HUNDREDS of people shone during a raptuous community spectacular to welcome the royal couple to Harrow for an hour-long visit.
The Queen and Prince Phillip attracted a crowd of more than 1,500 when they came to the borough on Thursday, having earlier visited Redbridge and Waltham Forest on the first day of the London leg of her national Diamond Jubilee tour.
Their entourage swung into Krishna-Avanti Primary School in Camrose Avenue, Edgware - the road having been closed for the occasion - at shortly after 2.20pm with a Guard of Honour provided by representatives from the borough's uniformed youth organisations.
They included army cadets from 201 Harrow (Royal Army Medical Corps) and 215 Kingsbury (Royal Engineers) detachments, air cadets from the 1454 (Harrow) Squadron of the Air Training Corps, youngsters from Harrow and Wembley Sea Cadets, the Harrow Police Cadets, girl guides, St John Ambulance and the Scouts.
Harrow Army Cadets Officer Lieutenant Mike Ryan, who was in charge of the Guard of Honour, said: “All the preparation has been worthwhile for this really happy day, and the all young people have done us proud."
The Queen and her husband were greeted at the entrance to the school by the Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Mrinal Choudhury, the council leader Councillor Bill Stephenson, opposition leader Councillor Susan Hall and council chief executive Michael Lockwood.
Unfortunately, event supporter Baroness Floella Benjamin, who helped judge the Observer's Diamond Jubilee design-a-card competition, was ill and could not attend.
Nitesh Gor, chairman of governors of Krishna-Avanti Primary School, escorted Her Majesty around while Marianne Locke, the council's divisional director for community and culture, played host to the Duke of Edinburgh.
The royal couple first stood to watch a three-minute fusion performance of bharatanatyam, a classical dance style from southern India, by dancers from the Srishti-Nina Rajarani Dance Creations, one of the resident companies at Harrow Arts Centre, as well as members of the local branch of the lifelong learning organisation the University of the Third Age and pupils from nearby Camrose Primary With Nursery school in St David's Drive, Edgware, and a handful of professional dancers.
The composition, which changed from a medium-fast to a fast and then slow tempo, was created by Nina Rajarani's husband Yadav Yadavan, who sung the lyrics along with their 4-year-old son Pranay.
Mrs Rajarani said: "It was a really wonderful experience and a huge honour, and I think it will probably be one of the biggest highlights of our lives for everyone."
Her Majesty and her husband then enjoyed a verse in Bengali chanted by Year 1 children from Krishna-Avanti Primary School.
Ravin Gantra, chairman of The Friends of Krishna-Avanti School, explained: "They recited a poem by a 16th Century Indian writer all about selfless duty to God, about humility of worship and devotion to God with qualification.
"It was chosen by the school's faith partner, Iskon, and it's absolutely appropriate that a theme which represents unity for all ethnic minotiries should be chosen."
The Queen next unveiled a tapestry commissioned from Dovecot Studios in Scotland that shows a scene in which Hindu saint Lord Chaitanya is speaking to animals in a forest setting.
Srutidharma Das, a parent, a governor and faith advisor at the school, said: "I explained to The Queen that beyond all material designations and differences that everybody should come together and through singing and dancing surrender their hearts to God."
The royals were ushered around the outside of the temple into the cloister-like courtyard to an outdoor stage where the Grimsdyke Brass Band, the Harrow Afro-Caribbean Society, dancers from Wealdstone-based youth charity Ignite Trust, the Merrydowners Morris morris dancers, Harrow Tamil Association and Harrow Community Radio FM all performed short routines.
A little way on Shazia Mahmood, chairwoman of Harrow Pakistan Women's Association, and Fagee Lisk, from Ignite Trust, were presented to The Queen while Martin Verden, chairman of Harrow Heritage Trust, and John Tucker, the organiser of the so-called Community Zone and head of community projects at Harrow Council, met Prince Phillip.
The Queen then received a Diamond Jubilee gift from a 9-year-old player at Belmont United Youth FC, whose teams play on the remaining half of the William Ellis Sports Ground on which Krishna-Avanti Primary School was built.
Suhail Kassamali handed her a replica of the team's shirt with the number 60 on the back, representing the Diamond Jubilee. He was flanked by his football coach father Moe.
Mr Kassamali said: "It was a small men's shirt, our home red kit. My son presented The Queen with the shirt and she said: 'Thank you very much.'
