Queen Picks Lundy For A Few Hours Off Duty - 12th August 1977
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Princes Edward and Andrew enjoyed a day off on Sunday during their Westcounty tour with rare informality when they visited Lundy Island and walked over it for three hours in perfect weather.
Only a handful of people knew of the projected visit and their lips were sealed until Saturday night when the island's 30 inhabitants plus 70 visitors were called to a meeting in the Church of St Helena, the only building large enough to contain them all.
It was the first-ever visit by a reigning monarch to the island although the Queen Mother had landed there, also from the Royal Yacht Britannia in 1958. That day was recalled to Her Majesty by Mr Felix Grade, the former agent, when he met the Queen outside the Marisco Tavern. Among the people they met were Mr and Mrs John Smith of the Landmark Trust which now administers the island on behalf of the National Trust.
Among those relieved that stormy weather had not interfered with the visit was Mr Barry Chinchen of Eastleigh, the distributor of Lundy stamps.