PRINCE Philip and the Queen have visited East Lancashire numerous times during the years.

So we have delved through the archives and looked back on three occasions when thousands of people lined the streets to catch a glimpse of royalty.

One of the most recent visits was on April 18, 2014 when there were cheers and bells ringing out across Blackburn to welcome them to ‘one of the most important royal occasions of the year.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

There were thousands of people lining the streets, waving flags to welcome the Head of State and her husband, who arrived at Blackburn Railway Station by royal train before making their way the town’s Cathedral for the historic Maundy Thursday service.

Royalists young and old had spent the morning waiting for the couple, several wearing Union Jack fancy dress, so they could cheer as the royal procession went past.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

Some had even been there since the early hours of the morning to get the best vantage point possible to catch a glimpse of the Queen.

It was the first time in Blackburn’s history the important royal ceremony was held at the cathedral, as well as a first for the county. During the service the Queen presented specially minted Maundy money to the 88 men and 88 women from across Lancashire, who had been nominated for their good Christian works.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

Her Majesty and Prince Philip stepped out of the car where they were greeted by the Bishop of Blackburn Julian Henderson, and the Dean of Blackburn Christopher Armstrong.

The Queen wore a printed woollen dress in cerise, grey and cream designed by Stuart Parvin. Over the top, she had a matching cashmere coat with black buttons down the front.

As they passed through the crowds, the Queen smiled and wave to people, who waved flags and cheered loudly.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2014

Coun Kate Hollern, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council, said she spoke to the Duke about the work that was being done to renovate the town centre.

She said: “It was a fantastic day and it was a great honour for Blackburn.

“I was telling Prince Philip the Boulevard is being transformed and he said the hoardings looked interesting.”

Then there was another visit in May 2012 when the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and Prince of Wales visited Burnley and Accrington.

It was as she kicked off her Diamond Jubilee tour of the north-west Her Majesty also paid special tribute to the ‘selfless volunteers’ whose ‘hard work and commitment’ had made the town’s transformation possible.

In a rare move, the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh staged a combined royal tour of the town after arriving at Manchester Road Station.

And it might not have been a royal yacht, but a canal boat barge was waiting nearby for a half-mile tour through the heart of the Weavers’ Triangle to Slaters Terrace and Victoria Mill.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2012

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 2012

Highlights of the day also included a visit to Burnley FC, for a performing arts show and lunch, and a tour around the Burnley College and UCLan campus, before she headed to Accrington for a tour of the market and reception.

A crowd of more than 300 people, including many children waving flags, were waiting to cheer them on.

Dressed in a pale pistachio green over-coat, matching hat, white gloves and black patent heels, the Queen waved at her loyal fans who had been gathering since 8.30am.

Prince Philip wore a beige trench coat over a blue suit, while Prince Charles, the last royal member to greet the crowds, wore a grey suit and yellow striped tie.

After climbing into two vehicles the royal party were whisked to Finsley Gate Wharf, for a barge trip in the Pride of Sefton along the Liverpool Leeds canal.

A crowd of people crammed onto the towpath to see of the Royal party, who were welcomed on to the barge by members of the Burnley, Pendle and Rossendale Sea Cadets.

Around 140 school children from nearby Springfield Primary School were also at the wharf.

At their next stop the Queen and Prince Philip were welcomed to the Burnley College/UCLan campus by the head girls from Burnley’s five high schools and Sir Thomas Whitham sixth form centre.

The Royals then spoke to businesses and staff involved in small business incubation spaces on the campus.

Hundreds of people lined Harry Potts Way on the outside of the stadium as the royal party arrived for lunch in the Jimmy McIlroy Stand.

Among those with prime views in the crowd of well wishers were pupils from Stoneyholme Primary School, who enthusiastically waved Union Flags.

After visiting the market hall, the Queen and Duke appeared on the balcony at Accrington town Hall where she was serenaded with the National Anthem.

She then watched a county parade of Gurkhas, Accrington Pipe Band, military cadets, scouts and guides and the Royal British Legion among others.

The Queen was then greeted with a final cheer and happy faces as she climbed into her car.

Then we look back to one of the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen’s early trips in 1955 when she was welcomed by excited crowds in Darwen, Blackburn, Accrington, Burnley, Nelson and Colne.

At one point in Burnley, where the coupled enjoyed lunch, the clamour of “We want the Queen” brought her to the town hall’s balcony to acknowledge their cries.

The couple had to make two further appearances before the noise died down and they could retire to enjoy buttered Morecambe Bay shrimps and iced melon, poached Tay salmon and a charlotte russe.

The band of the Loyal Regiment played a selection of tunes as the crowd grew ever larger to see the Royal couple depart for Nelson.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 1955

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 1955

At the borough boundary, the Chief Constable of Burnley’s car drew aside as the county police chief’s vehicle led the procession to the town hall.

The report from the Northern Daily Telegraph told of 100 armed RAF men, lining the route from the town centre to the town hall, where the couple were welcomed by the mayor, Simeon Batty.

While in Nelson, the Royal couple also visited Malvern Mill.

There they talked to a number of workers, including Gordon Halstead, of Castle Street, who was weaving material for pyjamas, Herbert Dearden, who has worked in the cotton industry for 48 years, and Arthur Langfield, of Barkerhouse Road, who had been the mill engineer since it opened in 1913.

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 1955

The Queen and Prince Philip visiting in 1955

The couple ended their tour in Colne, leaving in the Royal train from the station, bedecked with floral arrangements. A mass of people surged into the yard as the Royal car pulled up as stationmaster W Tinniswood, wearing a red rose, waited to greet them.

Crowds gathered on station platforms all down the line to Blackburn, to watch the train as it raced through.

The guard was 57-year-old Arthur Symcox of Bridge Street, Colne. He had been a guard for 35 years.