Police lined the river bank and a crowd assembled outside the Maldon Crystal Salt Company building as anticipation before her arrival increased.  Shortly after 12.20pm, a helicopter carrying Her Majesty landed near the building, the first place she was visiting on her busy agenda.

Wearing a grey hat with a red trim and matching long jacket, she was led straight inside, where it was thought she observed the traditional methods used to make salt crystal. The Queen was due to meet staff and fourth-generation family members who run the firm, based at Wycke Hill Business Park.  An exhibition of salt production on the Essex coast had been laid on for the 84-year-old.

From there, the Queen went to Maldon’s High Street to greet the crowds as she walked to the town hall on Market Hill for a lunch with local dignitaries.  Maldon District Council had ordered 500 barriers and bunting for High Street, while firms were being encouraged to dress their windows for the royal visit.  

It was the Queen’s first visit to north Essex since 2004, when thousands lined Colchester’s High Street to catch a glimpse of the monarch and Prince Philip when they lunched with dignitaries at the Town Hall.