Queen Elizabeth described the regeneration of Liverpool as “impressive” during a tour of the city yesterday (22.05.08).

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The queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, was in the English city to officially open the new arena and convention centre (ACC) yesterday (22.05.08).

Arena chief executive Bob Prattey, who accompanied the queen on her tour of the arena, said: “She was commenting about how much the physical appearance had changed. She said there are lots of impressive developments going on.”

The royal couple met performers, artists and children at the arena, and also made time to speak to many of the well-wishers who had come to the event.

Lily Schofield, 71, said: “She just said to me it was a beautiful building and asked if anything had been going on and what shows had been here. I told her what had been happening and then I said to her she’s the icing on the cake and she smiled.”

After the opening, the queen visited the city’s UKP1 billion retail development called Liverpool One, where Prince Philip climbed to the top of the 13-storey block of apartments to lead the topping out ceremony.

The royal couple also visited St George’s Hall and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic during their visit.