"She was impressed with the 60 on the back and said: 'Oooh, that's very nice.'
"Suhail was nervous and had been practising what to say all day, and the bow, and his 'Your Royal Highness'es and 'Ma'am's if she asked him any questions.
"She did ask him what position he played and he said he was the goalkeeper for the under-9s.
"Prince Phillip came for a chat as his wife walked away and he was asking about our sponsor. I asked him if maybe he would like to turn up to a training session, and he laughed and said: 'I'm not fit enough. The old ticker's not working.'"
The Duke of Edinburgh went on to meet Sheila Clements, chairwoman of the Shaw Trust Horticulture, a Stanmore-based gardening charity helping people with disabilities and medical conditions.
Everyone moved on to the 60 Faces exhibition where Dermot Carlin, Harrow Council's photographer, explained to the royal guests about the collection of portraits he snapped of the borough's most influential and inspiring people and some were introduced in real life to The Queen and Prince Phillip.
One of those featured, Harry Fridkin, who at 97 is Harrow's old Neighbourhood Champion and a Second World War veteran, presented a commemorative book of the exhibition to Her Majesty.
The visitors browsed the pictures to the strains of a string orchestra provided by Canons High School and Harrow Young Musicians as a prelude to the so-called Music Zone in a marquee in the grounds of the school.
There the royal couple were treated to a performance of a song written by Gilbert and Sullivan since Sir William Gilbert lived at what is now Grimsdyke Hotel in Old Redding, Harrow Weald.
It was the turn of more than 120 singers from a variety of Harrow choirs to sing a specially commissioned Diamond Jubilee Choral Fanfare.
The lyrics were lifted from the ‘Never had man more joyful day’ passage from 16th Century poet Edmund Spenser’s work Epithalamion and the ‘When the Sun Shineth’ extract from 15th Century writer George Pettie’s A Petite Pallace of Pettie his Pleasure.
The choir also sang traditional English folk songs Greensleeves and Pastime With Good Company and at the end, composer Bryan Kesselman and lyricist Phillip Barnett, both ex-Harrow County School for Boys pupils, presented a commemorative score to Her Majesty.
Participant Sarah Budak, an alto with the Jubilate ladies' choir, said, “Before The Queen arrived there was a wonderful party atmosphere. Everyone was mixing together no matter what creed or colour.
"The Duke of Edinburgh came and chatted to us. He was very impressed by the sound and couldn’t believe it was the first time the group had performed together.
"He asked whether we could be sure there weren’t any tape recorders hiding amongst us! As The Queen turned to leave she looked back at the choir and said 'Thank You'. It was fantastic – I just wish we could have sat and watched ourselves.”
To bring proceedings to a close, The Queen accepted a spring posy from Yogethaa Yogasingam and Damodar Swatantra, pupils at Krishna-Avanti Primary School, and Kashvi Gorasiya, who attends Woodlands School.
The very last thing was the winner of the Observer's Design A Diamond Jubilee Card competition, Marlborough Primary School pupil Pia Scott-Nair, presenting her winning entry to the monarch.
Pia's father Chris Scott, of Bolton Road, Harrow, said: "Pia had a wonderful time and she was very excited.
"She had a little conversation with The Queen. She said: 'Your Majesty, this is for you' and gave her the card.
"The Queen recognised herself and joked: 'Is that me?' Pia said 'Yes' and The Queen replied, 'Splendid'."
The royal couple then stepped into their card and a crowd of hundreds waved off the visitors to the strain of the Glen Trew Pipe Band.
Afterwards, Mr Gor said: "I was waiting to be nervous but actually Her Majesty put me and the other host Marianne completely at ease. She was very friendly.
"She said it was a beautiful school and she was very impressed by the childrens' performances, being so young.
"The Queen was very appreciative of the variety of different things that were performed for her. The diversity, a key part of the presentation, really came through to her."
Council leader Mr Stephenson said: "This has been a truly a memorable day for Harrow. More than 1,500 residents were directly involved in welcoming The Queen to the borough, with hundreds more lining the streets and watching the visit on big screens.
"We had miles of bunting and more than 1,000 flags were waved. Harrow once again showed its great community spirit as well as its diversity.
"The event was not only a celebration of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee but all that is special about Harrow."