by Paul Duggan, venue director at Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor.
Whether you are a royalist or not, one can’t deny that HM The Queen is our greatest ambassador and our most enduring, at that.
Now that the 90th birthday celebrations of our longest reigning monarch have come to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on the impact the Queen has on our nation and our sector.
Back in March, Visit London predicted a 3% rise in visitors, with eager tourists keen to see how the Queen would celebrate her birthday.
We Brits are pretty good at throwing a party, as the Olympics showed the world, and the sheer number of expertly organised events both in Windsor and London had the world flocking to wish her Majesty ‘Happy Birthday.’
From HM’s walks through Windsor, meeting other nonagenarians and the beacon walk on her birthday, events were ramped up for the celebrations in Windsor Park during May with a four-day equestrian spectacular. Over 1,000 participants took part and 500 horses.
Festivities culminated in Trooping the Colour and the Patrons’ Lunch on The Mall with 10,000 guests being treated to a hamper style lunch and carnival entertainment and the royal family talking to the crowd and even taking selfies.
So, what does this mean to us? Well, here in Windsor the hotels were stuffed to the rafters with guests desirous of soaking up the royal atmosphere. TV coverage highlighted how creative we can be and what the possibilities are both as a tourist and business visitor in the UK. It showed that the breadth of Windsor has so much to offer from the new Queen’s Walkway and touring the castle to walking in the Great Park and visiting the site of the signing of the Magna Carta at Runnymede. Plus you then have the revered social events such as Royal Ascot and Guard’s Polo.
At Beaumont we have seen an upsurge in business wanting to use our 40 acres for exciting teambuilding activities, while being close to the action in Windsor, and this will continue into next year as the ripple continues. With the Royal Family very much en vogue, the UK will continue to see an increase in tourism and business travellers and we have our Majesty to thank for it. Thank you Ma’am and Happy Birthday for this and years to come.