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diamond Jubilee: Queen in Wales in 1990s

Category: Wales

Published: 3rd Jun 2012 08:56:10

In 1997, the year Wales voted for devolution, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh made a return visit to Aberfan in south Wales to meet the largest gathering of survivors ever assembly of the 1966 disaster.

Thousands of tons of coal waste slipped down the mountain above the village and engulfed Pantglas Junior School and nearby houses, killing 116 children and 28 adults.

The Queen first went there a week after the disaster in 1966 and again seven years later in 1973 to open a community hall built from money raised from around the world.

The Queen at Llandaff Cathedral

During her visit the Queen planted a commemorative tree in the Garden of Remembrance.

The couple moved on to nearby Merthyr Tydfil to officially open the Korean Halla Euro Enterprise factory and then to the Royal Mint in Llantrisant to strike the first Royal Golden Wedding coin, introduced later that year, to commemorate their 50th wedding anniversary.

The Queen and Duke, accompanied by Prince Charles, were back in 1999 for the official opening of the Welsh assembly in Cardiff Bay.

The first engagement of the day for the royal party was a service at Llandaff Cathedral.

It was followed by lunch at the National Museum of Wales hosted by First Secretary Alun Michael.

The Queen at the Welsh assembly in 1999

The opening ceremony at Crickhowell House saw the Queen sign a special edition of the Government of Wales Act, which symbolised the transfer of powers from Westminster to the assembly.

The Prince of Wales delivered a speech in Welsh.

A young Charlotte Church, just 13 at the time, sang for the Queen and the new assembly members.

Prime Minister Tony Blair was also in attendance.

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