AS the nation mourns the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, marking the end of her 70 year reign, we look back to the time she visited Colchester in 1985.

The streets were flooded with adoring crowds who welcomed her as she came through the town. 

On the day, she visited the University of Essex, observing a library book exhibition and visiting the telecommunications building.

Her Majesty then went on to enjoy a lunch at Colchester Town Hall, where lucky catering students from the Colchester Institute were able to serve her a meal.

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Afterwards, she appeared on the town hall balcony with the then mayor Jack Williams as admiring crowds stood trying to catch a glimpse of her.

Queen Elizabeth then walked along Colchester High Street, collecting bouquets thrown from well wishers who had waited to catch a glimpse of her.

Crowds flocked and cheered as she then drove away in her glass-topped Rolls Royce, waving to the people of Colchester as she did so.

The Queen then went on to Turner Road, where she officially opened Colchester General Hospital in the year 1985.

This was the third time she had visited Colchester. Her first visit took place in June 1949, when she was still Princess Elizabeth followed by another visit in 1958.

Today Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest, with a state funeral at Westminster Abbey, in a ceremony which shall be televised across the world.

Nearly 500 dignitaries including US President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, and members of other Royal families across the globe have arrived in London to pay their respects to the iconic monarch.

The public will be allowed to follow the funeral procession, from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle, however, only invited guests will be allowed inside the service.

The duties began at 6.30am today, with the full service taking place at Westminster Abbey at 11am.