It was a red-letter day for Liverpool on December 14th 1962 when the Queen arrived at Langton Dock to open up a new trading channel to the world.

Large crowds gathered at the Port of Liverpool to see Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, perform the official opening of the Langton River Entrance.

The major engineering project linked the Langton Dock directly to the Mersey. Before then ships had been using the Canada Basin to reach the river.

Queen Elizabeth alights from the Royal train at Lime Street Station, May 1961

Queen Elizabeth alights from the Royal train at Lime Street Station, May 1961

The Queen looked resplendent in a long fur coat as she joined the Earl of Derby in the Langton Shed, the operational nerve centre for the big day. Her ladies in waiting were similarly dressed in furs to ward off the winter chill.

Floor-to-ceiling windows on one wall of the control centre gave spectators a superb view of the Queen as the opening ceremony took place.

Later in the day, the Queen was treated to a technical insight into the Langton Dock system by chief engineer N. A. Mathieson.

A striking shot of the Queen as she leaves Liverpool Town Hall, December 1962

A striking shot of the Queen as she leaves Liverpool Town Hall, December 1962

Situated in the northern dock system in Bootle, Langton Dock was built by George Fosbery Lyster in the late 19th century. Along with the connecting Alexandra Dock, it had been in use since 1879.

Langton Dock was named after the former chairman of the Bank of Liverpool and dock committee member William Langton.

The Queen had looked equally radiant a year earlier in May 1961 when she stepped off the Royal train at Lime Street Station at the start of her Lancashire tour.

The Royal couple wear anti-glare spectacles on their visit to Pilkington Glassworks, May 1961

The Royal couple wear anti-glare spectacles on their visit to Pilkington Glassworks, May 1961

Wearing a diamond coronet and earrings for an evening engagement, she dazzled as she made her way to the Philharmonic Hall with the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen was met by Lady Derby and delighted staff at the concert hall before she took her seat for a special Royal Gala.

The Royal couple’s attire was far less formal the previous day when they visited the Pilkington Glassworks in Cowley Hill.

Langton River Entrance is officially opened by the Queen, December 1962

Langton River Entrance is officially opened by the Queen, December 1962

Both wore anti-glare spectacles to view molten glass in a filling tank at the factory. On hand to explain the process was Sir Harry Pilkington himself.

Almost all formality was put aside when the Queen met shoppers and well-wishers at St John’s Market in Liverpool in June 1971. She was in the city to open the Kingsway Tunnel.

A warm welcome was strongly in evidence as the crowd cheered and waved flags. The Queen, clearly enjoying herself, smiled and chatted in return.

The Queen Mother inspects the King’s Regiment in Liverpool, January 1968

The Queen Mother inspects the King’s Regiment in Liverpool, January 1968

Finally, a proud and dignified Queen Mother visited Merseyside to inspect the King’s Regiment (Liverpool and Manchester) in January 1968.

The original King’s Regiment (Liverpool) was raised in 1685. It amalgamated with the Manchester Regiment, itself dating from 1758, in September 1958.

The regiment had seen active service in the Second Boer War, the two world wars and the Korean War from 1951 to 1953, where it won its last battle honour.

A radiant Queen Elizabeth arrives for a Royal Gala at the Philharmonic Hall, May 1961

A radiant Queen Elizabeth arrives for a Royal Gala at the Philharmonic Hall, May 1961

A warm welcome for the Queen at St John’s Market, June 1971

A warm welcome for the Queen at St John’s Market, June 1971