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Queen tours Titanic visitor centre
The Queen has toured the Titanic Belfast visitor centre near where the famous liner was built.
It tells the story of the vessel's construction, journey and North Atlantic sinking, in which more than 1,500 people died, in April 1912 on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.
The design of the six-storey building is based on the bow of the Titanic and has been built right beside the slipway where the liner was floated in 1911.
Volunteer Phil Cauley described his meeting with the Queen as "a once in a lifetime opportunity".
The Queen visited the Arrol Gantry gallery, the drawing offices where the Titanic was designed and an area overlooking the slipways where the liner was launched.
She also saw the fit out gallery depicting where the liner was prepared for sea and went on a virtual shipyard ride about the building of the vessel.
The tour lasted around half an hour.
She was serenaded by members of the Belfast Community Gospel Choir and had lunch at the Titanic Suite, where a replica of the ship's grand staircase caused controversy earlier this year because of potential restrictions to public access.
On the menu was Guinness and treacle bread, Glenarm salmon, chicken breast with sweet cure ham hock and glazed lemon curd tart.
The Queen accepted a gift of a Belleek Pottery basket from Stormont enterprise minister Arlene Foster.
Among those the Queen met were: Amy Walker, 24, from south Belfast; Mr Cauley, 37, from Holywood in Co Down, and Brian Higginson, 62, from Ballyclare in Co Antrim, all visitor experience staff.
Ms Walker, a drama graduate, said: "I never thought in a million years I would meet the Queen so I was excited and nervous.
"She was so down to earth and lovely to meet."
She said the Duke wanted to know about ships whose names were displayed in the centre.
"It was tremendous to show him the ships we as Belfast built, a bit like the Titanic story we are claiming it back again."
Mr Cauley, an extreme sports enthusiast, was there to talk about the scaffolding of the ship and how it was named after the Greek god Titan.
"It will probably never happen again, to meet a person known throughout the whole world, someone like the Queen, the reigning monarch of the UK," he said.
Mr Higginson's father Isaac, 94, was on the HMS Valiant with the Duke and took part in the worst ever sea battle for Italy during the Second World War.
On land he played hockey with the Duke.
Mr Higginson told the Queen about the launch of the ship, without ceremony or the customary champagne bottle broken on the boat's bows.
He said: "I am 62 years of age and that has been the greatest day of my life."
Titanic Belfast, which opened on March 31 and cost £97 million, has been developed on the old shipyard where the liner was built.
Ms Foster and Belfast Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson were among those greeting the Queen as her cavalcade pulled up outside the hulking building in Belfast's docks, with the famous Sampson and Goliath cranes in the background, to the cheers of flag-waving spectators.
The building was opened by Stormont's First and Deputy First Ministers Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness earlier this year and it is expected that around 425,000 people will visit the attraction in the first year.