from them to us, one of the best presents you could wish for.
"It was just phenomenal.
"It was something they didn't have to do, you couldn't buy it."
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Queen's wedding visit at Manchester Town Hall 'the best present' [Online] (Updated 24th Mar 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1418493/Queens-wedding-visit-at-Manchester-Town-Hall-the-best-present [Accessed 29th Aug 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
A 23-year-old man has died in hospital after he was involved in a car crash in Enniskillen in the early hours of Saturday morning.