Royal couple’s Luton visits became a tradition

The Queen and Duke arrive at Luton Parish Church
The Queen and Duke arrive at Luton Parish Church

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh are pictured arriving at St Mary’s Parish Church, Luton, for Sunday morning service in November 1952.

The Royal couple had been married for five years and it eventually became traditional for them to spend the weekend nearest to their wedding anniversary as guests of their friends Sir Harold and Lady Zia Wernher at Luton Hoo.

The 1952 visit, ten months after the Queen succeeded to the throne following the death of King George VI, may have been her first to the town. When she and the Duke returned in 1954, the Luton News reported that a crowd of nearly 3,000 had gathered to welcome them.

The Queen also visited Luton in 1962 when she toured the recently opened Luton Central Library in November of that year.

It replaced the Carnegie Library, which had opened on the corner of George Street and Williamson Street in 1910.