Queen’s visit cost Sunderland £71,000. Was it worth it?

Her Majesty the Queen being escorted by Mayor of Sunderland Iain Kay around the Sunderland Jubilee Exhibition at The Port of Sunderland where she and Prince Philip visited this morning (Wed). The Queen is pictured here at the 2012 Olympic Games themed marquee.
Her Majesty the Queen being escorted by Mayor of Sunderland Iain Kay around the Sunderland Jubilee Exhibition at The Port of Sunderland where she and Prince Philip visited this morning (Wed). The Queen is pictured here at the 2012 Olympic Games themed marquee.
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THE Queen’s historic visit to Sunderland cost taxpayers £71,000.

She came to the city in July and was greeted by Wearsiders who filled the Port and lined the streets to catch a glimpse of her and Prince Philip.

The roar of a Vulcan bomber marked the moment the Queen stepped off a £50million super-yacht, on which she had spent the night.

She was shown around the Diamond Jubilee Exhibition before being driven by the Stadium of Light, where flag-waving onlookers had gathered, before she continued a tour of the North East.

Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed the morning visit cost Sunderland City Council £71,000 to stage.

Stewarding the event, as well as security, road closures and other infrastructure preparations added to the size of the bill.

Council leader Paul Watson defended the spending.

He said: “We were delighted to be chosen, literally, as the first port of call when Her Majesty the Queen began her Diamond Jubilee tour of our region in July.

“The Port of Sunderland not only played host to the Royal Yacht, but also the Sunderland Diamond Jubilee Exhibition which welcomed Her Majesty as the first guest to a four-day exhibition celebrating each decade of her reign, which attracted thousands of visitors from across the region.

“Hosting this historic royal visit in the Queen’s Jubilee Year was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, which further raised Sunderland’s international profile and brought the city both prestige and media coverage.

“Those invited along on the day to see the Queen arrive in Sunderland included eight couples celebrating their own Diamond Wedding anniversary in Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee year, and 200 competition winners.

“The exhibition itself whisked visitors back in time through seven decades of the Queen’s reign, highlighting many of the city’s achievements along the way.”

Twitter: @sunderlandecho