Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip are to visit Liverpool.

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The royal couple will officially open the ECHO arena and unveil a plaque. The city is one of Europe’s Capitals of Culture for 2008 and the Culture Company are to create a special taster programme of the celebration performances for the queen and her husband.

They will also visit the UKP1bn Liverpool One development, St George’s Hall, the Philharmonic Hall and The Orrery, as well as meeting workers from various community projects.

The visit marks the second trip to Liverpool in six months for the couple, after they attended the Royal Variety performance at the city’s Empire theatre in December last year.

Lord Mayor Paul Clark joked: “It’s wonderful her majesty is making yet another trip to Liverpool. I think we could definitely start claiming Liverpool is one of the royal family’s favourite places!”