The Queen has made many visits to Oxfordshire over the years and on every occasion she has been warmly welcomed.

Her first visit to the county was as Elizabeth Windsor in 1948 when she met staff, students and a tortoise.

Today Her Majesty The Queen will become the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of service to the people of the United Kingdom, the Realms and the Commonwealth.

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The Buckingham Palace website says: "To celebrate this unprecedented anniversary, events and initiatives will take place throughout the year, culminating in a four-day UK bank holiday weekend from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5.

"The bank holiday will provide an opportunity for communities and people throughout the United Kingdom to come together to celebrate the historic milestone."

To mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee a nationwide baking competition sets out to find a brand new pudding dedicated to The Queen.

The Big Jubilee Lunch and Fortnum & Mason are inviting applications from UK residents aged eight and over to create the perfect Platinum Pudding recipe.

On Elizabeth Windsor’s first 'official' visit to Oxford in May 1948, one of her first greetings was a surprise encounter with ‘Mr Testudo’ the tortoise who was the Oriel College boat club mascot.

Since then, Her Majesty has been everything from visiting monarch meeting members of the WI to open Denman College, in Marcham, to a proud parent watching Prince Charles play polo at Kirtlington Park, north Oxfordshire, in1968.

She even stopped to pick up a copy of the Oxford Mail at D&J Bromilow Newsagents in Berinsfield in 1997.

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Although it was not until 1960 when the Queen made her first official visit to Oxford as ruling monarch, her first Royal appearance is one not to skip over.

Strict security makes it nearly impossible for an intruder to get up close to Her Majesty, but at the Oriel College in 1948 a four-legged mascot made its move.

The then heir to the throne was greeted within minutes of her arrival by the college’s tortoise boat club mascot, who slowly made his way on to the lawn in front of her. The picture made newspapers all over the world.

The next time Elizabeth was to visit Oxfordshire was as the Queen in 1960.

Before this, royals visited Oxford for official business with the university but Queen Elizabeth asked to include a visit to Oxford Town Hall to meet with the civic leaders.

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She had a tour through Witney through flag-waving crowds, a stop-off to see the Heythrop Hunt and was shown gloves made at Woodstock for Queen Elizabeth I, and said: “My word, they are large.”

Since then the Queen has met with the many chancellors or university heads including a procession through Trinity College and lunch in 1960, and later several visits to Christ Church and Brasenose College.

The Queen has also played her part in inspecting military parades, including troops at St George’s Barracks, Bicester, in 1965, RAF Abingdon in 1968 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the air force, several times at RAF Brize Norton and at RAF Benson during 50th anniversary celebrations.

The 1990s saw a royal visit to Radley College, Abbey sports centre in Berinsfield, and the Bodleian Library.

Heading into the 21st century, the Queen has opened several organisations including Falklands House in 2000 with a posy-clad crowd in Oriel Square, computer company Sophos at Abingdon Science Park in 2004, and Oxford Castle in 2006.

During one of the more recent visits, the Queen attended a Maundy Thursday service at Christ Church cathedral in 2013 and handed out traditional Maundy Money purses to pensioners.

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