Queen visits Rovers Return pub as she meets cast of Coronation Street

·Royal Correspondent
·6 min read
Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City UK, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
The Queen during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City. (PA)

The Queen has walked the famous cobbled lanes of Weatherfield as she reflected on the difficulties of the last year during a visit to the set of Coronation Street.

The Queen, 95, last visited the set nearly 40 years ago, and Thursday's visit coincides with the show's 60th anniversary celebrations.

Speaking to cast and crew around the set, she noted there had not been "much to laugh about" in the last year and said "life is a trouble" perhaps echoing the nation through the pandemic and the loss of her husband, Prince Philip.

She walked down Weatherfield’s famous cobbled streets, meeting cast and crew members of the soap.

And she popped to the Rovers Return to meet more actors, including Bill Roache who praised her for carrying on during the pandemic.

The Queen heard about how the show had adapted to carry on filming despite coronavirus restrictions.

She stopped to chat to Charlotte Jordan, who plays Daisy Midgeley, asking if there was "trouble".

As she moved on, she said: "Well I think life is a trouble."

Queen Elizabeth II meets actors (left to right)William Roache, Barbara Knox, Sue Nicholls and Helen Worth, during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City UK, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
The Queen met (left to right) William Roache, Barbara Knox, Sue Nicholls and Helen Worth, during a visit to the set of Coronation Street. (PA Images)
Queen Elizabeth II meets actors and members of the production team during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City UK, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
She also met members of the production team to hear how they adapted during the pandemic. (PA Images)
Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City UK, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
The Queen wore a blue coat dress and matching hat for the tour on Thursday. (PA Images)

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The red carpet was rolled out for her, and cast and crew lined the route as she walked down to the show's theme tune, with people cheering and waving Union flags.

She wore a teal Angela Kelly outfit with matching hat and carried her black handbag during the 40 minute visit to the set. 

She's said to be a fan of the programme, however she hinted that perhaps she doesn't keep up with it anymore.

Speaking to the actors who play those on the "posh" side of the street, she said: "I have not been able to see it all the time."

She asked Ben Pryce, who plays Nick "are you all nice?" and received a response from Corrie “villain” David, played by Jack P Shepherd, said: “I can confidently say Jack is a bad boy.

"There always has to be conflict."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Queen Elizabeth II meets actors and members of the production team during a visit to the set of the long running television series Coronation Street, on July 8, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Scott Heppell - WPA Pool/Getty Images))
The Queen inside the Rovers Return pub on the set of Corrie. (Getty Images))
Britain's Queen Elizabeth II meets actors and members of the production team as she visits the set of the long running television series Coronation Street in Manchester, northwest England on July 8, 2021. (Photo by Scott Heppell / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SCOTT HEPPELL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
She heard about what cast and crew did to meet government guidelines. (AFP)

Outside the pub facade she met Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, Barbara Knox who is cast as Rita, Sue Nicholls who plays Audrey and Helen Worth, who plays Gail. Between them they have 200 years service on the show.

Roache recalled meeting the Queen in 1963 when she went to Jamaica, and he was serving as an officer with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. 

He told her: "Thank you so much for coming today."

Knox told the Queen when she arrived: "Good morning, your majesty, you have brought the sunshine.

"You know you are like a ray of sunshine.

"And you’ve given us all such a lift (with) you coming, thank you very very much indeed.

"We all absolutely adore you, the world adores you."

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Queen Elizabeth II visits the set of the long running television series Coronation Street, on July 8, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Scott Heppell - WPA Pool/Getty Images))
The Queen in an Angela Kelly hat and dress on the set of Corrie. (Scott Heppell - WPA Pool/Getty Images))
Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City UK, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
The Queen walked the cobbles as she toured the Coronation Street set for the first time in more than 30 years. (PA Images)
Queen Elizabeth II during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, Media City UK, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday July 8, 2021.
The red carpet was rolled out for the Queen on Thursday afternoon. (PA Images)

The Queen, who asked how they had managed to keep filming during the pandemic, replied: "It’s really marvellous you’ve been able to carry on", and Roache replied to laughter: "Well, ma’am, you’re the one who has carried on."

She also spoke to the cast who play the Bailey family about the cobbles, and was told they were taken up from the old Granada street set in Manchester, before it moved three miles up the road to the new ITV Studios in 2013.

Kate Spencer, who plays Grace Vickers, warned the Queen: "Hard to walk on, as well, in heels."

To laughter, the Queen, looking down at her shoes, replied: "No, I know. I’ve been told. Probably better not."

Inside the Rovers Return bar, she talked about how everyday life was reflected in the show.

Sally Ann Matthews, who plays Jenny Connor, landlady of the fictional pub, told the Queen: "We know as actors how fortunate we’ve been to keep working when so many in the industry, it’s been so badly affected and a pub, as the hospitality sector has been so badly affected as well."

Sally Dynevor, who plays Sally Webster said: "The great thing about Coronation Street is that we manage to have the comedy with the drama so that’s been a really, really important thing over the lockdown as well."

Antony Cotton, who plays Sean Tully, added: "We’ve tried to make people laugh along the way."

To laughter, the Queen replied: "Well, there wasn’t much to laugh about, was there?"

Finishing the tour outside the corner shop, she spoke to Jimmi Harkishin, who plays Dev and was told of the sometimes challenging issues plot-lines in the soap has dealt with.

The Queen said: "Obviously people feel it's something visible, they can relate to.

"You don’t really want too much real life do you?"

Prince Philip on the set of Coronation St in 1982. (PA Images)
Prince Philip on the set of Coronation Street in 1982. (PA Images)

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The Queen last visited Coronation Street in 1982, at its original site in Manchester before the soap moved to new studios at Media City in Salford in 2013.

She said it was "remarkable" that the set had been picked up and rebuilt in the new Media City.

Following the visit, actor Daniel Brocklebank tweeted: "This is a sentence I never thought I’d say… I just met the Queen!"

Emma Jane Mulvaney said: "As if I’ve just met the queen!"

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 08: (EDITORS NOTE: This image is a recrop of #1233866709) Queen Elizabeth II is shown a plaque commemorating her visit by Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Rogers Govender at Manchester Cathedral on July 8, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
She unveiled a plaque commemorating her visit alongside the Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Rogers Govender. (Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 08: (EDITORS NOTE: This image is a recrop of #1233866596) Queen Elizabeth II is introduced to members of the clergy by Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Rogers Govender as she visits Manchester Cathedral on July 8, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The Queen was introduced to members of the clergy by Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Rogers Govender as she visited Manchester Cathedral. (Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 08: Queen Elizabeth II meets guests during a visit to Manchester Cathedral on July 8, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
The Queen met community workers and heard about their experience of the last 16 months. (Getty Images)

After the set tour the Queen travelled to Manchester Cathedral where she unveiled a plaque marking the church's 600th anniversary.

At the cathedral she met representatives to hear about the support they have given to the local community during the last 18 months.

Buckingham Palace said she also met community groups from across the North West, including representatives from youth groups, carers, businesses and charity volunteers, to hear how they have supported those affected by the pandemic.

Watch: The Garden at Buckingham Palace opens to visitors for the summer

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