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Hellesdon grandfather's model of coronation regalia to mark Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations was a labour of love

PUBLISHED: 17:36 16 July 2012

Derek Cate's coronation collection.
Photo: Bill Smith

Derek Cate's coronation collection. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant

A grandfather from Hellesdon who was just a schoolboy when the Queen was crowned has painstakingly created an intricate model of regalia used in the coronation to help commemorate this year's Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Fourteen-year-old Derek Cate was one of thousands of people who stood in Trafalgar Square to catch a glimpse of Queen Elizabeth II after she was crowned at a ceremony in London’s Westminster Abbey. The excitement he felt on that day in June 1953 has stayed with him for the next 60 years and has proved the inspiration behind the model.

It features a crown made by his late wife Marjorie in 1977, sceptres, the sovereign’s orb and even two corgis from Sandringham, and is currently on show at Meadow Way Chapel in Hellesdon.

Mr Cate, now 73, has also been taking the model to old people’s homes and schools in the area as part of a talk about the coronation and Royal family.

The father-of-three and grandfather-of four, said: “I’m very pleased with it. It’s very lifelike and represents all the regalia that was used in the coronation in 1953 and, of course, for all the kings and queens who have been crowned over the years.

“People have been very impressed. It’s all flood-lit and has got a background and two lovely little corgis from Sandringham gift shop. I’ve really enjoyed doing it.”

The display features a picture of Mr Cate, aged 14, with another more recent photo of him taken in the same spot he stood in Trafalgar Square back in 1953. It also features photos of other members of his family, including his three children.

In addition to talking about the display, Mr Cate has devised a quiz about the Royal family for youngsters and old people to try.

He hopes the model will help generate an interest in the Royal family among those groups he visits, particularly among young people.

Although he was not able to get to the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in London Mr Cate did watch them on TV and said he was delighted so many young people were there to take part.

He said: “I was very pleased to see so many young people enjoying it.”

Mr Cate and his wife Marjorie, who died in October 2009 aged 69 following a battle with cancer, were childminders and foster carers to more than 100 children in the Hellesdon area.

Mr Cate, a retired sales manager, is an all-round entertainer and a member of Meadow Way Chapel where his wife helped form a playgroup after they moved to the area.

Have you got a story for the Evening News about a long-term model project you have been involved with? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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