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Ellesmere Port woman spots daughter in royal gallery

Toni Simpson-Maggs presented flowers to the Queen in the town in 1998

An Ellesmere Port woman was delighted to spot her daughter in our online gallery to celebrate the Queen becoming Britain’s longest reigning monarch.

Annette Jones rang the Pioneer to say that her daughter, Toni Simpson-Maggs, was the girl on the right of our photograph, wearing a beaming smile after presenting Her Majesty with a bunch of flowers.

Annette said: “We went down to the railway station at about 7.30 in the morning to get a good space and then I realised we had forgotten to buy the Queen some flowers so had to go and get some.”

The Queen arrives at Ellesmere Port Station prior to the opening of the Blue Planet Aquarium in 1998. Toni Simpson-Maggs, nee Simpson, is pictured far right when she was seven

The year was 1998 and the Queen and Prince Philip were in the town to open the Blue Planet Aquarium.

Related: Nostalgia: HM The Queen visits Chester in the 1950s and 1960s

Annette said: “It was like a whirlwind, it was so exciting to see her. When she was in the town in 1979 at the Civic Hall, I was a Guide and we lined the route to welcome her.”

The Queen signs the visitors' book at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall with then borough mayor Fred Price in 1979

Toni, who was seven in 1998, can remember presenting her flowers to the Queen.

She said: “My mum is really big on the royal family. I was really excited and presented her with the flowers that she is holding in the photograph. I remember thinking she looked really nice in her dress and, as she took my flowers, she said ‘thank you’.”

The Queen became Britain’s longest reigning monarch on September 9, when she took the crown held by her great great grandmother Queen Victoria, who had reigned for 63 years and 216 days.

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