Students jeer and shout at Queen
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