THE Queen has praised Prince Charles for the ‘considerable difference’ his charities have made to the regeneration of Burnley.

Starting her Diamond Jubilee tour of the north-west in Burnley, Her Majesty paid special tribute to the ‘selfless volunteers’ whose ‘hard work and commitment’ had made the town’s transformation possible.

The Queen, Prince Charles and the Duke of Edinburgh staged a rare combined royal tour of the town, after their arrival at Manchester Road station.

The Royal Party began their day with a barge trip aboard the Pride of Sefton 2, along the Leeds Liverpool Canal from Finsley Gate Wharf to Slaters Terrace.

Once there The Queen revealed how she was looking forward to enjoying the ‘hospitality and dynamism’ of the region, beginning with Burnley.

The Prince also chaired a regeneration conference at Victoria Mill, involving each of the areas, across the UK, in which he has taken a special interest.

The Queen said: “I have been interested to learn today about the work undertaken by The Prince’s Charities to transform lives and build sustainable communities."