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Her Majesty joined by the Prince of Wales, arrived at Westminster Abbey to formally launch the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries, which is set more than 16 metres above the Abbey’s floor. The Queen and Prince Charles attended a quick service before they were given a guided tour of the new galleries by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall. The exhibition is home to 300 treasures from the Abbey’s collection, many on display for the first time, reflecting the building’s thousand-year history. Her Majesty was pictured marvelling the centre piece of the exhibition, a life-like funeral effigy of King Henry VII which was modelled from the monarch’s death mask. They were also shown historical artefacts including an original 13th-century altarpiece from King Henry III’s church. The galleries tell the story of the place of worship in four themes: building Westminster Abbey; worship and daily life; Westminster Abbey and the monarchy; and the Abbey and national memory. Following the tour, the Queen and Charles met construction workers, supporters and Westminster Abbey staff who have been involved in the huge project before Her Majesty unveiled a plaque, officially opening the exhibition. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Galleries will be open to the public on Monday after Her Majesty celebrates her 92nd birthday with annual Trouping the Colour parade. Visitors will be able to reach the galleries through a new tower, housing a staircase and a lift. Named the Weston Tower, this is the first major addition to the Abbey church since 1745. Earlier today Prince Charles’ wife Camiila, the Duchess of Cornwall attended the BBC Radio 2’s live broadcast of the 500 words short story competition final. Ridding in on the iconic Chitty Chitty Bang Bang car, the Duchess confessed she “had a little cry” as she listened to finalist entries on the way to Hampton Court Palace. Camilla told the live audience at Hampton Court: “On the way, I’m afraid to say you were right about a little tear and the mascara. We had a little cry.”When asked about what she thought of the competition’s finalists, the Duchess of Cornwall replied: “Brilliant, all of them were brilliant. ”Camilla also gave a speech urging everyone to “keep saying a big fat yes to adventure” as the winners of the 500 words competition were announced. The Duchess of Cornwall said: “It is a huge pleasure to be with you all today – and to have travelled here in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the magical car from one of my favourite stories was a very special treat. “Those of you who have seen the film might remember the slightly bonkers character of Grandpa Potts. Well Grandpa Potts has some very good advice that I want to share with you this morning. “His advice is, ‘Never say no to adventures. Always say yes, otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life’. “I want to encourage everyone here to keep reading, to keep writing and keep saying a big fat yes to adventure.
‘Radiant in raspberry’ Queen arrives with Charles to open new Westminster Abbey exhibit