BUSINESSES received a Royal boost last week as the Queen’s visit to Alnwick brought in extra trade.
Thousands of people descended on Alnwick town centre to catch a glimpse of the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh as they took a walkabout to greet members of the public.
And the extra numbers meant traders received a boost to their coffers prior to the peak summer season.
The White Swan Hotel was geared up for a busy day but the boom in business went beyond expectations.
Its bistro was heaving with customers who spilled out into the lobby as well.
Manager Paul Smith was delighted with the boost describing it as ‘frightfully busy’.
“It was really, really busy,” he said.
“We drafted additional staff in and were prepared for it to be busy but it was beyond that.
“We were busy in Hardy’s Bistro as well as in the lobby and we also had the Castle Suite open for coffee and scones.
“It was great.”
And with youngsters – and adults – wanting to give the Queen a memento of the day florists were also in demand.
Linda Trotter, owner of Simply Flowers, said: “I can’t speak for other businesses but we had a fair few people in to buy posies to give to the Queen for their children. We also supplied Alnwick Castle with flowers for the courtyard by donating them.”
Alnwick Chamber of Trade chairman Carlo Biagioni added: “I think an excellent effort was made by traders to put out flags and bunting and I think the Queen will remember this visit. She doesn’t usually come to the north and we will probably never see her again in our lifetime.
“It was a boost to the town not just for the day but for the future. It is an exciting time.”
Alnwick Tourist Information Centre (TIC) was inundated with inquiries about the event in the weeks leading up to it.
Jackie Griffiths, tourism officer, said: “We had lots of people asking what the itinerary was. It was a very nice day and I think it put everybody in a good mood. It all went really well.”
The TIC and Handi Stationery in the Market Place both sold Union flags for the crowds to wave and while neither ran out, there weren’t many left over.