Queen Elizabeth travelled to the Museum of Liverpool yesterday, where she officially opened the museum and met Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono was particularly impressed by the Queen’s outfit – a burgundy wool coat and dress by Karl Ludvig with a matching hat by Angela Kelly: ‘I was so amazed. That particular colour – it made her look so young, so elegant. … She is always elegant. It’s always nice to meet her.’
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were met at Liverpool Lime Street station by the Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, after which they were given a tour of the new museum. The Queen then unveiled a plaque commemorating the occasion. The Queen was shown around the museum by the chairman, who has since described how ‘She was really interested and got engaged in a lot of things as we walked around.’ Back at Buckingham palace, to mark the occasion, the Changing the Guard ceremony saw the band of the Coldstream Guards play a medley of Beatles songs.
The new Museum of Liverpool – which looks at Britain and the world through the eyes of Liverpool and asserts the city’s unique contribution to the world – is a runaway success, with a record half a million visitors in the first three months of opening. These original galleries are now being added to, including exhibits on The Great Port and the Liverpool Overhead Railway, and one dedicated to Liverpool’s King’s Regiment. ‘We’re so excited to be opening even more’, as the new galleries contain ‘some much-loved and anticipated objects that we know will be taken into the hearts of our visitors’, exclaimed Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool. In particular, she highlighted the Liverpool Overhead Railway carriage that was moved into the museum last year for restoration, along with ‘another firm favourite, the famous 1838 steam locomotive ‘Lion’’: ‘These objects have been carefully restored by our conservation team, and we can’t wait to show them off.’
The Great Port gallery promises to document the history of Liverpool’s relationship with the River Mersey – the city’s feature that would ensure that it would be at the forefront of the industrial revolution, enabling the development of canals, the first timetabled passenger railway, and the first elevated electrified railway line.
Janet Dugdale continues: ‘Aside from The Great Port on the ground floor’ Dugdale explained, ‘we are also opening up the entire first floor of the Museum which includes the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery and two more special galleries’: these will focus on the history of the area from the Ice Age to the present day, and also explore the role of Liverpool’s King’s Regiment.
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