The North West remembers the Her Majesty the Queen

Her Majesty the Queen during a visit to the set of Coronation Street at the ITV Studios, 2021. Credit: PA images

The Queen has passed away at the age of 96 at Balmoral.

Her Majesty's links to the North West can be traced back nearly seven decades with her first official engagements taking place before she ascended to the throne.

Whenever the Queen visited the region there were large crowds to greet her, most often with something to celebrate.

But she also came when times were bad, the most recent visiting survivors of the Manchester Arena terror attack in hospital.

She is being remembered fondly by many in the North West who came into contact with her as she carried out royal visits and other charitable duties in our region - and has left a lasting imprint on those she met.

At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in 2002, the Queen broke with protocol by walking towards David Beckham and Frances House Children's hospice fundraiser Kirsty Howard.

Standing just a few feet away on the night was broadcaster Susie Mathis Who worked tirelessly for the charity.

She said: "There was a wonderful connection between Kirsty and our Queen - it was quite beautiful actually. You could see there was a lot of love and care in her eyes for out little girl."

Rick Clement from Blackpool was a sergeant with the first battalion Duke of Lancaster's regiment he lost both legs serving in Afghanistan in 2010 after stepping on a Taliban landmine.

He met the Queen at the national arboretum on 17 May 2016.

Speaking fondly of his memories, he said: "She spent so much time chatting with each individual, she was asking when I was injured and what I get up to since and things like that and really nice to talk to and very approachable it's something I'll remember for the rest of my life.

"Being in the military and being a proud soldier the Royal Family kind of come hand in hand with that and I know it's sort of said we serve Queen and country but for myself it's part of it."

Queen Elizabeth II during a service in tribute to soldiers from the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment killed while serving in Afghanistan, 2016. Credit: PA images

'It was like playing for my nan'

Cheshire entertainer Paul Larcome has a Royal memory few can rival, as a 19-year-old Stoker aboard the Royal Yacht Britania, he was asked to perform the Ukelele for the Queen in the Yacht's Royal dining room.

He said: "I remember saying I'm going to to do the first song for you now, this one is called Leaning on a Lampost. straight away 'oh I love Leaning on a Lampost'.

"I started playing it and she's clapping her hands, singing along, and it was just like the sort of thing my mum does when my mum's listening to it.

"Straight away it was just like performing for my own family at some family do."

Away from Royal visits the Queen gave her backing to several charities across the North West.

The Seashell Trust, based at Cheadle Hulme near Stockport is dedicated to providing a creative, happy and secure environment for children and young adults with complex and severe learning disabilities. The charity's patron was the Queen.

In 2008, Manchester anti-gun and gang campaigner Dr Erinma Bell received her MBE from the Queen.

She said: "When it was my turn and she approached the Queen she had my MBE ready to pin on me and she said 'oh, don't you look exquisite, and I was like 'do I say yes ma'am?'

"So I did't actually say anything, I was a bit mm. She went, 'Oh you look magnificent, do you mind if I pin this on your outfit…' so I just said 'go ahead' because you can't say yes to the Queen, and in my head I'm thinking, 'I'm getting this wrong!'"

When comic genius and Isle of Man resident Norman Wisdom was knighted Her Majesty did not miss his comedy trip. Credit: PA images

On her Majesty's visits to the region many who knew they were going to meet Royalty always received a quick course in royal protocol

Liverpool City Region Mayor Steve Rotheram had been deputy Lord Mayor of Liverpool for just two days when the Queen arrived in the city.

"On the first day myself and Sandra went to St George's Hall in the city where we were given some protocol training," he said.

"It was fairly straight forward to tel you the truth but it was the normal thing of don't put your arm around Her Majesty, and what you call her the first time you meet her and obviously to bow or to Courtney, and then mine was about how to address her afterwards."