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Royal visit for England’s greatest Elizabethan house as The Queen continues her Diamond Jubilee tour

England's greatest Elizabethan house has launched a royal summer of Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a visit by Her Majesty The Queen yesterday (13 June). Built to impress Queen Elizabeth I, Burghley House in Lincolnshire has been wowing visitors for five centuries - and once again it welcomed a royal visit when it hosted one of Queen Elizabeth II's official Diamond Jubilee events. The Queen was joined by voluntary groups, schoolchildren and charity workers from four counties at a special Jubilee picnic in the grounds of Burghley, near Stamford, Lincolnshire. Part of The Queen's tour of the UK to celebrate her 60 years on the throne, the Burghley picnic was organised by the Lord Lieutenants of Lincolnshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Cambridgeshire. It was Queen Elizabeth II’s third visit to Burghley, which was built between 1555 and 1587 for Queen Elizabeth I’s most trusted advisor, Sir William Cecil,

Lord Burghley. After being welcomed by Burghley House Director Miranda Rock – a direct descendant of William Cecil – and the Lord Lieutenants of the four counties, the royal couple met some of the 10,000 guests enjoying the summer picnic in the sweeping parkland. The Queen and members of the Royal Family are marking the Diamond Jubilee with a series of engagements throughout the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth and the Burghley picnic was part of her official visit to the East Midlands this week. While the picnic was a private event, there will be plenty more going on during the summer at Burghley for visitors who want to join in national celebrations. For a spectacular afternoon and evening of summer entertainment, the annual Battle Proms at Burghley (7 July 2012) will this year have a Royal theme too – along with its usual mix of mounted cavalry, Spitfire aerial display and soul-stirring orchestral music. For 2012 a special Diamond Jubilee Gun Salute will be provided by the gunners of the English Field Artillery Company who will fire a volley of shots from an authentic vintage field gun. With the magnificent Burghley House as the backdrop, the event closes with the traditional sing-along, flag-waving proms finale, including favourites Rule Britannia, God Save the Queen and Land of Hope and Glory, culminating in a dazzling firework spectacular. Jubilee celebrations will continue in to autumn at Burghley thanks to its annual Flower Festival (6th-14th October) - when the State Rooms are transformed with floral displays created by local flower societies – which this year will also have a Jubilee theme. For full details visit www.burghley.co.uk or telephone 01780 752451.

EDITOR’S NOTES: Burghley, near Stamford in Lincolnshire, has been the home of the Cecil Family for over 400 years and is England’s greatest Elizabethan House. Burghley is owned and maintained by Burghley House Preservation Trust, which looks after

a huge collection of great works of art, including one of the most important private collections of 17th century Italian paintings, the earliest inventoried collection of Japanese ceramics in the West, exceptional 18th century furniture and wood carvings by Grinling Gibbons and his followers. The Trust also maintains a 13,000-acre estate including residential, commercial and agricultural lettings, woodland and Burghley Park, which is open daily at no charge. The House is open from Saturday 17th March to Sunday 28th October 2012 daily (except Fridays) from 11am to 4.30pm (Saturday 28th July to Saturday 11th August, open every day including Fridays, with Big Screen access 10am to 10pm, last admission 6pm). Admission: House and The Gardens of Surprise adults £12.50; children (3–15 years) £6.30; seniors/students £11.20; family (2 adults & 2 children) £33.

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