Stu­dents jeer and shout at Queen

The Guardian Weekly - - Reply -

The Queen was heck­led and jeered by stu­dents and had to be pro­tected by Spe­cial Branch de­tec­tives and po­lice dur­ing a visit to Stir­ling Uni­ver­sity yes­ter­day. It was prob­a­bly the most hos­tile and rowdy re­cep­tion she has ever ex­pe­ri­enced in Bri­tain.

There was, how­ever, a sub­stan­tial counter-demon­stra­tion by other stu­dents who cheered the royal party and waved “wel­come” plac­ards.

Sir Derek Lang, uni­ver­sity sec­re­tary, said he un­der­stood the Queen was not un­duly dis­tressed, and left the uni­ver­sity “laugh­ing and hav­ing en­joyed her­self im­mensely.”

Dur­ing the early part of her visit, the Queen un­veiled a plaque in the uni­ver­sity’s Queen’s Court and went to lunch with the Prin­ci­pal, Pro­fes­sor Tom Cot­trell. But, when she started to tour the cam­pus she was met by a crowd of about 400. The en­tourage and po­lice cor­don were jos­tled as stu­dents waved their fists, chanted “Queen out,” shouted ob­scen­i­ties, and sang ribald songs.

A po­lice spokesman in Stir­ling de­scribed the con­duct of the demon­stra­tors as “dis­gust­ing,” and said he was ap­palled at the lack of con­trol shown by the Uni­ver­sity au­thor­i­ties. The whole af­fair was “nasty” and the po­lice had dif­fi­culty in get­ting the Queen’s car away at the end.

One stu­dent said the protest was made over the ex­pense of the visit. The ad­min­is­tra­tion had ig­nored stu­dents’ wel­fare while plan­ning the visit and the cost – of­fi­cially £1,200 though there were ru­mours that it would be be­tween £7,500 and £15,000 – could have been bet­ter spent on books and equip­ment.

Sir Derek said: “The Palace re­ac­tion to the visit is that the Queen had a very in­ter­est­ing and very good day, and she was not un­duly dis­tressed.” John Kerr

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