Queen meets queen at opening of Royal Armouries in Leeds

Una Stubbs, in a costume of Queen Elizabeth 1, meets Queen Elizabeth 2 during her visit to Leeds for the opening of The Royal Armouries on the 15th March 1996.
Una Stubbs, in a costume of Queen Elizabeth 1, meets Queen Elizabeth 2 during her visit to Leeds for the opening of The Royal Armouries on the 15th March 1996.
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Dateline: March 1996: Her Majesty The Queen came to Leeds to mark the official opening of the Royal Armouries.

She is pictured here with actress Una Stubbs - known for playing Rita Rawlins in the sitcoms Till Death Us Do Part and In Sickness and in Health- in full costume as Queen Elizabeth I.

The £42m museum was a shot in the dark in some ways in that it represented a new way of displaying some of the collection of weaponry and armour at the overcrowded Tower of London.

It was a scoop for Yorkshire and for Leeds as a city... but not all was well. Just two years after opening, the museum celebrated its 1 millionth visitor but within a year of that, it was on the verge of closure, having racked up £20m of debt.

The museum was part of what was known as a private finance initiative, with Royal Armouries International investing £14m in the site but due to its location, it failed to generate the visitor numbers anticipated.

Running of the site was transferred to its public partner, Royal Armouries, visitor charges were scrapped and slowly but surely, it’s fortunes began to improve.